Dear Arizona Law Community,
We have the sad burden of sharing the news that Kenney Hegland, our colleague who for fifty years helped build our law school, passed away at the end of May.
Kenney joined the faculty in 1970, after service as a public interest lawyer in California. Kenney and Andy Silverman ('69) were the first two clinicians at the law school. 

Together they started one of the first law school teaching programs for high school students -- a spark to what is now known as the "law-related teaching" movement.  
Kenney was for many years a beloved contracts teacher, and after retiring continued to teach courses on law and literature and to stay engaged with our community. Kenney was prolific, writing books and articles, including works of fiction, and producing videos. He served as acting dean in 1988-1989, and associate dean under Paul Marcus.
Kenney and his wife Barbara Sattler, a longtime criminal justice lawyer, judge, and author, have shaped who we are, at our college, in our profession, and in our community. Kenney also leaves behind his four children. 

Kenney with his sons and grandson.

These are hard times, for each of us. They are hard times for our society. We feel losses of our friends and family all the more sharply for it.
Marc & Andy
Kenney Hegland, the Idea Man
-- by Professor Emeritus Andy Silverman ('69)

Fifty years ago, at this time of year, Kenney and I met for the first time. I remember it like it was yesterday even though don't ask me what I ate yesterday. Professor Winton Woods had Kenney and me and our spouses to dinner. Kenney had just moved to Tucson from San Diego.
Kenney and I were hired as the first two clinicians at the law school, which had received a CLEPR grant (through the Ford Foundation) to fund two clinical positions. As a law student here, I was a research assistant to Professor David Wexler. Together we started a clinical program representing inmates at the state prison. It turned out that one of the grants was designated to hire someone to direct the prison clinic, and I was hired.
Kenney was also hired pursuant to the clinic grant but with no mandate other than "we need clinics and see what you can do." The law school made a perfect choice in hiring Kenney with that wide-open mission. He was a person filled with ideas. But I learned quickly that Kenney was not just an idea person. When he thought of something, he never sat on it but immediately started to work out the details and do what was needed to make the idea a reality.

Before I knew it, Kenney had figured out what clinic should be started here. As a former legal services lawyer, Kenney knew there was always a need to represent low-income folks. Of course, there was already a legal services program in Tucson called the Pima County Legal Aid Society (which now goes by the name of Southern Arizona Legal Aid) so Kenney needed to start a program that would not merely duplicate the work of the Legal Aid Society but would complement it. Thus, the Neighborhood Law Office (NLO) was born. But what was Kenney's twist? The NLO would be open in the evenings so low-income people who could not access legal services during the day could come to the NLO at night. It worked. From the beginning, the NLO was swamped with clients and cases. Law students loved the experience, clients appreciated the help and Kenney was off and running with implementing his first idea, but clearly not his last, at the law school.

From left to right: Jamie Ratner, Kenney Hegland,
and Andy Silverman.

Our working together did not stop there. Again, it was Kenney who came up with the idea of putting on a trial and filming it to educate folks about the court system. But we were novices at producing videos -- we were able to put on the trial but the filming of it was another story. We got the law school to buy a camera (a novel thing to do at that time), and our filming career began. It resulted in the making of eight educational videos, which are now being distributed by the Discovery Channel and are geared for high school aged kids.
Our collaboration also resulted in a program called the High School Teaching Program. We were one of the first law schools to get students out in the community exposing young people to a variety of legal issues. But, again, Kenney came up with a twist -- the law students would not be lecturing to the high school students but posing questions touching on various legal topics and leading a discussion. We brought Socrates to Tucson high schools. And our program became nationally recognized, and Kenney is still thought of nationally as one of the founders of what is now called "street law" programs.
This is a reflection of some of the things Kenney and I did together during the first few years of being colleagues and good friends. There is lots more but that is for another day. However, in the tradition of the NLO, I guess I should say, "that is for another night."

Further Reflections from the Arizona Legal Community

Kenney Hegland's small section, 1983-84.

Those who had the good fortune of knowing Kenney will use words like honest, nice, thoughtful, funny, progressive, smart, committed to justice, generous, considerate, caring, loving, respectful, supportive, thinker, intellectual, etc. He was all of that and more. To me he was a great and wonderful friend. We played tennis and bridge, discussed politics and world affairs together, and attended sports and political gatherings he organized. I am very sad and will always miss my dear friend. But whenever I think of him I smile and feel really good, honored and proud that Kenney Hegland was my friend.
-- Mohyeddin Abdulaziz
former College of Law Director of IT


Kenney was my teacher, colleague, and beloved friend. He was whimsical, irreverent, funny, honest, and committed to the idea that law is about justice. He was also the most creative person I've ever known, with a mind that was always firing on all cylinders. He produced academic articles on rules vs. standards and the meaning of justice, nutshells on studying and practicing law, books on growing old, videos for young people to help them make good choices, videos for old people to introduce them to legal reasoning, new courses that combined law with other disciplines before such courses were cool, experiential courses (Teaching in the Juvenile Detention Center), programs to get kids thinking about law early on (Law Camp), novels about lawyers and legal academics, and the list goes on and on.

Through it all, Kenney made us think about how the study of law, and law itself, could be more humane. And he made us laugh.

-- Professor Emerita Barbara Atwood ('76)


Kenney was the most curious person. (Kenney would say, "Take that any way you want.") Once a week, Kenney would proclaim: "I just read the greatest book." Books led to ideas and ideas led to doing something. "Paul, we need to . . . "
Chris and John were law students and veterans who wanted to do something for other vets. I casually mentioned it to Kenney. In an instant, Kenney and Barbara are helping Judge Pollard create the Tucson Veterans Treatment Court. With a few shortcuts, those students were helping vets in court and we had a Vet Clinic. Shortcuts. As Kenney would say, "To do a great right, do a little wrong."
Kenney played life the way he played bridge. "Better to have loved and lost . . ." he would say. So we jumped in the deep end on many adventures -- Juvenile Detention Teaching, Law & Humanities, a Law Camp for poor kids, acting (?) in his and Andy's videos, writing a book together about happy lawyers. We will so miss him.
-- Professor Paul Bennett


Kenney Hegland, my colleague and friend for over fifty years, could more than hold his own teaching traditional law courses. Where Kenney really left his mark, however, was as to offerings that dealt with matters customarily not addressed in law school. In particular, Kenney created the Law and Humanities course. In that course lively exchanges of the assigned readings have brought out, for example, the central importance of empathy to effective lawyering (and good citizenship). The students uniformly have enjoyed the discussions of such non-traditional subjects. So also have the faculty, practicing attorneys, experts in disabilities, such as PTSD, and even drama majors, that Kenney invited to participate. Kenney's intelligence, wit, creativity, and humanity will be sorely missed.
-- Professor Emeritus William E. Boyd


Kenney and Barbara.

The difficulty of being limited to one paragraph about Kenney Hegland's life is obvious. Certainly too hard for me since I went to ASU, as Kenney often said. So, rather than attempt a one paragraph eulogy, which would not do him justice, a brief vignette about one of his primary character traits, a self-deprecating sense of humor, pretty much says it all. A few years ago, my wife and I walked into Barbara and Kenney's house one evening and Barbara immediately said, "I have big news." She looked over at Kenney who was lounging on the living room couch watching a ball game. "Kenney retired." He turned to look at us and smiled. My wife, Jayne, immediately congratulated him. My first words were to Barbara: "Well, can you explain to me how you are going to be able to tell the difference." When Kenney stopped laughing he looked at Barbara and said, "After a while will you let me know?" And that was Kenney. Obviously smart. Obviously caring. Obviously kind. But more than willing to laugh . . . at the world and at himself.

-- Dan Cooper, Tucson criminal defense lawyer


In decades of teaching, I have known many outstanding law professors, including a number on the University of Arizona law faculty. None, however, was more talented, dedicated and creative than my dear friend, Kenney F. Hegland. Oh we shall miss him terribly. He and I worked together as faculty members and as administrators. When I was Dean at the U of A, Kenney was my terrific Associate Dean -- the man certainly knew how to put out fires.
Through the many years of our friendship and association, I was always struck by how original and unique his thinking was. After all, who else has come up with titles for legal publications such as Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers; If Stephen King Discovers Cujo, Can Judges Discover Law?; Drunk Driving: The Party's Over; and Quibbles. Along with another dear friend, Professor Andy Silverman, Kenney was one of the original developers of a now common program involving law students teaching high school students. And, Kenney was my own personal inspiration with his Law and Literature program, something I shamelessly copied in the Virginia correctional system.
Kenney Hegland was much more than a superb academic and lawyer. He was a kind, compassionate, and truly caring person. What a loss for us all.
--Paul Marcus, Haynes Professor of Law at William & Mary,
Dean of the UA College of Law, 1983-88


[H]ere's the thing I'll always remember best about Kenney: he didn't think the study of law should be about reading cases, diagramming holdings, and annotating casebooks. Students in his elder law seminar at the U of A were required to visit a senior center, or talk with patients in a local nursing home, or ride along with Meals-on-Wheels providers. They were also given novels to read and discuss, or topical movies to watch. He wanted them to learn about humanity while studying the law.

-- Professor of Practice Robert Fleming ('76)


I first met Kenney at my job interview, when he (and Andy) offered me a ticket to the Huey Lewis concert at McKale in lieu of the mandatory interview dinner. I'm so glad I declined, as accepting would doubtless have preempted a 35 year friendship as fine as I've known. As a new contracts professor I sought out Kenney as a mentor, and while it was tough for Kenney to mentor the new kid who acted like a know-it-all, I immediately was drawn to the standard Kenney set for using his staggering intellectualism, creativity, and humor (he is so funny in print, a rare, rare thing): he dedicated himself to using those gifts for his students and those in need in his community -- in his teaching, writing, films, tireless service to the community, his life. I aspired to that ridiculously high level and we've been on a marvelous rocket ride. Now, Kenney, I'm (heartbrokenly) "standing on the moon, with nothing else to do, a lovely view of heaven, but I'd rather be with you" (Hunter/Garcia).
-- Professor Emeritus Jamie Ratner


"Confusion, vitality, excitement, exhaustion." This is how Professor Hegland summarized his own law school experience in his book Law School Chronicles, after declaring that "law school is a cakewalk compared to when [he] was a student." Law school was not a cakewalk in Professor Hegland's class: it was confusion, vitality, excitement, exhaustion, and we walked away different, and better. It is hard to overstate how much influence Professor Hegland had over me as a law student. Somehow, in his ever contemplative manner, with never ceasing attentiveness, with just enough guidance and query and copious use of humor, without theatrics, ego, praise or blame, always with honesty, he expected excellence but also depth and authenticity from us. He inspired us to seek and develop understanding rather than competence, to find and pursue meaning rather than success, and he did this by engaging us fully and leading us to depth of thought, ethics, and wisdom without ever naming them so.
-- Iskra Uzunova ('10)

In Memory -- More Information

Kenney's obituary is to be published in this Sunday's newspaper. 

Contributions can be made in Kenney's honor to Southern Arizona Legal Aid, to Step Up to Justice, or to the college's Kenney F. Hegland Scholarship by sending a check accompanied by this form.

You may also send cards and messages of condolence for Kenney's family to us here, care of Megan O'Leary, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 1201 E. Speedway, Tucson, AZ 85721-0176, or by emailing

The words from those who knew and loved Kenney give us all a glimpse of the impact he had on so many lives, whether family, colleagues, students, clients, or those who read and watched his writings and videos.  

Humor. Curiosity. Laughter. Creativity. Originality. Caring. Mentor. Friend.
When we can gather together again -- and that day will come -- we will continue the celebration of Kenney's life. For now, I think of Kenney's unique spirit and the loss we share with both a tear and a smile. 
Let me close with the words Kenney used to sign his many emails to me over the years, including an exchange in mid-April over the challenges faced by our graduates this year who want to take the bar. Kenney wrote out of concern for the validity of any bar this summer, the stress on our students, and the leadership other states were showing. 

I agreed and described what was happening in Arizona. Kenney then wrote back:
"So many facets to this.  Be sure to get some rest.



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