ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                  July 16, 2014




This week, we feature Tristany Leikem, a rising 3L, Noora Balooshi, our new Academic Affairs Coordinator, and Cristina Castaneda, an alum (LLM '07) and our new Director of Global Programs.


Until the footnotes,




Tristany Leikem ('15)


The Sonoran Desert is closer to a sea of dreams than the high seas, but that hasn't stopped Tristany Leikem ('15) from pursuing her dreams. Tristany is a commissioned officer, reservist, and future member of the Judge Advocate General Corps in the United States Navy.


She came to Arizona Law after graduating from the University of Rhode Island in 2012, where she was a Division I tennis player. The transition to Tucson was an easy one. Tristany grew up here, and notes "after attending U of A events throughout my childhood, I was excited to become a Wildcat."


Tristany has made a direct impact on Arizona Law during her time here. She is the senior note editor for the Arizona Law Review, and an unwavering volunteer in the Volunteer Lawyers Program. She also works in the Veteran's Advocacy Law Clinic, serves on the executive board of the Law Women's Association, and represents LexisNexis.



This summer, she is working as an associate for Mesch, Clark & Rothschild in Tucson. 



Tristany's legal experiences include working in the U.S. Attorney's Office of Arizona, U.S. Representative Ron Barber's District Office, and the Tucson City Attorney's Office.


She is excited for her future position as a JAG Officer. It is highly rewarding career path followed by many of our alumni. After graduation, Tristany will attend five weeks of Officer Development School (AKA boot camp for officers). Then, she will attend ten weeks of Naval Justice School before moving to her first duty station. Tristany looks forward to both training experiences in Newport, Rhode Island, where she will have the chance to re-connect with college friends.


Tristany with her family after the JAG enlistment ceremony

One of her primary reasons for attending Arizona Law was to be closer to her family. Her parents reside in town, but her two sisters, whom she misses very much, are pursuing their own life goals. Her twin sister, Kirsten, will begin the graduate program for public policy at Carnegie Mellon this fall. Her little sister Lyndsay will begin her sophomore year as a Division I basketball player at Indiana University this fall. Thankfully, everyone returns home to Tucson for the holidays!


Tristany represents the kind of passion and determination we see throughout the community at Arizona Law. We honor her service to our country, and we will celebrate the honor she has brought to her new profession.


Connect with Tristany on LinkedIn  


Noora Balooshi


Noora Balooshi recently joined our academic affairs team as a program coordinator. In that role, she helps plan and coordinate the schedule of classes with faculty, adjunct faculty, administration, main campus, and the registrar's office. She works directly with Kirsten Engel, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and our registrar, Lissette Calderon.


Our academic affairs department has hundreds of moving pieces to organize so that we can provide students with almost 100 classes each term. We offer as many classes as larger law schools -- but in smaller settings where faculty and students get to know each other. More than 80 percent of our second and third year classes have fewer than 25 students.


Noora came to us from the Graduate College on main campus where she helped to manage graduate admissions. She received her undergraduate degree in history from the U of A in 2012. During her time as a student, she was active in student affairs and on-campus activities.


When she's not at Arizona Law, she spends most of her time with her dog, Barkley, or on her yoga mat, with some gardening and cycling sprinkled in. Starting next month, she will begin training to become a certified yoga instructor.



Cristina Castaneda (LLM '07)

Castaneda, Cristina  

Our new Director of Global Programs, Cristina Castaneda (LLM '07), comes to the College from the National Law Center for InterAmerican Free Trade, where she served as Research and Development Director. We profiled Cristina in a prior Wildcat Wednesday-Letter of the Law.


Arizona Law has become a leader in global legal education. More than 25 percent of the incoming JD class, and about 30 percent of all new students coming to the College each year are from outside of the U.S.  


Cristina is directly responsible for managing our portfolio of four exciting programs offered at Arizona Law: the Advanced JD program, the LLM and the SJD programs in International Trade and Business Law and the Master of Legal StudiesStudents also come from around the world seeking an LLM or SJD in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy, or the new masters degree (MPS) in Indigenous Governance.   


Cristina is also involved in the development of law school partners located all over the world. She represented our global programs during the Arizona Law in DC Week meeting with embassy staff and international trade associates. 


Our growing Global Programs have brought new insights to the classroom and created a global network for all of our students, whether they are from Marana or Montana or Mongolia. Our programmatic efforts to respond to the global practice of law and business, and to the demand for a first rate U.S. legal education, increases our worldwide prominence, brings extraordinary new knowledge and perspectives into the first year and upper division courses, expands the connections between our faculty expertise and emerging markets, and transforms our alumni community.

Cristina's LLM Graduation


In addition to her LLM in International Trade and Business Law, Cristina has a law degree from her home country of El Salvador. She has worked as a research attorney in international development projects in Latin America and Kenya. Her main focus has been legal reform to improve access to credit and the modernization of the judicial system through the introduction of oral (and adversarial) trials.  


Cristina loves the desert scene, but -- like Tristany --has a fondness for the sea. She enjoys time with her husband and their cat, and teaching, whether for lawyers, graduate students, or as a volunteer with Lawyers for Literacy tutoring elementary school students to improve their reading skills.  


You can contact Cristina at



Swearing in the Newest Members of our Profession 


This past week, I had the great pleasure of swearing-in Julia Palfreyman ('14) and Benjamin Nucci ('14). Both participated in the February Bar Program, and are now licensed to practice in Arizona.




Networking Noshes are Back: Join Us!


Alumni who would like to network with current students are encouraged to join us on the second Thursday of every month for a networking reception. 


Networking Noshes are held on campus and help provide our students an opportunity to meet legal and business professionals, practice their networking skills, and learn about different practice areas. We are looking for interested alums who can join us at the Law College for these events. Our first Networking Nosh will be September 11th. If you are interested in participating, please email us at


Coming soon!


SAVE THE DATE - Arizona Law in Denver

August 11, 2014


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SAVE THE DATE - Arizona Law in Albuquerque

August 12, 2014


Cocktail Reception

5:00 - 7:00 pm 

Seasons Rotisserie & Grill  

2031 Mountain Road NW

Albuquerque, NM 87104

RSVP for the reception here.


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SAVE THE DATE - Arizona Law in Las Vegas

September 5, 2014


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SAVE THE DATE - Rehnquist Center's Annual Constitution Day Program at the College of Law

September 15, 2014


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SAVE THE DATE - PLAN AHEAD - Centennial Homecoming Weekend

November 7-9, 2014 

For more information, CLICK HERE to visit our Homecoming 2014 website.


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For many of our recent graduates, this is a month of practice, practice, practice, leading up to the July bar administration. The vast majority of our returning students, including almost all of our rising 2Ls, are working in various legal positions around the state, around the country, and around the world. And those of us at the law school continue to write, think, work, and plan for the new school year. 








Marc Signature      

Marc L. Miller 
Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law 
James E. Rogers College of Law    

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