Letter of the Law: Alums John Lohse and Judge Cecilia Castellanos

I hope your new year is off to a terrific start!

At Arizona Law there is a great deal to look forward to in 2019. 

For one thing, we look forward to connecting with as many of our alumni and friends as possible in the coming twelve months -- through great talks and gatherings on campus, around Arizona, around the West, around the US, and around the world.

The opportunities for you to engage with our college -- and more to the point with  your College of Law -- are many and varied. You can advise, coach, and mentor current and prospective students and help us educate the next generation of lawyers and our many non-lawyer students. You can help us build networks to support our students as they follow their passion, apply their knowledge and skills, and seek employment after graduation.
You can join or even help organize or host events, and connect with not only law alumni and friends but others who believe in the UA.
And of course you can read our  weekly Letter of the Law . In case you missed it last week, here is our 2018 Arizona Law year-in-pictures edition.
Thank you for being dedicated Wildcats and thank you to all our 2018 donors.
Today, we share the story of two distinguished Wildcat alumni -- John Lohse and Judge Cecilia Castellanos -- who met in law school and have been married for over 40 years. It's a great look back -- and forward!

Until the footnotes,


Alumni Couple John Lohse and Judge Cecilia Castellanos

John Lohse and Judge Cecilia Castellanos are both double Wildcats with Bachelor's degrees in political science from the University of Arizona. 

But it was Arizona Law that first brought them together. Both entered as part of the Class of 1973, with Cecilia finishing her courses in December 1972. 

As law students, they shared a number of classes and were part of a small group of students who studied together and socialized at the Park Student Center. 

John and Cecilia married in 1975 and have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 40 years.

Before law school
John was born in Tucson, where the Lohse family first settled at the beginning of the 20th century. The Lohse Family YMCA was named after John's grandfather, Leslie Albert Lohse, who is credited with bringing the YMCA to Tucson. 

The Lohse family has had a connection with the University of Arizona and its law school for decades. John's uncle, Ashby Ira Lohse (Class of 1939) was a respected attorney in Tucson until his death in 2001. He was a lecturer at the law school for many years in law practice management. John's father was L. Allen Lohse, a graduate of the University of Arizona (Class of 1940) who played on the football team. Both brothers served in World War II; John's father was a decorated war veteran. After the war, he ran the family's wholesale grocery business.
Cecilia was born and raised in Chihuahua, Mexico, until the age of 11, when she and her family moved to Los Angeles for her father to receive medical treatment. She spoke no English until entering the fifth grade in Los Angeles. Cecilia's father, himself a physician, died a short time later. During high school, she moved with her mother and siblings to Tucson, where she graduated from Villa Carondelet. She attended Mt. St. Mary's College, UCLA, and the University of Arizona as an undergraduate, completing her BA at the UA. 

Her interest in the law was sparked when she served on a civil jury in 1970, and she applied to the UA law school the same year. Her legal education was funded by a generous grant from MALDEF (Mexican-American Legal and Educational Fund), other scholarships, and a part-time job at the law school's International Law Collection.
Law school memories
Cecilia says that what she remembers most about beginning law school was simply the excitement of being back at school after working for a couple of years as a service representative for Mountain Bell Telephone Company: "It was great to have some direction in my life and to pursue the goal of becoming an attorney."
John recalls meeting his new fellow first-year law students and quickly becoming part of a small group of close friends. He also remembers all of the time spent preparing for each class.
Both have enduring recollections of Dean Charles Ares and many of their professors, among them Winton Woods, Emmet Clark, Arthur Andrews, Kenney Hegland, Jack Rappaport, Boris Kozolchyk, Kenneth Reiblich, Dean John Lyons, Joel Finer, and David Wexler. Cecilia especially remembers Dr. Eugenio Revilla, the International Law Collection Librarian, for whom she worked during law school.
They also recall that more students showed up for their class than expected, a total of 250 students. Only 10 percent were women, which resulted in a very cohesive and friendly group of women law students.
After graduation
On graduation, John says he was one of five University of Arizona law school graduates hired by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office as a Deputy County Attorney. He worked in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Cecilia, meanwhile, went to work in Washington, DC, after graduation as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, prosecuting mainly cases of "a pattern or practice" of housing discrimination nationwide.
Two years after Cecilia went to DC, the two were married and moved to San Francisco, embarking on the next phases of their respective careers and setting out to make the Bay Area home and raise a family.
John was appointed as a Special Agent with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations) assigned to the San Francisco Division. Over the next 28 years, John served as Special Agent, Associate Division Counsel and Chief Division Counsel. 

In 2004, he retired from the FBI and joined the University of California (UC) at the Office of the President in Oakland, as Director of Investigations, Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services to oversee workplace investigations across the UC system. He says: "After 11 years with the University of California, I decided in June 2015 it was time to retire and enjoy the grandchildren." The retirement was short-lived, however, as he was asked in November 2016 to return as Interim Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance and Audit Officer for the Regents of the University of California. He served in this position for a year and four months and asserts he is now "fully retired."
Cecilia worked for the EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) in San Francisco, also as a trial attorney handling cases of job discrimination. She became head of the Hearings Unit charged with determining discrimination allegations in Federal agencies. Next, she opened a practice in Oakland where she specialized in education and employment law. Throughout her years as an attorney Cecilia was very active in State and local La Raza Lawyers organizations. 

In 1997, she was appointed to the Alameda County Municipal Court by Governor Pete Wilson, becoming the first Latina judge in the county's history. She was later elevated to the Superior Court and continued to promote the appointment of Latino lawyers to the bench. She was president of the California Latino Judges Association in 2000-2001. Cecilia officially retired from the court in 2015 but continues to sit as a temporary judge.
Enduring law school connections, and looking to the future

John says that, although he and Cecilia moved away from Arizona, they have maintained their ties to the State and to law school friends. Over the years they have attended a number of Arizona State Bar Conventions and were active in the Bay Cats, their local alumni association.
Cecilia and John have two boys: Allen, an attorney for LYFT in San Francisco and Evan, a graduate of the UA where he obtained a Bachelor's degree and a Master's in education. Evan married a woman from Tucson (Deepa Raghavan, also a UA grad). They live in Phoenix, where Evan teaches at Pinnacle High School. John and Cecilia are the grandparents of four grandchildren.
John and Cecilia, thank you for sharing your story. You are always welcome at Arizona Law. Wildcats forever!

Around the College

2018 Law Alumna of the Year,  Mary Mangotich Grier ('77)
Tell Us About YOUR 2018 Accomplishments and Memories!

Calling all alums!  We'd like to hear about Arizona Law alumni accomplishments from 2018. 

We'll share as many alumni photos as we can in our next edition.

Thanks to those of you who have already written to share your great news and photos!

In the News

Yahoo Finance, referencinging Arizona Law non-JD programs and professor Andrew Coan

Guidry News, commentary by professor David Gantz

The Crime Report, referencing professor Tara Sklar

12news.com, quoting professor Kristine Huskey

Columbia Law School Students Are Turning Into Legal Tech Developers
Yahoo Finance, referencing UA College of Law partnership with BYU
Death Penalty Deadline Extended in Murillo Case
Nogales International, quoting professor Jason Kreag

FACT CHECK: Mexico Isn't Paying For The Border Wall, Military Unlikely To Build It
NPR Morning Edition, commentary by professor David Gantz
The Economist, referencing professor Carol Rose

Wall Street Journal, referencing UA College of Law

Quartz, quoting professor Barak Orbach

Remember to celebrate your year, and your connection to Arizona Law, by sending your photos for inclusion in next week's edition of Letter of the Law





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