For many of our alumni, and much of the U.S. legal world, the question "how many students are there" or "how many graduates" still refers to the JD.
The reality of U.S. legal practice and legal education is that many people work in legal and regulated settings who are not U.S. lawyers (or paralegals), that many people in professions other than law find legal and regulatory training valuable, and that legal education is increasingly a global market, even when the primary focus is the U.S. legal system.
Arizona Law has been a leader in responding to this reality. The JD program remains vital, and JD training and practice are evolving rapidly like so much else in business and commerce and society.
A celebrated example of these changes is our nation-leading BA in Law. A beautiful aspect of the BA in Law is the dual-degree partnerships it invites with top law schools around the world, where law is overwhelmingly an undergraduate, not a graduate, subject.
And the first and most developed of those dual degree partnerships is with Ocean University of China. This past June, UA Vice Provost Brent White and I joined our colleagues in Qingdao to celebrate the first graduating class.

UA-OUC graduation ceremony.

A group of UA-OUC students and faculty.

This week, in these e-pages, we celebrate those graduates and better acquaint you with Professor Robert Woods, who has directed the program in Qingdao since 2017.

Until the footnotes,
Inaugural UA Micro-Campus Class Graduates
Seventy-seven students received their undergraduate diplomas from the University of Arizona this summer, not in Tucson, but halfway around the world in Qingdao, China.
Each graduate earned two degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Law from the UA and a Bachelor of Laws from Ocean University of China, also known as OUC. The commencement marked the first four-year cohort of UA micro-campus students -- undergraduate law students dually enrolled in the UA and OUC -- to graduate.
UA Qingdao at OUC was the UA's first micro-campus. While 77 students graduated in summer 2019, nearly 400 students have enrolled in the program since its inception.

Entirely unique to the UA and its partners, micro-campuses operate at universities worldwide, where students earn degrees from the UA and the partner institution, typically in the same time it took in the past to earn one.
"The idea has never been a series of bilateral partnerships between the UA and its partners," said Brent White, vice provost for Global Affairs and dean of Global Campuses at the UA. "Rather, the vision is to build a powerful multi-university network to deliver high-quality transnational education, conduct research across borders and connect faculty across multiple countries. It is an integrated network were we all connect, teach and solve problems together." 
At the 2019 graduation with, from left: Brent White and the UA leads at OUC: Andrew Shepherd, professor of practice, Global Law; Michael Sayle, professor of English; and Robert Woods, director of the UA Law program at Ocean University of China.

This partnership was built on the belief that strong students could learn the fundamentals of both Chinese law and U.S. law in four years and in two languages. Now, our graduates will share their unique knowledge, insight and skills with academic institutions and employers around the world. 
The program in Qingdao, a seaside city of roughly 10 million people, was established in 2015 as a partnership between OUC, the College of Law and the School of Government and Public Policy in the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, or SBS.
At the micro-campus in Qingdao, UA professors specializing in law and English teach alongside their counterparts in China. Students in Qingdao receive instruction in both Chinese and U.S. law, and in both civil and common law systems. Upon graduation, students may practice law in China, though many opt to continue their legal studies abroad.
Several graduates of the inaugural cohort received early acceptance to top law schools in China, the U.K., the U.S., and Australia to pursue graduate degrees. Xueda Qiu will begin a Master of Laws program, or LLM, at Northwestern University in the U.S. this fall.
"During the application process to Northwestern, they showed a lot of interest in the dual degree program between the UA and OUC," Qiu said. "It was an adjustment at first to learn about legal thinking and writing from a different perspective, but the UA professors were very patient. Professor [Robert] Woods knew exactly how to inspire us. The program also helped me with my writing in English and my communication skills with English speakers."

Meet UA-OUC Program Director Robert Woods
For the last two years, Robert Woods has led the UA-Ocean University of China's BA in Law program in Qingdao. 

The program and its students are enriched by Bob's background in entertainment law and his experience teaching law and in theater direction.
Bob has been a critical component in the success of the first class of BA in Law students in Qingdao and has done a superb job both as a teacher and, with his colleagues in Qingdao and in Tucson, of working out the details of the first UA micro-campus.
Bob grew up in Oklahoma City and earned a Bachelor's degree in drama, specifically directing and acting. He went to law school because, in his words, it seemed like a better way to make a living than waiting tables. 

Because of his theater background, Bob was always interested in entertainment law. He moved to Los Angeles immediately after finishing law school at the University of Oklahoma to enter private practice, specializing in entertainment law.

Working with students at the Ocean University, Qingdao campus.

Bob has consistently managed to blend his interests and expertise in law and the arts throughout his career. He practiced entertainment law in LA for nearly 30 years, representing film producers, screenwriters, and directors, as well as artists in the music industry. 

Later, wanting to try something different, in 2008-2009, he took a job teaching a law course in Nanning, China, at Guangxi University. While there, he also directed and produced a student production of Disney's High School Musical. He had so much fun that he decided to return to school for an MFA in directing, back in Oklahoma. 

While working on the MFA, Bob taught entertainment law as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma City University School of Law and at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. After completing the MFA, he returned to LA and began teaching entertainment business law at The Los Angeles Film School.
In 2017, when the opportunity to return to China and direct the BA in Law program at Qingdao arose, Bob jumped at the chance. 

In addition to leading the new program, teaching American Common Law Systems, Intellectual Property, and Business Organizations, and interacting with students and other faculty from both the UA and OUC, Bob continues to build on his theater background. He directed a student production of 12 Angry Jurors in 2018, an experience that helped students practice their speaking and advocacy skills in English in front of an audience and deepen their understanding of the U.S. court system.

Bob pictured front and center with the student cast of 12 Angry Jurors.

Bob says that the students are the best part of his job.
"They are all so bright and are really dedicated to doing their best in learning the concepts of American law -- and doing that in English! They constantly surprise me with their sharp questions and solid grasp of complicated legal principles."
He also enjoys the beauty of Qingdao and its surroundings.

"I live 10 minutes from the beach, so I very often walk the boardwalk, enjoying the ocean and the beautiful scenery and watching the local fisherman catching crabs and fresh fish. I always take visitors to the area near the Yushan campus of Ocean University of China, which is full of grand, old trees, lots of coffee shops and interesting mom-and-pop retail stores, and many restaurants, including a great ice cream shop!"
We're grateful for the leadership that Bob provides on behalf of the UA in Qingdao and the heart that he puts into his work.

Around the College
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In the News

The life of the law school and the lives of our students and now our recent graduates all have their own cycles.
This week, many of our recent graduates are taking the bar exam -- most in Arizona, though many in other states.
It has been some time since I sat for the bar in California. But I will always remember that professional rite of passage.
Our graduates are bright, well trained, and have worked hard to prepare. They will do very well. Even so, it can only help to send all of our cheers their way.





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