Scholarships -- supported by donations from our generous alumni and friends -- go to two-thirds of our JD students, and their benefits touch the entire Arizona Law community. 

Scholarships enrich us by expanding law school access to deserving students and by freeing those students, and graduates, to pursue new opportunities and paths to professional service that might not otherwise be feasible. Receiving a scholarship can transform a student's education, career, and life. And in the process those students transform Arizona Law.

Our students tell us that financial support is one of the most important factors that influences their decision to attend Arizona Law.

Students gathered to meet and thank donors during 
the College of Law's 2019 Scholarship Lunch. 

Left to right are Lawrence Huerta Scholars: Summer Aubrey ('20), Harrison Rice ('19), Adelina Gomez ('19), Martie Rose Simmons ('20, also Hon. Margaret M. Houghton AWLA Scholarship), and Alexis Zendejas ('19). Paulene Abeyta ('21) is at far right.

This week we introduce you to first-year student Christina Billhartz and share photos from our Scholarship Lunch, held last week at the college. The annual event brings together scholarship donors and recipients face-to-face. 

Until the footnotes,

Meet 1L Christina Billhartz

First-year student Christina Billhartz explains that her path to law school was not a straightforward one, but a scholarship made a big difference, and she couldn't be happier to be at Arizona Law.
Following high school here in Tucson, she worked full-time for about five years to save money to continue her education. She began by taking classes at Pima Community College and eventually transferred to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU. 

She began developing an interest in the law as an undergraduate. As a Pima student, she interviewed several survivors of the January 8, 2011, shooting in Tucson. As an ASU student, she studied abroad in London in the summer of 2017, interviewing survivors of a number of terrorist attacks there.
Of these experiences, Christina says,

"While I loved being a journalist and telling the stories of individuals who needed the world to hear their voices, I continually felt like I wanted to be able to do more to help. I didn't want to just have to be objective -- I wanted to be involved. I wanted to advocate and defend."
When Christina returned from London, she began to research applying to law school, but with no certainty about how to pay her way while studying full-time. She applied to the University of Arizona College of Law because of its record for providing financial assistance and scholarships. Additionally, she says, as a native Tucsonan, she was eager to build connections and hopes to eventually practice law in her hometown.
Scholarships made the difference. Without the Tracy Earl Memorial Scholarship, Christina says, she would not be in law school today. 

"As a first-generation college student who grew up in a mobile home on a dead end in the middle of the desert, I never thought I would have this opportunity. Knowing that someone was willing to put their faith in me and pay for me to be here has further motivated me to do the absolute best that I can and to take advantage of every opportunity that the school offers."
Christina says her first year at Arizona Law has so far been an incredible experience, largely due to the professors. 

"They are incredible sources of knowledge and experience, and their doors are ALWAYS open. And, they genuinely care about their students. It continually amazes me that every time I go to a new professor's office hours, they always take at least a few minutes to get to know me as a person before they even let me ask class-related questions. Shout out to Professor Jane Bambauer, Dean Catherine O'Grady, Professor Robert Williams, Professor Joy Herr-Cardillo, and Professor Andrew Coan!"
She also is enthusiastic about the many learning and career development opportunities outside of classwork.  

"I've been able to watch lawyers present oral arguments in front of the Arizona Supreme Court in one of our classrooms. I signed up for the mock interview program, and I ended up being interviewed by Chief Justice Scott Bales!"
Christina's goal is to one day be a judge. 

"I know that it will be a long road to get there. In the meantime, I would love to end up doing some form of civil rights or civil liberties litigation."

Besides the law, Christina's two great loves are animals and books. 

"I have never found a book that I was not willing to read, or an animal that I was not willing to help. Along the way, I've picked up over 600 books (so far) and five rescue animals (ranging from dogs to chinchillas and tortoises). 

The most recent addition to my family is a stray miniature poodle that we found in the rubble of the 2017 Puebla Earthquake in Mexico. A year and a half later, and she is doing great."
Christina, I am glad you are here, back home in Tucson, and that your first year has been so engaging. And there is so much more great learning, wonderful faculty, and deep engagement to come.

Around the College

John Alexander ('21, Nancy Wolicki Kelly and James Kelly Scholarship)

Celebrating Scholarships

Arizona Law's annual Scholarship Lunch took place last Friday. The audience of donors and other members of our community heard from many current students about the huge, personal impact of scholarships in their lives.
Dev Sethi ('97) did a wonderful job emceeing the event. (I spoke by video, as I was in Vietnam traveling on university business on the day of the lunch.) 

We are grateful to all our donors, every day, and to the donors and members of our community who came to hear our students' stories last week.

Left to right: Garrick Nowak ('21, Gonzales-Villarreal Bridge Scholarship), Jamie Furst ('21, Paul W. Westerlund Memorial Scholarship), DeLorean Forbes ('21, Charles Marshall Smith Scholarship)
Donor Cher Hirsch with Philip Gough-Stone ('21, Steven A. Hirsch Scholarship)

Maura Hilser ('20) representing the Justice Advocates Coalition

Christine Billhartz ('21, Tracy Earl Memorial Scholarship)

Garrick Nowack ('21, Gonzales-Villarreal Bridge Scholarship)

LCA Awards Update 
We announced the 2019 LCA and UA Alumni Association Awards in January. Regrettably, three of our four awardees are unable to be in Tucson for the award ceremony originally planned for March 1, and so we have decided to cancel the event. 

We will instead be finding ways to individually recognize and celebrate these four outstanding honorees. Please join us in congratulating:

Brenda Burman
JD Class of 1996
Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation of the U.S. Department of Interior
Jennifer Calvery
JD Class of 1997
Global Head of Financial Crime Compliance for HSBC

Nguyen Khanh Ngoc
LLM in International Trade 1999
Vice-Minister of Justice for Vietnam
Sally Rider
JD Class of 1986
Associate Dean for Administration and Chief of Staff, James E. Rogers College of Law, and Director of The William H. Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures of Government

In the News

Wisconsin Watch, with quote from visiting professor Chris Griffin
Relias Media, commentary by professor Christopher Robertson

Newsweek, with quote from professor Toni Massaro

Together, the stories shared by Christina Billhartz and other students who benefit from scholarships attest to the power of your giving and the power of Arizona Law students with a dream.

We cannot say it too often, or mean it more sincerely. To everyone who gives and supports our awesome students, to everyone who allows your name or the name of a family member or a hero of the profession to be attached to an individual as they learn the law and enter our profession, thank you.





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