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UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

JAMES E. ROGERS COLLEGE OF LAW


September 22, 2021

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Greetings,


In today's Letter of the Law, undergraduate senior Jocelyn Garcia discusses her passions, plans, and what persuaded her to join our BA in Law program.  


Until the footnotes,


Marc

FEATURE

First-of-its-kind BA in Law Scholarship Awarded to Inaugural Recipient  

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Jocelyn Garcia has big plans for her future. Following graduation this May, the honors student, who is a double major in law and political science with a double minor in Mexican American studies and special education and rehabilitation, hopes to attend law school to become a civil rights attorney specializing in immigration or disability education rights.


“I am extremely interested in public interest law, specifically education law, but I also want to volunteer. I think community education and knowing your rights is important. Because of my experience, I know that if you don't know what your rights are, you don't know how to advocate for yourself.” 


In high school, Jocelyn witnessed the difficulties her sister experienced within the education system as a designated special needs student. It wasn’t until a disability education lawyer was recruited to help advocate on the family’s behalf that her sister was able to obtain the support they needed.


When she came to the University of Arizona, Jocelyn knew she too wanted to work as an advocate for her community but wasn’t sure of the best route to take until she found the BA in Law.


“I started in political science, and I found myself gravitating towards law electives. I took Intro to Human Rights Law; I took Visualizing Justice and that's really what solidified for me that this is what I want to do.”


Pioneering Support


Garcia is one of 1,600 students currently enrolled in Arizona’s Bachelor of Arts in Law program offered in partnership with the School of Government and Public Policy at the College of Social and Behavioral Science, which launched in 2014 in response to dramatic and ongoing changes in the legal profession. In many other countries, the study of law is part of an undergraduate education, but Arizona was the first university in the U.S. to offer a BA in law, thus redefining legal education in the United States.

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In a program with a history of firsts, Jocelyn is the first to be awarded the David G. Hastings BA in Law Endowed Scholarship, the first-ever scholarship for a program of this type in the nation. The scholarship was established by double wildcat David G. Hastings ('79), founder of the Phoenix firm Hastings & Hastings, who credits his time at the university for being a motivating factor in establishing the award. “I love the university, I wanted to give back, and this is something that is meaningful to me,” he shared.

  

David is an alumnus of both the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management and the James E. Rogers College of Law. He began his legal career representing many of the largest insurance companies in the world, but in 1981 he founded Hastings & Hastings, dedicated to representing victims of negligence and implementing a revolutionary pricing system that made legal services more accessible to those in need. An innovator in the legal field, Hastings recognized the important role graduates of the BA program had in advancing the industry and wanted to offer his support.


Director of the BA in Law program Keith Swisher explained,

  

“This groundbreaking, interdisciplinary degree program started as a tool to address the community need for professionals who have a fundamental understanding of law and legal skills. In a short amount of time, the program has grown to become an integral part of Arizona Law, adding to our diversity, our reach, our strength, and our impact. Its success owes so much to the dedication of the Arizona Law faculty, administrative team, and alumni, the steady support of our partner, the School of Government and Public Policy, and of course the enthusiasm and quality of our students—with Jocelyn being a perfect example.”


Jocelyn is a fitting first recipient of the award, as her professional goals align with the values David has instilled at his firm. He says, 


“I think the legal field has endless opportunities, particularly for public service work, where you can help people. Jocelyn will also have countless opportunities in the private sector to use that degree to really help other people. She has a lot of avenues that she can use to explore ways of helping others.”  


Visualizing A More Just Future 


When she’s not studying, Jocelyn is active on campus working as a resident assistant, participating as a member of the Lambda Theta Alpha sorority and serving her second term as the president of the multi-cultural and identity-based Greek council.  


Through the BA program, she’s been able to marry her interest in the law with her passion for community advocacy. In one instance, her work as part of Arizona Law’s Innovation for Justice program’s Visualizing Justice course helped to inform her senior thesis project, in which she plans to create resources for parents of students with learning differences so they have the information they need to be advocates for their children.  


Jocelyn also hopes to be a resource for other students going through the program. When asked what advice she might provide first-year students new to the major, she noted, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help, because it's out there, and you deserve it.” 


For more information on how to get involved with Arizona Law’s scholarship program, contact Senior Director of Development Megan O’Leary

Original Story on Our Website

AROUND THE COLLEGE

SBA Welcome Back Picnic, September 24

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The Student Bar Association invites you to its annual welcome back picnic at Reid Park Ramada 22 on Friday, September 24, from 5 to 7 p.m.


All students, faculty, staff, and alumni are welcome to join in, play games, and enjoy each other's company at the park. Families and/or significant others are also invited. This is an excellent opportunity to connect with students and new faces in the Arizona Law community. Food and drinks will be provided. We will maintain best practices for COVID throughout the entirety of the event.


Let us know if you can make it by filling out the Google form here. If you have any questions or need directions to Reid Park, please email us.


We hope to see you there!

20 Years of Indigenous Advocacy Conference, October 6-7

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Registration is open for the 20 Years of Indigenous Advocacy: A Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples conference, October 6-7, 2021. The event will be fully online and live-streamed via Zoom.


The conference will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples mandate. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) program and there will be a special event as part of the conference acknowledging the work of IPLP and its graduates in promoting and protecting Indigenous peoples’ human rights around the world.


The two-day conference will focus on the work and lessons learned over the course of 20 years of UN Indigenous human rights advocacy by the UN Special Rapporteur. Invited speakers include the Indigenous human rights advocates and movement leaders who were directly involved in the creation of the mandate, UN appointed officials involved in the initial launch of the mandate, Indigenous human rights defenders on the front lines of Indigenous human rights advocacy today, and surprise guests.

Details and Registration

International Students Attend First American Football Game With Arizona Law

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Arizona Law's Assistant Director of Stewardship and Donor Engagement Corrina Eklund recently took four of our international students to their first-ever American football game.


They attended the Wildcats vs. NAU at Arizona Stadium last Saturday. They had a blast!


Pictured from left to right are: David Blanco (2L AJD), Wisdom Adjei (LLM), Corrina Eklund, Faris Alaradi (LLM), and Aranyak Pathak (LLM).


Thank you to alumnus Ted Schmidt ('77), who donated the tickets!

IN THE NEWS


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Data from Utah’s Sandbox Shows Extraordinary Promise, Refutes Fears of Harm

LexBlog, referencing an interview with professor Stacy Butler


FBI says fortune seized in Beverly Hills raid was criminals' loot. Owners say: Where's the proof?

Los Angeles Times, quoting professor Jane Bambauer


On our website:


Beyond Breakups: Crafting Antitrust Policy for the Digital Age


For the Record: Nobel Nomination, Online Teaching Strategies, New Appellate Journal Issue and More


Our first-in-the-U.S. BA in Law program is thriving. And by introducing many of you to Jocelyn Garcia, you can see why.

 

The program is catching the attention of employers across a vast range of settings—not just traditional legal entities—and of law schools around the U.S., and indeed around the world. 

 

Jocelyn: based on the experience of other BA in Law graduates who have gone to law school, I expect you will find that your foundation in legal reasoning and doctrine, along with your evident energy and commitment, will help enable your path to becoming a civil rights attorney. Immigration and disability education rights are both critical areas, for individuals and for communities. I look forward to the impact you will have. 


Warmly,

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