I hope that this week's Wildcat Wednesday -- Letter of the Law finds you well and enjoying a bit of seasonable spring weather -- and great Wildcat basketball. 

Students and faculty have just returned from Spring Break and are geared up for the final push through to finals and summer employment prospects.
Arizona Law's Intellectual Property Law program launches its Arizona Public Patent program tomorrow from 4-7 p.m. here at the college ( register).  This makes us one of only four law schools in the US with this USPTO designation, and a key actor in helping build new ventures in Arizona.
This issue also shines the spotlight on Professor Rob Williams, who is being recognized by the ABA at the upcoming 42nd Annual Federal Bar Association's Indian Law Conference in Scottsdale on April 7.

Until the footnotes, 

IP Law Program Developments

In response to growing demand from both students and business and technology sectors, University of Arizona Law is dramatically expanding its Intellectual Property (IP) Law program.

Read all about it! ( Full story here.)

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Designates University of Arizona Law as State's Pro Bono Hub for Inventors
Arizona Law's IP & Entrepreneurship Clinic is now the state hub for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) pro bono program, which provides free legal assistance to under-resourced inventors seeking patent protection. Only three other law schools in the country serve as hubs.

Under this initiative, dubbed the Arizona Public Patent Program, Arizona residents who want to file a patent application can apply with the college's IP and Entrepreneurship Clinic for assistance, and the clinic will review their file and match qualifying clients with an Arizona attorney for pro bono legal services. 

The clinic -- which doubled its caseload between spring and fall 2016 -- will also offer attorneys the services of its students to assist on those cases. 

The pro bono designation will allow students to build closer relationships with IP attorneys in the state and potentially gain new case experiences. 

New Program Lets Students Practice Before the Patent Office 

Arizona Law has also been admitted to the USPTO Law School Certification Program, allowing IP Clinic students to practice before the USPTO (under the guidance of a faculty supervisor), file patent applications, and negotiate directly with patent examiners-work that otherwise could not be done until graduating from law school and passing the patent bar exam. 

Participant Kimberly Soto, a 2L, says: 

"Patents are such technical documents in terms of how they are written and interpreted that it can be difficult to fully understand them based solely on classroom learning. This certification is especially helpful to hands-on learners such as myself, because it provides the opportunity to work through and understand the process of writing and filing a patent, from start to finish." 

Clinic director and professor of practice Allan Sternstein notes: 

"These new opportunities will give Arizona Law students even more exposure to the everyday work of intellectual property law, allowing them to enter the workforce with a more sophisticated background and experience that allows them to contribute on the job from day one." 

And More!
The college competed in the Giles S. Rich IP Moot Court Competition for the first time in 2016. Jingyuan (Joey) Zhou ('16) and Ryan Wekerle ('17) advanced to nationals. 

The USPTO designations come on the heels of expanded classroom and co-curricular offerings for the intellectual property program: 
  • Tucson patent attorney and alumnus Dale Regelman ('92) has joined the faculty as part-time professor of practice and advise students in the USPTO Certification Program. 
Of the new IP opportunities at the college, Derek says: 

"Intellectual property crosses the domains of law, science, business, technology, the arts and much more, so we're fortunate to be housed at a university with strengths in so many disciplines with which we can partner. Whether it's working with Tech Launch Arizona to file patents on behalf of university inventors or collaborating with Eller College of Management students on a journal article exploring trade secret policy, there are a lot of exciting opportunities for IP law students here." 

Professor Williams to Receive ABA Lifetime Achievement Award

The Federal Bar Association Indian Law Section has named University of Arizona Law Professor  Robert A. Williams, Jr.  the 2017 recipient of the Lawrence R. Baca Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Federal Indian Law. The award will be presented at the April 7 luncheon for the 42nd Annual  Federal Bar Association's Indian Law Conference  in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Williams is the E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and Faculty Chair of Arizona Law's  Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) program . The award is in recognition of his leading contributions in the fields of Federal Indian Law, human rights advocacy, and critical race theory, and his mentorship and support of Native law students throughout his four decade-long teaching career. 

Paying homage to Williams as IPLP's founder, his former student Jordan Thompson ('11) calls the program "a Native rights stronghold."

A 1980 graduate of Harvard Law School, Williams is among the most prolific and respected indigenous legal rights scholars in the world. 

He has published four books, most notably "The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of Conquest," his seminal work on the genesis of federal Indian law. He is also co-author of the leading Indian law casebook in the field, "Federal Indian Law: Cases and Materials" (7th ed., with David Getches, Charles Wilkinson, Matthew Fletcher, and Kristen Carpenter 2017). 

Two of his former students, Jesse Sixkiller ('10) and Leah Sixkiller ('10), aptly refer to Williams as "the most notorious mind in Indian law."
As one of the founding faculty members of the IPLP Program at Arizona Law, Williams has taught and mentored more than 150 Native and indigenous students from throughout the United States and around the world.

"Rob has left his mark on Indian Country through the countless Indian lawyers who he has mentored and cultivated," said Award Committee Chairman and IPLP alumnus Gabe Galanda ('00).

Williams and IPLP clinic students have represented tribal and indigenous clients before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples, the United States Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also served as Chief Justice for the Court of Appeals of Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, and as Justice for the Court of Appeals and trial judge pro tem for the Tohono O'odham Nation.


"Never bowl without first  hitting up the snack bar."  
-- Steve Hirsch ('80)

When: Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Scottsdale Bowlmor

Contact: Chris Gast, 520-626-2400,

Mining Day at the Arizona Capitol
Cindy DeLancey, Executive Director of the UA Natural Resource Users Law & Policy Center, and Mary Poulton attended the 4th annual Mining Day, hosted by the Arizona Mining Association last Wednesday. Read about the event here.

Mundheim Conversation Series Lineup Announced  
The popular annual series, Conversations with Bob Mundheim, kicked off its 2017 season this week.
The series features Professor of Corporate Law and Finance Bob Mundheim moderating informal conversations with national leaders in business and law, relating their experiences in and perspectives about corporate governance, markets, ethics, and career development.
The series is free and open to the public and will be of particular interest to law and business students.
All sessions take place noon-1:15 p.m. at the College of Law, Room 237. Lunch is provided, and seating is limited.

The launch of the Arizona Patent Law Program tomorrow is huge news for Arizona Law and our growing IP program -- and for inventors and startups throughout the State of Arizona.
Please join me in congratulating Professor Allan Sternstein, Professor Derek Bambauer, Senior Vice President and Secretary of the University (and former USPTO head) Jon Dudas, and all of the participants in our IP program.


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