This week we highlight a new dimension of Arizona Law's presence in Phoenix through our Phoenix Externship Program. We are excited to expand our reach in the Phoenix metro, which is home to roughly 3,000 of our law alumni.
And be sure to read the news from recent student competitions in our "Around the College" section.
Until the footnotes,
Phoenix Externship Program Expands Capital City Opportunities for Arizona Law Students
University of Arizona Law has long had close ties to Phoenix, thanks to the city's proximity to Tucson, strong alumni presence, base for student recruitment, and location for employer interview programs. Now, some 2L and 3L students are studying and working in Phoenix full time for the spring semester through the new Phoenix Externship Program.
Students in the Phoenix Externship Program spend three days a week working in an externship placement and two days in small-group classes with University of Arizona Law faculty and special guest instructors from the Phoenix area, such as Arizona Supreme Court Justice
Clint Bolick, Deputy General Counsel to Governor Doug Ducey
Nicole Ong Colyer ('08), and Arizona Attorney General's Office Chief of Staff
Joe Kanefield ('94).
is externing with the law firm of Osborn Maledon through the Diversity Legal Writing Program shares,
"As an Arizona native, I plan on practicing in the Phoenix area after graduation, and this program has allowed me to network and plant roots in the Phoenix legal community."
The externship placements include judicial chambers, government agencies, non-profit offices, corporations and private law firms.
, Dan B. Dobbs Professor of Law and faculty director of the Phoenix Externship Program, explains:
"We work one-on-one with students to help them secure legal experience and mentorships in precisely the areas of law that interest them.
For example, a student with a background in neuroscience and genetics is working at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and a student who wanted to experience a clerkship before going into corporate practice is externing for a justice at the Arizona Supreme Court."
She adds that the access to influential and deeply experienced legal leaders enhances the classroom experience.
"Students have small classes with some of the most knowledgeable and respected judges and lawyers in the Valley. We are so fortunate that the generous alums and friends of the college are reaching back to support and mentor our students."
Timothy DesJarlais secured an externship with the Arizona Attorney General's Office and says the special curriculum and the exposure to the Phoenix legal market are extremely valuable:
"I appreciate the opportunity the Phoenix Externship Program gives me to work in Phoenix, given its position as the capital and largest city in Arizona. It's an opportunity to expand my horizons and make connections in a city that I am considering practicing in after graduation."
While judges, attorneys and lawmakers routinely travel to the University of Arizona Law campus in Tucson, the Phoenix Externship Program makes it even easier for students to connect with Phoenix professionals. Recently, Arizona House of Representatives Majority Leader
and House Minority Leader
were both guest speakers during Professor
's Arizona Legislation class about floor and committee procedures.
Students also participate in professional development, social and networking opportunities with University of Arizona Law alumni and other members of the Phoenix legal community. The Phoenix Externship Program includes a Friday CLE lunch guest speaker series, which is
open to Arizona Law alumni and supporters
The Law College Association, in partnership with the UA Alumni Association, will recognize three outstanding alumni at the annual LCA Awards Celebration.
Friday, March 6, 2020
5 - 7:30 p.m.
College of Law
We are grateful to our event sponsors from
Carmichael & Powell, PC,
Hollingsworth Law Firm, PC, and
Gammage & Burnham, PLLC.
Grand Legal Writing Competition Results
With (l-r) finalists Tanner Preece, Jeri Kopet (on screen), Christina Billhartz, and Rory Bennett, and professor Tessa Dysart, assistant director of legal writing.
The 19th Annual Richard Grand Legal Writing Competition Awards were presented last week to four deserving Arizona Law students.
Over the course of his life, Richard Grand ('58) was known as a lifelong learner. According to Mr. Grand's obituary, he "was an eager and lifelong student who was never reluctant to sweat to achieve his goals." He is credited with saying, "if you don't like learning, don't become a lawyer."
The competition instructions this year asked students to write an essay explaining what it means to be a lifelong learner. The students were to reflect on how they will continue to learn after graduating from the law college.
Professors Tessa Dysart and Susie Salmon chose the four top essays from a pool of 40 excellent entries. The four finalists were then advanced to review by this year's outstanding panel of distinguished judges, who determined the final order of the awards:
, Editor, Arizona Attorney Magazine;
, General Counsel, Smithsonian Institution;
, former president of the University of Arizona;
, Tohono O'odham Nation; and
('66), U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.
The winners of this year's competition are:
1st place ($2,500) ~
Christina Billhartz (2L)
2nd place ($1,500) ~ Tanner Preece (2L)
3rd place ($1,000) ~ Jeri Kopet (MLS)
Honorable mention ($750) ~ Rory Bennett (2L)
Please join me in congratulating our finalists and in extending our thanks to
Marcia Grand and her late husband Richard Grand, who have generously and graciously funded this wonderful competition for many years.
Barry Davis National Trial Team Competes at Regionals
Front row (l-r): Sean Aiken, Michael Victor, coach Brian Chase, Clarissa Todd, and Mea Donnelly. Back row (l-r): Maura Hilser, Yulingxuan Liu, and Rachel Madore.
The Barry Davis National Trial Team just returned from competing at the National Trial Competition regional event in San Francisco. Two teams, coached by
, competed on behalf of the University of Arizona. On Team Red were
(3L). On Team Blue were
Coach Chase reports: "Team Red and Team Blue each finished with one win and had very narrow losses to much more experienced teams. Those who are not graduating are eager to return next year and prove that they are one of the best in the country."
We congratulate our students on their performance.
Support the Barry Davis National Trial Team
In 2016, Arizona Law created an endowment fund in honor of
Barry Davis, a prominent Tucson trial lawyer for nearly four decades. Funds support the Barry Davis National Trial Team at the regional and national levels of the National Trial Competition.
If you are one of our 3,000 law alumni in the Phoenix area, I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to attend one of the upcoming Friday lunchtime talks.
You can also help advice our Phoenix-focused students, and think about hosting one of our outstanding students as an extern in the future.