Greetings from Washington, DC,


We continue the summer road trip to connect with alumni and celebrate the College's Centennial.  This week I have had the opportunity to meet with alumni in DC, including a Centennial reception at the office of alumna Deborah Sliz ('79, far right in the photo below).   


Here are pictures from ... well ... right at this moment!  Deborah, thank you for hosting a great event and providing a terrific location.  



Please be sure to take a look at the footnotes for the full schedule of alumni receptions.  Of course, if you are planning to attend the Arizona State Bar Convention, please stop by the Biltmore to see us on Thursday evening, the 25th, from 6:30 to 8:00 (RSVP here). 

This week begins what will be a summer long series on our students and their summer work. Our first featured student is rising 3L Patrick Riell.


Until the Footnotes,



Patrick Riell ('16)

Patrick Riell ('16) came to law school to pursue a position in sports law.  An Ohio native, he completed his undergraduate studies at Ohio State, and during his 1L summer he returned to work in the Ohio State athletics department doing compliance work.


Over the last two years, Patrick has had the opportunity to get to know alumnus Mark Van Vleet ('91), Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of Business Development at Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. 


Patrick was a 1L when Mark returned to campus to participate in our "Conversation With" series and they first spoke.  They connected again this spring when Mark was back on campus to speak to students in the Business Law Society and to cut the ribbon on our new music-focused student lounge, the Fender Room.  




Fender Room grand opening -- The Gotes ...
with lead singer Professor Susie Salmon and
Professor of Practice Kevin Burke.


Patrick, a good networker, built a strong relationship with Mark, not knowing where the connection might lead.  Patrick's persistence paid off when he landed a summer gig at Fender Musical Instruments working in Mark's office -- in a role that was nonexistent before this summer.   


Fender's corporate headquarters rock! 


According to Patrick, the transition from sports to music is an easy one with both subjects involving a lot of contract work.  He reports that his early days have been a blast, with work on everything from drafting a cease-and-desist letter, to preparing for arbitration, to marketing.  His early days have also been shaped by the arrival of a new CEO at Fender

Patrick, the son of a concert pianist, has taken it all in stride and even found time to enjoy a special Fender employee concert by the band Calico.


Centennial Snapshot -- Judge Valdemar Cordova ('50)

Arizona Law alum Valdemar Cordova ('50) was born in Phoenix in 1922.  He served in the Air Force from 1940 to 1945.  As a law student, he was elected president of the Student Bar Association (right). He passed the bar in 1950, placing second on the exam.

In 1965, he became the first Mexican-American Superior Court Judge for Maricopa County.  And in 1979, President Jimmy Carter appointed Judge Cordova to the U.S. District Court of Arizona, making him the first Mexican-American federal judge. 

Judge Cordova was featured in an Arizona Attorney Magazine profile by another of our alums, Arizona Superior Court Judge James P. Beene ('91), who was a recipient of the Cordova Scholarship.  


Beene wrote that Judge Cordova's legacy inspired him:


"Judge Cordova left a legacy of values strongly held and actively lived.  The financial help I received in his name years ago meant a great deal to me at the time. However, I now consider his example even more valuable.  His is an example of the kind of public servants, attorneys, judges and leaders that our community deserves." 


Learn more about Judge Cordova from the Arizona Supreme Court's Legends of the Judiciary page.  


Do you have photos or memories of your time at Arizona Law?  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, 6:30-8:00 pm, Arizona Biltmore, Salon F of the Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom, 2400 E. Missouri Ave. RSVP here
  • Nogales -- Tuesday, June 30, 12-2 pm, details to come.
  • Sierra Vista -- Tuesday, June 30, 5-7 pm at UA South, 1140 S Colombo. RSVP here
  • Portland, OR -- NOTE UPDATED DATE AND TIME Tuesday, July 7, 5:30-7:30 pm at Stoel Rives, 900 SW Fifth Ave., Ste 2600. RSVP here
  • Seattle, WA -- NOTE UPDATED DATE Wednesday, July 8, 5-7 pm at Williams Kastner, Two Union Square, 601 Union St., Ste 4100. RSVP here
  • Prescott -- Planned for late summer, details to come.
  • Flagstaff -- Planned for late summer, 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 18-25!

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



We have a wonderful group of alums in DC, many of whom work in "DC" practices, either in long-time government jobs, or representing national organizations, or moving in and out of government over the course of their careers, or representing business and other clients before agencies and on the Hill.   


Visiting with Dr. Andrew Maccabe ('02) 


With Kathleen Hale ('02) at 1776 workspace, and trying out a Rebel Desk



I would encourage all of our current students to think seriously about getting a dose of the DC experience at some point.  I did when I worked at the Department of Justice in the mid-1980s.  So did alums such as Associate Dean Sally Rider, who had a long career at the Department of State, and then at the US Supreme Court.      


One thing that comes through loud and clear as I meet with alums, whatever their career path, is that -- while there are a lot of lawyers in DC -- here, as everywhere, our alumni stand out.







Marc L. Miller  

Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law
Shaping the next century of legal education 
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