Arizona Law welcomes many students who are the first in their family to attend college. 

In this edition, Nathalie Marlene Gonzalez Carrasco (2L) shares her path to law school, what it's like to be a first-generation student, and how she's creating a new family legacy.

Until the footnotes,
This First-Generation Student is Creating a 
New Family Legacy
Photo credit: Idarah Ekpoh
One of  Nathalie Marlene Gonzalez Carrasco 's earliest memories is being woken up by her mother before sunrise and taken to her aunt's house so that her mom could head to the agriculture fields to work, returning to pick her up after sunset.
"A lot of my work ethic, I got from my mom," says the University of Arizona Law second-year JD student.
"My mom was not able to finish elementary school because she had to start working at a very young age. For her, me being here is like the best thing in the world. I feel like this is one of the only ways to pay her back for all her sacrifices."
Nathalie is a first-generation law student who says she knew early in her childhood that she would go to college. She told her mother that she had to leave their small town of San Luis, Arizona, in order to grow and be successful. 

She enlisted the help of her cousin -- the only person in her family at the time to have attended a university -- to help her fill out college and scholarship applications. Nathalie learned the importance of asking people questions and getting help when she needed it.
"The resources are there, you just need to not be afraid of asking. You have to open the doors for yourself."
Nathalie attended the University of Arizona as an undergraduate on a full scholarship, majoring in political science and Spanish. She took the course "Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties," with Professor Chad Westerland in the School of Government and Public Policy, which inspired her to attend law school.
"His course was life changing because it opened my eyes to how fascinating court cases can be and how your socio-economic status and race affect how you are treated by the court system."
Law school became her goal, with Arizona as her top choice.
"I fell in love with the unique atmosphere that is only offered at the University of Arizona and in Tucson. I could not picture myself at another law school."
Nathalie works on campus at the UA Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, while staying very involved in College of Law activities. She is treasurer of the Latino Law Student Association, a member of the Law Women's Association, a writing fellow, part of the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, and an extern for UA Athletics.
So far, she has especially enjoyed her two courses with Professor Toni Massaro, "Constitutional Law" and "Freedom of Speech and Expression," because she likes their historical and philosophical components. Legal writing, with Professors Carolyn Williams and Joy Herr-Cardillo ('84), has also been a highlight.
"I enjoyed my legal writing class and it helped me see how well I can perform. Knowing that I can write well reassures me that I belong here. Sometimes you forget."
Nathalie says she has found a supportive community at Arizona Law, where classmates are always willing to help each other and professors are understanding. When things are tough and she needs motivation, she reminds herself why she is here.
"My ultimate goal is to get my mom to stop working in the fields. That type of work doesn't have a retirement plan. Being a first-generation student has given me a fire to become as educated as possible and help use my education by serving others through the law."

Nathalie also wants to mentor other first-generation students and encourage others in her family to pursue higher education.
Around the College

"Innovating Immigration Law and Policy" Symposium
Last Friday, the College of Law, the Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program, and the Immigration Law Students' Association (ILSA) hosted the public symposium, "Innovating Immigration Law and Policy: Visions for a Just Future."
The symposium was designed and moderated by law students Philip Rody (2L), Yesenia Gamez Valdez (3L), Laura Kennedy (3L), and Lucas Witman (2L), working in conjunction with Shefali Milczarek-Desai ('01) who co-directs the college's Immigrant Justice Clinic. 

The symposium convened experts from across the UA campus who study border and migration issues, lawyers, and immigrant community members to discuss alternatives to the current immigration paradigm. Keynote speakers were Roxana Bacon and former Arizona Law professor Nina Rabin, now at UCLA.

The day's panels addressed: re-aligning refugee and asylum law with 21st  century needs; re-envisioning labor and migration; and re-shaping our future by protecting our communities. 

The day concluded with the world premiere screening of the asylum documentary Soledad, based on a case that arose in the Eloy Detention Facility and that was handled through the clinic, followed by a conversation with the award-winning documentary filmmaker, Lisa Molomot.

In conjunction with the event, ILSA displayed in the college's Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Lobby, "Survive, Resist, Create: Art by Immigrants Facing Deportation," a collection of artwork pieces that were gifted to attorneys of the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project by detained adults and child asylum-seekers who have been their clients over the years.

To find out more about the recent symposium, contact Shefali Milczarek-Desai.

Jenckes Closing Argument Competition

Members and supporters of the University of Arizona Law Jenckes team gathered for the  2019 competition at ASU.

Director of Advocacy and Professor of Law Barbara Bergman writes with an update from the annual Jenckes Closing Argument Competition, held at ASU on November 8:
"Arizona College of Law team members  Clarissa Todd  (1L) and  Maura Hilser  (3L) made us proud with their advocacy skills. They did a wonderful job with a very difficult case! Students, faculty, and alumni were on hand to cheer on their effort.
This competition is a great opportunity for skills-building for students on both sides, no matter who wins. While the Jenckes Cup was ultimately awarded to the team from ASU, the competition was very close.
We look forward to working toward the Cup's return in next year's competition."

2019 Homecoming in Pictures
We continue to gather and share photos from those who attended our 2019 Homecoming and Reunion events. 

Greetings from Associate Dean Karen Kowalski and me, enjoying the Red & Blue BBQ:

And in matching attire, our musical entertainment, Leftovers and Cake:

In the News
Buzzfeed News, quoting professor Andrew Keane Woods

Arizona Farm Bureau, highlights Natural Resource Users Law and Policy Center (a partnership of University of Arizona Law)

Access to a superb legal education is a value anchored in our 105-year history as a public, land-grant university and emblazoned on our souls.
But the challenges of access to legal education have changed. If you share our commitment to keeping tuition low and our doors wide open, while providing great teachers, outstanding clinic experiences, and skill-building activities, please support student scholarships at Arizona Law.





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