As the academic year draws to a close, we're filled with Wildcat pride here at your College of Law. That's due in large part to our great class of graduating students like new JD Christina Rinnert, MLS student (and BA in Law alum) Ryuu Uchiha, and BA in Law graduates Francy D. Luna Diaz and Rosie Ibarra Lopez.
Until the footnotes,

For Christina Rinnert (JD '19), Law School Brings Empowerment for Herself and Others

Christina Rinnert's journey to law school began 15 years ago, after she fled an abusive marriage and moved out of state with her young children. She spent several years re-establishing herself, eventually graduating magna cum laude from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, she transitioned from a job with the Department of Veterans Affairs to working at a center for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, first as a volunteer and outreach coordinator, and later as a prevention educator.
While working with the center's attorney, she observed how they assisted victims of sexual assault and interpersonal violence -- and began to consider law school.
"As an educator and an advocate, I was limited in the ways I could help," Christina says. Law school offered a path to do more for victims.
She had already taken the GRE and been admitted to a graduate program. But then an attorney friend in Tucson who served with her in the Marine Corps alerted her to University of Arizona Law's then-new policy of allowing students to apply with the GRE instead of the LSAT. Christina jumped at the chance to apply.
"It was the best, most terrifying decision I've ever made!" she says.
Christina adds that, due to cost and time barriers with the LSAT, she wouldn't be in law school if Arizona Law had not made the GRE option available, something dozens of other law schools have since done.
Her decision to attend Arizona Law was confirmed when she visited the college for the first time. She says,
"The pièce de résistance was learning about the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy program, researching the amazing professors who teach here, and realizing that I could become part of such a wonderful program."
She felt further validated that she was on the correct path when she won second place in the Richard Grand Legal Writing Competition during her 1L year.
One Arizona Law experience particularly stood out:
"My clinical experience with the Tribal Justice Clinic and Professor Jim Diamond had the single biggest impact on me," she says, adding that preparing for and being in court for her first case in the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court was a dream come true. Her ultimate goal after graduation is to work with either the Tohono O'odham Nation or the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.
Christina says she will miss just about every aspect of her time at Arizona Law -- her classmates, professors and even the challenges that law school presents.
Overcoming those challenges has given her something that will remain with her long after she leaves campus: the confidence that she belonged here, and that she was more than up to the task of earning a JD.

Christina says,
"The feeling I've had, for most of my life, that I am an imposter and not smart enough to do this, has been quelled. I've come to realize that many people feel this way, but that once we put ourselves out there and really try, the feeling can be thrust aside. With the help and encouragement of my classmates and professors, I've realized that achieving this dream that I've had truly is possible."

Meet Graduation Speaker Ryuu Uchiha (MLS '19, BA in Law '18)

Arizona Law's graduating MLS, LLM, and SJD students selected Ryuu Uchiha as a student speaker for the 2019 College of Law convocation. Ryuu joins JD students Molly Mahoney and Daniel Shudlick on the stage on May 11. The keynote speaker is our 1975 alumnus, Judge Raner C. Collins. (Find graduation details here.)

Ryuu is characterized by his diverse outlook and an infectious positivity. Growing up, he spent time in both Camargo, Chihuahua, Mexico, and Okinawa/Kyoto, Japan. 

And he says his academic "hometown" is definitely Tucson, where he attained his BA with a double major in law and political science ('18, summa cum laude, with honors) and completed his Master's of Legal Studies in December, all while working multiple jobs.
He says his family is multilingual and a blend of Mexican, Brazilian, and Japanese ethnicities, and this background informed his approach to his studies and reading of the law. "My main interests as a student have always been languages, culture, and the law." He is particularly interested in how public policy and court cases intersect and intrigued by debates over textualist and contextualist readings of law.
Next, Ryuu is making plans to earn a JD (perhaps stretching his wings in a different part of the country) and eventually an SJD, with the long-term goals of becoming a professor of law and a judge. He is even motivated by the possibility of filling one of the nine U.S. Supreme Court seats later in life.
Of our college, Ryuu says, "Arizona Law is an environment that facilities long term bonds with colleagues and faculty. The environment is very welcoming, warm, and diverse, and you gain a lot of friends and family while you are here."
He continues, "Attending Arizona Law, you notice the difference between simply attending a school you got into and learning in an environment where you feel welcomed and cared about. The opportunities and mentorship provided at Arizona Law are things that can't be bought or found elsewhere."
We wish you all the best in your next chapter, Ryuu, and look forward to hearing you speak to your fellow graduates on May 11.

Around the College
BA in Law Student Achievements Recognized 
Francy D. Luna Diaz
Graduating BA in Law student Francy D. Luna Diaz came to Tucson from Colombia at age 19. She is graduating summa cum laude with a double major in political science and law, and next is headed to graduate work in political science at the University of Michigan. Among other accomplishments, she was selected in 2018 as an intern with the Arizona Supreme Court.

University of Arizona Law professor Andrew Coan says that, in addition to her numerous academic and intellectual achievements so far, 

"Francy is articulate, funny, warm, compassionate, and whip-smart. I don't know that I have ever met a student who displayed greater drive or a stronger work ethic."
Francy has been chosen by the University of Arizona Honor's College for its 2019 Outstanding Senior Award and by the University of Arizona Office of the President for the Robie Gold Medal for outstanding seniors. Read more about Francy and the Robie Gold Medal here.

Rosie Ibarra Lopez

2019 BA in Law graduate Rosie Ibarra Lopez has been recognized by the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP) with an Outstanding Senior Award. 

Rosie was nominated by Arizona Law professor and director of the Immigration Law and Policy Program and Workers' Rights Clinic, Shefali Milczarek-Desai ('01), who shares,
"Rosie was the student interpreter for a clinic asylum case that I litigated, and worked alongside me on all aspects of the case. Without Rosie's fortitude, perseverance and outstanding linguistic and cultural interpretation skills, the case would not have been decided in our client's favor."
Rosie is a first-generation college student and daughter of an immigrant, who grew up in Eloy, Arizona. Next, she plans to work as a paralegal at the Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm in Chandler, Arizona.
Congratulations also go to the other BA in Law SGPP Outstanding Senior Award nominees: Garrett Hable, Marcus Shepherd, Yingjun Yan, and Ziyu Shi.

2019 Jessup International Law Moot Court "Iron Man" Team 
Second-year Arizona Law students Yuzhuo Li and Yuttarach Chan, the College of Law's 2019 Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court "Iron Man" Team competed this spring at the Sturm College of Law in Denver with teams from other Rocky Mountain Region law schools, receiving good scores for both their oral and written submissions. 

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition, with more than 2,000 law students representing more than 600 universities and approximately 90 countries annually. Teams present oral and written pleadings to address timely issues of public international law in the context of a hypothetical legal dispute between nations. The arguments simulate a proceeding before the International Court of Justice. 

"Iron Man" team poster.

Our team received the "Iron Man" nickname because, as a two-person team, they argued both the Applicant and Respondent sides in alternating rounds. Normally this job is split among four or five presenters, allowing two to focus on either Applicant's arguments or Respondent's arguments consistently. It takes special advocacy skills to argue opposing sides back to back!
Team coach Shirley Spira reports that, although the UA team did not advance to the final round, both students scored well on their written memorials, and the judges complimented their oral arguments. "The skills that they displayed are the same that they will call on in litigation and appellate advocacy: thorough knowledge of the facts and an understanding of both Petitioner's and Respondent's legal positions."
For more information, please e-mail spiras@email.arizona.edu.


Robert Mundheim Awarded an Honorary Degree from The New School
Arizona Law professor Robert Mundheim, who hosts the Conversations with Bob Mundheim discussion series at the college each spring, has been granted an honorary degree by The New School for Social Research in New York City.
The New School website says its honorary degree recipients "embody the university's driving principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and creative experimentation." Read more about Professor Mundheim and the award here.

For 12 years, the University of Arizona College of Law has gathered our alumni, students, and friends for our ever-popular Gutter Bowl. All proceeds will go to the Steven A. Hirsch Scholarship Fund.
When: Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Bowlmor Lanes Scottsdale, 7300 E Thomas Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Contact Corrina Eklund, 520-621-8430, with registration questions or to become a sponsor. 

Gutter Sponsor

Spare Sponsors

Littler Mendelson

Snell & Wilmer

Volunteer to Help Prevent Evictions

The College of Law's Innovation for Justice program is partnering with Step Up to Justice to offer tenant education workshops in Pima County with the financial support of the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social JusticeThese workshops are designed to educate tenants about their rights and responsibilities and help tenants avoid the devastating effects of eviction. 

Attorney volunteers in Pima County are needed to help facilitate workshops, which will be offered at various locations on weekday evenings beginning in June. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer attorney please contact Michele Mirto at mmirto@stepuptojustice.org.
See the attached flyer from Step Up to Justice with more details on volunteering, plus possible CLE credit for participating attorneys (PDF flyer). 

In the News
Rice University News, quoting report by professor David Gantz

Our students are inspiring -- across our programs. Their passion and determination are embodied in the snapshots of graduating students Christina, Ryuu, Francy, and Rosie, and in the report on the efforts of Yuzhuo and Yuttarach.
There are few moments in life filled with more joy than seeing our great students launch their careers, taking their next steps in service and studies.
We share with all of our graduates, and their families and friends, a deep sense of pride and anticipation -- about what they will do and the impact they will have on their communities and the world. And those feelings remain with us for many years as their careers and lives unfold.





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