The school year has nearly concluded and soon our Arizona Law alumni community will be enriched by members of the Class of 2018. 

Alumni are welcome, as always, to attend the College of Law convocation

Our new JD, MLS, LLM, and SJD graduates will take to the stage at Centennial Hall on Saturday, May 12, at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow on the lawn of the Arizona State Museum. 

We look forward to this year's convocation address by alumnus Anna Maria Chávez ('94), chief strategy officer and senior vice president of external affairs for the National Council on Aging.
Among those receiving degrees in law this year will be BA in Law students. We introduce you to Hunter Davila, a BA in Law student who will graduate in December, in this issue of Letter of the Law.
This issue also features the Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law's year-end banquet and awards as well as achievements by students working on behalf of their clients in the Immigration Law Clinic.

Until the footnotes,


BA in Law Class of 2018's Hunter Davila

University of Arizona cross country track athlete
Hunter Davila didn't think he could find another close-knit, focused, collegiate community beyond athletics during his undergraduate years. Then he decided to major in law.

Hunter entered the bachelor of arts (BA) in Law program to help determine whether or not law school would be the right choice for him. He felt the degree would give him an edge over the competition if he ultimately decided to pursue law school.

He is also taking advantage of the Accelerated Master's Program, which allows him to earn the BA and also a Master of Legal Studies degree in just one additional semester.

Hunter is set to earn his undergraduate degree this December and his master's degree in May 2019.

Hunter says,

"With a little effort, I found it really simple to make connections with my fellow students, professors, and other faculty at the College of Law. With those connections came an expanse of unique law-related events and interactions that I had the opportunity to immerse myself in."

His advice to those entering the undergraduate law program is to step into your law classes with confidence, as professors are highly approachable and want to see their students succeed. Hunter says,

"My professors have gone above and beyond to ensure the quality of my experience and knowledge gained from my work. Approach the faculty, and they will treat you with the same regard with which they would treat a graduate student or peer."

He has enjoyed the invitations to law school events that allow him to meet more of his classmates, interact with law professors, and hear presentations from members of the legal profession, from Supreme Court justices to directors of legal documentaries.

As to the question of whether to pursue law school? Hunter says the exposure he gained to law courses and first-year law school curriculum has reinforced his desire to enter the legal profession.

"Pursuit of a Juris Doctor is a certain component of my future -- my time in the BA in Law has only solidified this desire."

Photos provided by Hunter Davila.

Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 
Awards Ceremony

The Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law (AJICL) held its year-end banquet last Wednesday. Editor-in-chief Laura Unklesbay ('18) congratulates the entire journal staff on a successful year. 

Senior AJICL board members, 2017-18, Amanda Dick ('18, senior managing editor), Laura Unklesbay ('18, editor-in-chief), Joseph Bonasera ('18, senior articles editor), 
and Rachel Dyckman ('18, senior note editor) (l-r).

The following awards were presented at the banquet:
Best Managing Editor ~ Cindy Nguyen ('18)

Best Articles Editor ~ Zoey Kotzambasis ('18)

Best Note and Comment Editor ~ Amanda Ehredt ('18)

Boris Kozolchyk Award ~ Amanda Dick ('18)

Best 2L Note ~ Bryce Nakamura ('19)

2L Authors Chosen for Publication ~ Bryce Nakamura, Molly Mahoney
and Grace Parsons (all '19)

3L award winners, Amanda Dick, Cindy Nguyen, 
Amanda Ehredt, and Zoey Kotzambasis (l-r).

Congratulations and special thanks go to Laura Unklesbay as the editor-in-chief and faculty advisors Sergio Puig and David Gantz.

Around the College

Updates from the Immigration Law Clinic
Katherine Henrichs ('18), the client,
and Dorien Ediger-Seto, current fellow with 
the Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program (l-r).

Professor Nina Rabin, co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic, recently reported on two clinic victories:
"Last week, Katherine Henrichs ('18), with invaluable assistance from Max Ivanytskyi (2L, advanced standing) in the fall and law fellow Dorien Ediger-Seto in the spring, won asylum for the clinic's client from Afghanistan. The client had served with distinction for the U.S. coalition forces for six years as an interpreter, until he was forced to flee death threats from the Taliban. Despite these compelling facts, his case was extremely complex.
In the fall, Kat and Max spent hours in Eloy Detention Center, where the client was held in custody, carefully piecing together his complicated history. Then in the spring, despite the fact that it is Kat's final semester of law school, she threw herself into handling stressful twists and turns in the case (while also working with equal passion on the case of another former military interpreter from Iraqi whose case is still pending).
Last week, all that hard work paid off: our client was granted asylum by a judge who has an asylum grant rate of 3.8% in the past five years! He repeatedly complimented the students on the 600+ page evidentiary filing and well-prepared hearing."

Clinic co-director Nina Rabin, Drew Warner ('19), the client,
and Grace Parsons ('19).

Professor Rabin reported that the very next day, 

"Grace Parsons ('19) and Drew Warner ('19) won asylum for a young woman from Honduras who fled a lifetime of gender-based violence that began in her earliest years. During the fall semester, Drew and Grace worked with her in Eloy Detention Center, where she spent six months in custody. They successfully represented her in a bond hearing in December, raised thousands of dollars to pay her bond, and arranged for her to receive housing and support in the Tucson community, since she has no relatives or friends in this country. They continued to prepare an extensive evidentiary filing this semester, culminating in a three hour hearing last week.
This judge, too, went out of his way to commend the students on their work, and in a rare move -- especially in a Central American gender-based asylum case -- issued a ruling granting asylum from the bench.
Please join me in congratulating Katherine, Max, Dorien, Grace, and Drew on their amazing advocacy on behalf of our clients!"

Arizona Law Students and Alumni Recognized at AAABA Banquet

Three Arizona Law students were presented with Thomas Tang Memorial Scholarship Awards at the Arizona Asian American Bar Association's (AAABA) 22nd annual award banquet, in Phoenix on April 26.
Please join me in congratulating this year's scholarship winners, Stephen Fong ('20), Jesus Alonso ('19), and Cindy Nguyen ('18). 

In addition, Arizona Law alumnus Judge Roxanne Song Ong ('78) was added to the AAABA Hall of Fame. 

The attendees also recognized the late Anthony Ching ('65), who passed away in 2017, with a moment of silence and a memorial in the program. Mr. Ching was inducted into the AAABA Hall of Fame in 2016.

Read more about each of these honorees in the event program.

John Gray, 
Verity Kang, 
Cindy Nguyen ('18), 
Stephen Fong ('20), 
Jesus Alonso ('19), and Briana Chua (l-r). 
Photo by Tavits Photography/AAABA.

The AAABA was formed in 1993 by the late Judge Thomas Tang, a 1950 alumnus of the University of Arizona law school and the first Asian American federal judge in the continental United States. The keynote speaker at the awards banquet was the Honorable Goodwin Liu, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court.

Judicial Panel Hosted by Federalist Society and American Constitution Society 

Dean Marc Miller, Zoey Kotzambasis ('18), Justice Clint Bolick,
Justice Goodwin Liu, Chief Justice Scott Bales, and Shane Rusing ('19)

The Federalist Society and American Constitution Society last Thursday hosted a discussion on state constitutional law and constitutional interpretation, with three distinguished jurists from two states: Chief Justice 
Scott Bales, Arizona Supreme Court; Justice Clint Bolick, Arizona Supreme Court; and Justice Goodwin Liu, California Supreme Court. The event was moderated by Professor Andrew Coan.

Professor Andrew Coan (far left) moderated the panel, consisting of Justice Clint Bolick, Justice Goodwin Liu, and Chief Justice Scott Bales (l-r).

Arizona Law in the News

Bar Association considers dropping test requirements to enter law school
Tucson.com, commentary by professor Christopher Robertson

Bar Association edges closer to dropping LSAT requirement
Associations Now, commentary by professor Christopher Robertson

Our current students have their eyes on finals and end-of-term papers. But all of our current students also have their eyes on next steps. 

Graduates are focused on new work, the bar, and, for many, moves to other cities, states, and countries. Continuing students have their sights set on interesting placements in firms, agencies, NGOs, and courts throughout Arizona and beyond.

This time of year also brings celebrations and end-of-year events. The wonderful conversation among the three justices was a perfect coda to the academic term, and the celebration of the Arizona Asian American Bar Association was a reminder of the long and deep connections of Arizona Law to the Arizona bar and legal profession.




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