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JUNE 16, 2021


Jun 18

What You Do Matters:

Lessons from the Holocaust

Jun 22

LawCats Live:

COVID & Remote Worker IP

Jun 30

UA Chandler Open House:

BA in Law, MLS Session


In today's edition of Letter of the Law we spotlight the first graduating cohort of Arizona Law's unique program offered by the University of Arizona and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). The program offers a Diplomado – a Certificate – in Mexican Public Law and Policy.

Half of the cohort have been working professionals and half currently enrolled JD students. All of the participants are paving the way in this new program.

Until the footnotes,



Mexican Public Law and Policy Certificate Program Celebrates First Cohort of Graduates

Clarissa Todd won’t graduate with a JD from University of Arizona Law until 2022, but she already has one credential on her resume that only a handful of other students can claim. 

Clarissa is one of the first 10 students to earn a Diplomado in Mexican Public Law and Policy, offered by the University of Arizona and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).  

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Inaugurating the Diplomado Program in Mexican Public Law and Policy in early 2020, pictured with Pedro Salazar Ugarte, director of the UNAM Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas (Legal Research Institute).

The four-course Diplomado program is taught in Spanish by elite Mexican legal scholars and practitioners and covers topics such as Mexico’s constitution and electoral system, international economic law, and migrant rights. Classes are taught online and in-person and are open to both University of Arizona students and working professionals. The program is facilitated by professor and associate dean Teresa Miguel-Stearns.

A Diplomado program lecture in early 2020.

Clarissa, whose husband is from Mexico, spent the 2020-21 academic year in Mexico City, and she said being in the country allowed her to see what she was learning in the Diplomado program play out in real life.  

“I think my favorite part of the Diplomado program was being able to immediately apply my understanding to the real world, thereby finding even more ways to grow in my understanding of Mexican law and policy. I might live and work in Mexico full-time in the future, and this program has done so much to make that future a possibility. Even if I stay in the United States, analyzing another legal and political system has helped me become a better critical thinker regarding our own systems.” 

For rising Arizona Law 3L Alan Dicker, the Diplomado in Mexican Public Law and Policy aligned with his previous work on the border.  

“Having been active in immigration and labor activism before law school, I already had a keen interest in Mexico's legal system, and I chose to attend Arizona Law in part so that I could stay involved with binational issues. The Diplomado gave me the chance to learn from some of Mexico's top legal experts. They helped me develop a deep understanding of its complex constitutional order and civil law system — something I don't think I could have done at any other law school in the U.S. I've already put some of what I learned into practice as a student-advocate in professor James HopkinsYaqui Human Rights Project, where I've analyzed recent Mexican court decisions and proposed laws.” 

Trial lawyer Devin McNulty, one of five working professionals in the first Diplomado cohort, said the deep dive into nuances of Mexican law has given him an appreciation and understanding of the Mexican legal system.  

“The origins, the hows, the whys, and the critical stakeholders in the Mexican legal system are examined and explained by those that know it best. There is no equivalent program at any other university in the United States. The Diplomado program is essential for anyone seeking to do legal work in a border state or Latin America.” 

The next Diplomado in Mexican Public Law and Policy courses begin on August 27. Learn more about the Diplomado program or send questions to

See the original story on our website.



Judge Irma Gonzalez ('73) to Receive ABA Award

Class of 1973 College of Law alumna and Lifetime Achievement Awardee Judge Irma E. Gonzalez (ret.) will receive the American Bar Association’s (ABA) 2021 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

The award is presented annually by the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession, recognizing up to five outstanding women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence and paved the way for other women in the legal profession. The award was established to memorialize Margaret Brent, the first female lawyer in America.

A virtual reception will be held on August 5 to honor Judge Gonzalez and the other recipients. Read more.

ABA Police Practices Consortium Talks, June 18 and 25

The University of Arizona Law is one of the 54 law school members of the ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium, which was founded after the murder of George Floyd and subsequent events of last summer.

The Dean's Advisory Board to the Consortium, on which I sit, is hosting two webinars on criminal justice this month. Both are open to the Arizona Law community and anyone working in law enforcement, defense, or prosecution.

What You Do Matters: Lessons from the Holocaust

June 18, 2021, 4 p.m. EST (1 p.m. Arizona)

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Campbell University School of Law Dean Rich Leonard will have a conversation with Sheila Polk, the founder of an Arizona statewide justice system training program built on lessons learned from the Holocaust. This program is one you will want to learn about and may wish to bring to your community. 

"Examining this history tells us that democracy is fragile. Studying this history reminds us of the unthinkable acts we humans are capable of. Learning from this history gives wings to the phrase 'never again.'”

—Sheila Polk

NOBLE: Reimagining Public Safety Task Force

June 25, 2021, 2 p.m. EST (11 a.m. Arizona)

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The consortium will be joined by distinguished guests from NOBLE, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, for a discussion of their Reimagining Public Safety Task Force Report

Join Us for LawCats Live, June 22


Ownership of intellectual property between employers

and their employees: How COVID-19 and a remote

workforce could change the landscape

June 22, 2021, 12:15 p.m.

Via Zoom

Does your employer own your murder podcast? Join us for a conversation with Arizona Law professor Diana Simon, who will provide an overview of who owns intellectual property when the creator of a work is also an employee, how courts evaluate the scope of employment in such situations, how COVID-19 and an increasingly remote workforce may impact the traditional analysis, and the implications for employers and creators alike.

This lively discussion will be moderated by Arizona Law professor Susie Salmon.



Browse recent news on our website.


From the Justice Advocates Coalition Facebook page, where you will also find bios of these students:

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We are thrilled to announce our 2021 cohort of JAC Summer Public Interest Fellows, our largest cohort ever! Please join us in congratulating:

  • Karen Ayala-Miranda - RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services)
  • Kat Baiardi - Southern Arizona Legal Aid
  • Samara Diab - Center for NonProfit Legal Services
  • Sonum Dixit - Harvard Legal Aid Bureau
  • Bridget Feldmann - RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services)
  • Sarah Gerstel - Harvard Legal Aid Bureau
  • Lizzie Hannah - Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition
  • Jeneva R. Kame Parks - Pangea Legal Services
  • Lokina Kishoiyian - Ewang'an Nadede Advocacy Initiative (ENAI-Africa)
  • Jacob Marsh - Arizona Justice Project
  • Rose Meltzer - New York Legal Assistance Group

Stay tuned to learn more about each of our Fellows and the incredible work they plan to do this summer!

@ArizonaLawJAC, Facebook

Summer always brings exciting opportunities for our students to dig deep in a specific area of interest.

I hope summer brings you some time to reflect (by the pool, or beach, or on a mountain trail, or perhaps back in a museum or at a musical performance) on how each of us, and all of us, will move forward from the year-and-a-half just past.

As you muse, please remember to join us at the next LawCats Live webinar or any of our ongoing events.


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