ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                  March 12, 2014



This week we feature student Jeffrey Wohlford, alumnus Steve Lainoff, and the newest member of our Admissions team -- Mimi Huang.


Until the footnotes,




Jeff Wohlford '14


One of the most surreal days in Jeff Wohlford's life unfolded while riding in a Russian helicopter from Dushanbe, Tajikistan to an outpost on the China border. The retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel was traveling with the four star commander of Central Command and served as executive officer, carrying the briefcase and keeping meetings and movements on time. Surprise! Jeff received a birthday vodka toast from the Commander of the Border Guard Forces of Tajikistan.


"In my memory, it still seems more like a visit to Disneyland than a high-level military exchange, and certainly a day I'll never forget," he said.


Other days Jeff won't forget are those he is spending with us at Arizona Law.


After retiring from the Air Force in 2010, Jeff's wife Michelle accepted a teaching position at BASIS Charter School and the family moved to Tucson.  


Jeff decided that after years in the military, he would tackle law. But it did take some persuading by Skip Skinner ('02), who attended Arizona Law after a 28-year career in the Air Force.    


"He helped me see that it wasn't a completely crazy idea to go back to school after military retirement," Jeff said, "and Michelle was hugely supportive as well. Something along the lines of 'You need to apply so that I don't have to listen to you talk about it for the rest of my life,'"


The Michigan native loves the veteran-friendly vibe Arizona Law provides. "I really appreciate the sense of community and cooperation."


Jeff is president of the Federalist Society chapter and has been running the student chapter of the Christian Legal Society for two years. After graduation, he hopes to stay in Tucson, clerk for a year or two, then practice criminal law.


"I've focused my studies, my summer work, and my clinical work toward criminal law and I'm fairly certain that's where I belong. But, in the end, flexibility in the face of change has been a big part of our lives for a long time. So, who knows what will happen,"


Jeff and Michelle have three sons: Luke (18), Seth (16), and Tanner (13). All three are working hard and thriving, and Jeff said he is tremendously proud of them. 


Connect with Jeff

on LinkedIn. 



Steven Lainoff '77


Steve Lainoff ('77) hadn't even been to the state of Arizona when he and his wife Riea loaded the moving van and headed to the UofA. "We drove 48 straight hours to Tucson, fell asleep sitting up on our [motor] coach, and I started law school the next morning," he recalled.


Steve embraced Arizona Law with gusto and found his interest moving toward tax, thanks to Professor Art Andrews. Professor Andrews taught income taxation, administrative law, and criminal procedure for 36 years, and remains a fan favorite. "I had no idea what kind of lawyer I wanted to be when I started," Steve says, adding that Professor Andrews' influence was the deciding factor.


After graduating, Steve headed east to NYU for an LLM in Taxation with every intention of returning to the West. Instead he started as an associate with an international law firm in New York.  


His trajectory shifted when he was offered a job at the US Treasury Department in Washington, DC "I was the youngest person to ever hold the job. I worked directly with Congress, the Secretary of the Treasury, negotiated tax treaties with foreign governments and led the efforts on the international tax elements of the Tax Reform Act of 1986," he said. 


After returning to private practice, he worked as a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and later at King & Spalding in DC. He now works at KPMG where he serves as the principal-in-charge of the Washington DC national tax office.


Steve also loves sharing knowledge and experience with students. He teaches at NYU, Georgetown, and Rhodes College.  


"I remember becoming interested in a potential profession for the first time thanks to some wonderful professors, watching the Tucson Toros and the sunset, and eating Mexican food you can't find in DC to this day." Baseball--and Mexican food-remain passions for Steve. He works with the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, which combines baseball and academic mentoring for inner-city youths. He said, "I'm a season ticket holder of the Boston Red Sox, which is somewhat strange since I live in Virginia."   


Steve's wife Riea is also an attorney. The couple has three children: Caitlin, a theater set designer in Los Angeles; Brian, who works for the Global Crop Diversity Trust in Bonn, Germany; and Mark an International Studies and History major at Rhodes College.


In early April, Steve will spend four days as the Executive-in-Residence at Arizona Law. During his residency, Steve will function as a visiting professor. He will hold office hours for students, attend faculty events, and guest lecture in classes. The residency week will culminate with the Law College Association's 40th Annual Appreciation Dinner where Steve will be awarded the University of Arizona Alumni Association's Public Achievement Award. The dinner is open to all students, alumni, and friends of the College of Law. I hope many of you will join us for this event. (see the footnotes for ticket information)



Mimi Huang


"Arizona Law practically chose me."


Perfect words from the brand new Director of Admissions for Arizona Law.


Mimi Huang recently joined the Admissions team after more than two years as Associate Director of Admissions for Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey.


Coming from Newark, she loves how Arizona Law values academic rigor and collegiality in a small-knit community. And she loves the weather. "It was 70 degrees in Tucson when my husband and I visited in January. It was snowing and only eight degrees on the morning we flew out from New Jersey!"


The Jersey native graduated from law school in her home state and then clerked for a judge and practiced environmental law before moving into higher education. "Just goes to show you how versatile a degree the JD can be in terms of opening new career paths," she said.


Mimi loves all that is food and drink. It's an interest she can't wait to explore in Southern Arizona now that she calls the Sonoran Desert her home. "My husband and I love to cook with local ingredients and try regional food specialties. I'm looking forward to exploring all that Tucson has to offer food-wise from restaurants, breweries, and food trucks to farmers markets and roadside produce stands. Any recommendations would be more than welcome and much appreciated!"


Mimi's enthusiasm for Arizona Law is palpable, or as she put it, "I'm thrilled." In her first week Mimi participated in the admitted student event at Fender Music, and ended up talking with one admitted student's mother at length--in Taiwanese!


The newly minted Wildcats fan says she can't wait to meet and chat with alums and students during Preview Weekend for admitted students on March 28th.


To contact Mimi. 


Coming soon!


Law College Association Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony in Phoenix   

Please join us for the presentation of awards honoring and celebrating the remarkable achievements of:

  • Charles (Chick) Arnold '70 - LCA Award for extraordinary service to society
  • Maria Baier '92 - UAAA Public Service Award
  • Paul Charlton '88 - UAAA Public Service Award
  • Steven Lainoff '77 - UAAA Professional Achievement Award
  • The Honorable James Teilborg '66 - UAAA Professional Achievement Award  

Friday, April 4, 2014 5:30 - 9:00 -- U of A College of Medicine, 550 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ  85004 

Register here.  


Alumni Authors Needed

The College of Law will host a booth at this year's Festival of Books on March 15-16.  We are looking for alumni authors to join us.  If you are interested, please contact Nancy Stanley 


Networking Nosh


The next Networking Nosh is Thursday, March 27th. All students and alumni are welcome. To RSVP


Veterans Court Southwest Symposium & Workshop 

Friday, March 28, 2014 - 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

James E. Rogers College of Law (Room 164)


Veterans Courts have been operating in the US for almost a decade now - each approaching issues of procedure, treatment, sanctions, and rewards differently. It's time to gather, share lessons learned, and problem solve together common issues arising in Veterans Courts.


Featured Speakers and Workshop Leaders include:

  • William Gunn, General Counsel, US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Ted Vogt, Director, AZ Department of Veterans' Services
  • Hon. Robert Russell, Veterans Treatment Court, Buffalo, NY (established the nation's first veterans court)
  • Hon. Michael Pollard, Regional Municipalities Veterans Treatment Court, AZ
  • Hon. Maria Felix, Pima Country Justice Court, AZ
  • Brig. Gen. Gregg Maxon, (ret.), AZ Supreme Court Adviser for Veterans Courts
  • Lori Lewis, Senior Assistant Prosecuting City Attorney, Tucson AZ
  • Thomas Winkel, Director, AZ Coalition for Military Families
  • Dr. Cynthia Dowdall, Director, Behavioral Health and Community Services, Northwest Fire/Rescue District, Tucson AZ

Click here to RSVP for the Veteran's Symposium. Space is limited.



Richard Grand Argument Competition

Preliminary rounds will be April 10, 2014 and April 11, 2014 

Final Arguments will be on April 16, 2014 



Looking for a way to make an impact?   
Make a donation to our student scholarship fund.   Every dollar invested produces a solid return and helps to alleviate the burden of educational debt for a student. 




Hard as it is for everyone who is at the College day-to-day to believe, Spring break is next week. For many here it is time for a deep if quick breath before the five week sprint to the end of the term.  


I hope to see many of you at the LCA Annual Dinner on April 4th in Phoenix.




Marc Signature      

Marc L. Miller 
Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law 
James E. Rogers College of Law    

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