For one hundred years, Arizona Law graduates have used their legal education to launch interesting careers, within and outside of traditional legal practice.  This week, we feature two Arizona Law alumni -- Kathleen Hale ('04) and Meghan Cocci ('98).  Meghan has followed a practice-oriented path to the top of the profession, and Kathleen has moved from practice to become an entrepreneur.  


If you are planning to attend the State Bar of Arizona Convention, please make sure to stop by the Arizona Law reception, where we will be celebrating a century of educating Arizona Law alumni, on Thursday, June 25, at 6:30 in the evening.


Until the Footnotes,



Kathleen Hale ('04)

Instead of the standard offices where many Arizona Law graduates work, Kathleen Hale checks in at a large open global incubator space called 1776.  


Kathleen began her career clerking for Judge Neil Wake on the US District Court for the District of Arizona and then for Judge William Canby on the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.  After clerking, Kathleen worked at Haralson Miller Pitt Feldman & McAnally in Phoenix. Then Kathleen moved to Washington, DC. 


After a few years of practicing law in DC, Kathleen became a founding partner of a law firm and had the opportunity to think in a different way about her workspace.  Concerned about the negative health effects of sitting at a desk for several hours each day, she created a DIY treadmill desk, with the encouragement and assistance of her husband, Jeff.


Kathleen couldn't believe how working at a treadmill desk transformed her day.  After extensive market research, Kathleen and Jeff -- a graduate of the UA's Eller College of Management -- realized that they had a great product idea.  A few months later, Rebel Desk was born and Kathleen left the practice of law to become a full-time entrepreneur.






Rebel Desk has grown very quickly, with thousands of customers across all fifty states. Kathleen and Jeff office at 1776 in DC along with hundreds of other new companies.  The space and the exposure to other companies and entrepreneurs has benefitted Kathleen and Rebel Desk.  I understand from the Alumni and Development team that the best way to describe this space is "uber cool."




Vold and Rebel Desk One of Rebel Desk's first customers was another Arizona Law alum and Kathleen's colleague at Miller Pitt, Cassandra Meynard ('08).  Our Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations Jonelle Vold is enjoying her own Rebel Desk here at the College and has promised to let me take it for a test drive.  


In addition to being a source of customers, Kathleen credits her legal training for helping her successfully launch and manage her business.


"My legal skills have helped me in the more obvious ways, such as setting up and forming the business, drafting and negotiating contracts, and assessing and securing insurance needs.  It also has helped in less obvious ways.  My writing skills and courtroom experience have helped me to persuade potential customers of the benefits of using active-working products." 


Kathleen is enjoying the transition from being a lawyer to being an entrepreneur.  She and Jeff balance running their business with running after their six-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son.  In their spare time they love to camp, play soccer, and explore the museums of DC. 

To learn more about Rebel Desk or to connect with Kathleen, visit the company's website.


Meghan Cocci ('98) 

The National Law Journal recognized alumna Meghan Cocci ('98) in its special "Outstanding Women Lawyers" feature.  The May 4 NLJ issue profiles 75 exceptional female attorneys. Among the factors considered were success of practices, leadership roles, big wins, high-level work, and service to the underserved.  


Meghan is the only Arizona lawyer on the list, and she is one of just a handful who practice outside of New York, California, or Washington, DC.  Let's forgive the coastal bias of the National Law Journal, and celebrate Meghan's well-deserved recognition.    






When Meghan was choosing a law school, Arizona Law appealed to her for a number of reasons -- it was in the Southwest, it was a place where she felt she could stand out as an individual and not as a number, and she received a graduate tuition scholarship which certainly helped sway her decision!  As with so many graduates, one essential factor was the focused outreach by former Assistant Dean Terry Holpert that really made her feel unique.  According to Meghan,  


"I figured that any school that took that much time to know an applicant had to be a good place to learn and grow."


Meghan's first position out of law school was in Tucson with what was then Mendelsohn, Oseran & Eisner.  Though slightly nervous about not having a job as she walked across the stage on graduation day, Meghan interviewed the day after the bar exam and started shortly thereafter.  Meghan explains that,   


"Deborah Oseran was a wonderful mentor and she set the bar extremely high.  I couldn't have asked for a better place to have started my career."


Meghan joined Squire Sanders in 2001 and that's where, in the course of representing leisure-industry clients, she found her love of the hotel sector.  In 2004, Meghan moved in-house with what was then Cole Companies, a real-estate investment firm. 


Meghan eventually realized that she missed private practice and returned to Squire Sanders.  In 2006, she opened the Phoenix office of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal with a number of her colleagues.  Over the past few years, Meghan's firm has undergone a number of combinations and mergers, becoming SNR Denton and now the global mega-firm Dentons.


Meghan was appointed managing partner of the Dentons Phoenix office in 2012 and appointed to the firm's US board at the beginning of this year.  Meghan feels fortunate to be part of the largest law firm in the world at a very exciting time in the firm's trajectory.


"So, long story short, I started my career with a firm of 6 in Tucson and am now part of a firm of 6,600 with offices in 125 cities."


Meghan routinely tells people that she might be the happiest lawyer she knows.


"I know some lawyers hear this and roll their eyes, but I get to work every day on amazing and complex hotel and resort projects around the globe with clients who I also call friends.  And I love to travel -- so it is a win-win all around.  I'm also fortunate to have an amazing husband who helps maintain the balance in our lives and takes care of me and our two sons.  I wouldn't be where I am today without his support and guidance and willingness to let me try to have it all."


Meghan, congratulations on being recognized as one of the "Outstanding Women Lawyers."  It is very rewarding for all of us to hear from you and other alums who revel in their career as a lawyer.

Connect with Meghan on Linked In.
Centennial Snapshot - Justice Francis X. Gordon ('54)

This week we highlight the career of Francis X. Gordon ('54), who was appointed by Governor Raul Castro ('49) to the Arizona Supreme Court in 1975.  In fact, he was the first justice appointed to the Court under the judicial merit selection system adopted in 1974.  He served until 1992.


1954 Desert,
UA Yearbook


Gordon grew up in Kingman, Arizona, and received a BA from Stanford University in 1951 before returning to Arizona to attend law school at the UA.  He was president of the SBA (pictured below, front row and center).  After graduation he returned to Kingman to practice with his father and later became a Mojave County Superior Court judge.


1954 Desert, UA Yearbook


According to the Arizona Supreme Court's Legends of the Judiciary biography of Gordon:  


"Chief Justice Francis X. Gordon presided over what is perhaps the biggest constitutional crisis in Arizona's history, the impeachment of sitting Governor Evan Mecham by the Arizona State Legislature.  Justice Gordon's poise and dignified manner educated the thousands who watched the televised proceedings about the role of the judiciary.  His performance enhanced the stature of the judiciary for generations.  In addition, Justice Gordon made major improvements in the judiciary, including initiating the groundbreaking Commission on the Courts, a multi-disciplinary body that made recommendations to improve the court system that are still in place today.  Justice Gordon is also credited with being the father of judicial education."


Do you have photos or memories of a legendary classmate?  We would love to hear from you.  Please contact Emily McGovern, Centennial Coordinator, to share your images and stories.  



Summer Alumni Receptions


We'd love to have you join us at one of our upcoming alumni receptions.  



  • Phoenix -- all-alumni reception at Arizona State Bar Convention, Thursday, June 25, 6:30-8:30 pm, Arizona Biltmore, Salon F of the Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom, 2400 E. Missouri Ave. RSVP here
  • Washington, DC -- Wednesday, June 17, 5-7 pm at Morgan Meguire, 1225 I St. NW, Ste 1150. RSVP here
  • Nogales -- Tuesday, June 30, 12-2 pm, details to come.
  • Sierra Vista -- Tuesday, June 30, 5-7 pm, details to come.
  • Portland, OR -- Wednesday, July 8, 5-7 pm at Stoel Rives, 900 SW Fifth Ave., Ste 2600.
  • Seattle, WA -- Thursday, July 9, 5-7 pm at Williams Kastner, Two Union Square, 601 Union St., Ste 4100.
  • Prescott -- RESCHEDULED for July, details to come.
  • Flagstaff -- RESCHEDULED for July, details to come.
  • Yuma -- Tuesday, August 4, 12-2 pm, details to come.


And, make plans to return to Tucson and connect with more alumni during this year's special Homecoming-Centennial Week, October 19-25!

RSVP for any alumni reception by contacting
Marissa White or following the links above.



I look forward to seeing many of you around Arizona and around the US this summer.  And whether or not you will be at a College event, remember to stay in touch.






Marc L. Miller  

Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law
Shaping the next century of legal education 
Arizona NOW campaign button


   Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   Find us on Pinterest   View our profile on LinkedIn   View our videos on YouTube

University of Arizona James E Rogers College of Law

Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Join Our Mailing List button

Forward this email

This email was sent to by |  

University of Arizona James E Rogers College of Law | 1201 E. Speedway | Tucson | AZ | 85721