This week I invite you immerse yourself in the Arizona Law experience by reading about one of our tenacious 1Ls, Joseph Rousos-Hammond, attending our next LawCats Live event on Thursday, congratulating alumna Melody Robidoux ('83) on receiving an honorary doctorate from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, recognizing our student competitors in the National Trial Competition, and watching the latest installment of "Black History in 60 Seconds" by 2L Ke'vion Pinckney

Until the footnotes,
Meet 1L Joseph Rousos-Hammond
First-year JD student Joseph Rousos-Hammond came to the University of Arizona from just down the street, literally. In a recent Q&A, he shared: 

"I grew up right next to the UA and went to Sam Hughes Elementary."

However, on the way to law school, he first became a professional violinist. Joseph began playing violin at age 9. 

"By the time I was halfway through high school I knew that's what I wanted to do. I went to music school for six years, and coincidentally the first orchestra audition I won was here in Tucson. I've been in the Tucson Symphony for eight years, and for most of that time I've been in the position of Principal Second Violin. The violins of the orchestra are divided into two sections; the concertmaster leads one and I lead the other."
As for making the big switch to law, Joseph realized that the difficulties of the pandemic for the arts also presented an opportunity to pursue another one of his dreams.
"I've been interested in law for years just from following politics and reading about American history. Whenever a legal issue came up, I would often find myself going down a rabbit hole and trying to learn more about it. Law was what I saw myself doing if for some reason I couldn't do music anymore. When the pandemic made performing impossible and I didn't know when I could perform again, I thought it was a good opportunity to try something new. I wanted to stay in Tucson, and thankfully the UA's late application deadline [in July] gave me a chance to apply."
Joseph is happy with his Arizona Law experience so far. All of his 1L classes have been interesting, and he's drawn to labor and employment law, in part based on his time with the symphony.
"People spend so much of their lives working, and it's often in situations where they have very little power. You can't vote for your boss, and few workers have the option to just leave for something better. The Tucson Symphony has a union and other mechanisms that make it relatively democratic compared with most workplaces, and I think that's really valuable. It would be great to advocate for people who aren't as lucky."
As for starting law school during the pandemic, Joseph takes things in stride: 

"I don't know what it's like to go to law school when there's not a pandemic, so I haven't needed to adjust anything!"
Outside of class and music, Joseph's main hobbies are hiking and backpacking. 

"In Tucson there are places to hike every day of the year (even in the summer), and there's always a trail or a peak yet to explore. My favorite place to go near Tucson is Mica Mountain in Saguaro East. I also try to go to Colorado every summer and spend a week or two camping and hiking fourteeners [peaks exceeding 14,000 feet]."

In more ways than one, Tucson and Arizona Law are the perfect place at the perfect time for Joseph. And there's one more key thing he notes: 

"My classmates are the best!"

Around the College

Next LawCats Live Coming Up on March 4

Join Arizona Law's very own Dean Emerita Toni Massaro and Professor Shalev Roisman for a conversation about the Trump administration, the 2020 election, and its aftermath.

Thursday, March 4, 5 p.m. MST
Some topics up for discussion will include the relationship between the executive branch and the judiciary, the erosion of norms and playing "constitutional hardball," the expansion and limits of presidential power following the Trump administration, and aspects of impeachment 2.0.
* This special edition of LawCats Live will not be recorded so be sure to tune in and join us live!

Congratulations to Melody Robidoux ('83)

College of Law alumna
Melody Robidoux ('83) was honored last week by the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences with an honorary doctorate. 

Melody has a history of supporting the university community through significant donations to the SBS and its School of Government and Public Policy, as well as to the College of Law.

SBS noted on social media, 

"For 30 years, Ms. Robidoux has empowered Tucsonans to become the best versions of themselves through equity, opportunity, and education. Today, we commemorate her impact in our community with an honorary University of Arizona SBS conferral as Doctor of Humane Letters" (Twitter).

The honorary degree was conferred via Zoom by University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. Dean Emerita Toni Massaro, Director of Development Megan O'Leary, and I were in attendance to help celebrate with Melody and cheers her with dark chocolate.

National Trial Team Update 

This just in from Professor Barbara Bergman:
Arizona Law's Barry Davis National Trial Team competed last week in the National Trial Competition regional event. Due to the pandemic, the trials were held entirely over Zoom. This created some unique issues for the competitors in learning how to deliver effective trial arguments in a virtual format.
Arizona sent two teams the regional event. Team Red consisted of 2Ls  Clarissa Todd, Mea Donnelly, Vincent Yesue, and 3L Stephanie Baldwin. Team Blue consisted of 2Ls Andrew Morse, Neal BrubakerRachel Madore, and Sean Aiken. Assisting the team were two witnesses: Ke'vion Pinckney and Joseph Ramos-Mata (both 2L).
Both Arizona teams advanced to the semifinal round. Going into the semifinals, Team Red was in first place and Team Blue was in fourth place. Only one other school had two teams in the semifinals.
UA had impressive results during the three qualifying trials, prior to the semifinal round. Team Red was one of only three teams in the competition to go undefeated in the qualifying rounds. Team Blue took home the biggest win of the competition (+62 points over their opponent). That win was against a team that later finished in the top four.
Both teams suffered narrow losses in the final round (5 points, and 1 point, respectively). However, coaches from our region and others commented on their stellar performances. Our teams upheld Arizona Law's longstanding reputation for standout trial advocacy and unimpeachable ethics. 
Congrats to all the members of the team! We'll be back next year to win the regional.

About the Barry Davis National Trial Team
In 2016, an endowment fund was created to support and name the trial team with gifts from Brooke Davis (UA '92) and several colleagues and friends in honor of Barry Davis, a prominent Tucson trial lawyer for nearly four decades.

"Black History in 60 Seconds"

@uarizonablsa, Instagram

The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) concludes its "Black History in 60 Seconds" video series featuring students this week with 2L Ke'vion Pinckney, BLSA's community engagement chair, speaking about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Thank you to BLSA for bringing us this engaging series throughout Black History Month 2021!

In the News

As this week illustrates, we continue to engage, think, and learn as much as these odd times allow. We are now about halfway through the semester -- with many more exciting talks, classes, and events to come. 


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