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Greetings,

This week we spotlight some of the many ways that our Arizona Law community is moving forward and supporting one another.

Until the footnotes,
 
Marc
 
During Pandemic, Arizona Law Community Moves Forward Together

As the world learns to navigate and adjust to life during a global pandemic, the University of Arizona Law community is quickly adapting and beginning to settle in to what law school looks like in the time of COVID-19.
 
So how does law school work in the midst of a world turned upside down? Here are just a few of the ways we're responding.
 
Professor Sylvia Lett

As all university classes moved online in March the week after Spring Break, events and social activities did, too. 

Organizers for the clinic and externship fair, scheduled for the first day of online classes, pivoted to a digital event, with virtual information booths and dedicated video chat rooms for students to connect with clinic and externship faculty and staff. 

Special events like Associate Professor of Legal Writing Sylvia Lett's popular Short Story Club (see note in this edition, below) and a guest lecture on juror bias from attorney David Wenner moved to Zoom.
 
For the first time ever, Admitted Students Weekend was offered entirely online. The Admissions and Financial Aid team moved quickly to completely rebuild a full day of programming to be available virtually. Admitted students were able to hear from faculty, administrators, current students and alumni, and the sessions were recorded so that future admits can access the content.
 
Click here for Arizona Law's event calendar, which continues to list virtual events through the end of the semester.
 
Prioritizing Support for Students
 

The Student Bar Association has begun publishing  "The Socially Distant Bulletin" newsletter for students, filled with encouragement and ways to stay connected with classmates. Topics have included fitness challenges, recipes, virtual game nights and a Taylor Swift song bracket competition.
 
SBA president and 3L  Karen Donderewicz (4th from the right, above) says,
 
"We want to continue the culture of connection and involvement at Arizona Law. It is important to keep students engaged and interested during this period where it is all too easy to tune out and lose interest in the things that make our law school a real community. The Socially Distant Bulletin is designed to inspire creativity, to hopefully create some dialogue and humor during this tough time."

Faculty and staff continue to provide students with full support by reaching out through email, phone and video to answer questions and will remain available throughout the semester.
 
Mental health and wellness services have been made available to students, such as no-cost confidential counseling services, where students can schedule telephone or online appointments. Click here for more information on available student support.
 
Every faculty member set up virtual office hours for their students, and I established a weekly online session open to any student to speak with me in a group video setting.
 
Our sense of community has always been one of our greatest strengths at University of Arizona Law, and we're doing everything we can to keep that going now. Even though we're physically separated, we want students to know they still have whatever access to faculty and to each other they need.
 
Asst. Dean for Career Development Shannon Trebbe

Amanda Bynum, Director of Bar and Academic Success

As students are adjusting to online classes and activities, they are also navigating a rapidly changing professional landscape, with the July bar exam already postponed in some states and shifting employment and externship opportunities.
 
Assistant Dean for Career Development Shannon Trebbe ('10) reports that the Career Development Office, which rescheduled fall 2020 on-campus interviews for early 2021, is conducting individual and class meetings with students via Zoom to discuss how to adapt to the evolving job market. They also have regular check-ins with employers to stay on top of emerging trends.
 
Amanda Bynum ('09), director of bar and academic success, set up virtual office hours for students to talk about the bar exam, academic success, the "prepare to practice" course, upper level bar classes or simply the transition to online education. She says,
 
"In unprecedented times, it is important to let students know that we are in this together and that both faculty and students are having to adapt and manage anxiety and stress. It is important to let students know they are not alone and that there are ways to use technology to connect. I am encouraging students to utilize their self-regulated learning skills to adjust and reflect on how this might make them better practitioners in the future."
 
Legal Responses to COVID-19
 
Across many different University of Arizona Law programs, faculty and students are also shifting their focus to adapting legal services in response to COVID-19.

Professor Shefali 
Milczarek-Desai

Professor Stacy Butler

Shefali Milczarek-Desai ('01), assistant clinical professor and director of the Workers' Rights Clinic, created a factsheet for Arizona workers regarding leave and benefit rights under COVID-19.
 
Innovation for Justice director and professor of practice Stacy Butler ('02) is recruiting volunteers to work with her students on supporting legal systems that are grappling with the sudden need to operate remotely and online. She says,
 
"As one of 10 legal innovation labs in the country, we are starting to hear from courts and legal service providers from across the U.S. who want our help. Court forms and processes need to be automated, low-income community members need remote assistance, and creative thinkers and doers are in high demand. So we're forming Team i4J for students, faculty and staff who want to contribute their time and talent now and in the months to come."
 
The Health Law Club is organizing students to provide pro bono research and writing support to attorneys working on matters relating to COVID-19, including research around companies' paid leave and work from home policies; drafting bail motions for those at risk of contracting COVID-19 in custody; and supporting efforts to respond to collection or eviction proceedings against those impacted by COVID-19.
 
Socially Distanced, but Still Together
 
The Arizona Law community is now dispersed like never before. But our students, faculty, staff, alumni, employers and friends have continued to stay connected, adapt, learn and offer support.

Around the College -- Online
Important Update on College of Law Mail and Donations
 

In an effort to keep our employees as safe as possible, the College of Law has put a hold on all mail until the public health emergency subsides. 

In the meantime, we ask that you correspond with us electronically. Find faculty and staff email addresses via our main directory.

This also means that we cannot currently accept donations to the College of Law via regular mail. We encourage you to instead make your gift to the college online

Contact Director of Development Megan O'Leary, moleary@email.arizona.edu, with any questions about giving.

Thank you for adjusting with us.

Transactional Law Meet Team

Transactional LawMeet team members (l-r): Jared Keating (3L), Castille Cox (3L), and Brooke Harris (3L).

Le d by their coach, Professor Billy Sjostrom, Castille Cox (2L), Brooke Harris (3L), and Jared Keating (3L) represented Arizona Law at the 2020 Transactional LawMeet last Friday, April 3.
 
The competition is designed to foster and develop real-world transactional-law skills. This year involved drafting, marking-up, and negotiating a letter of intent for the sale of a business. Hosted by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, the competition was originally slated to include in-person negotiation but was switched to online due to COVID-19 concerns.
 
After a few months of drafting and redlining, Arizona Law's team "zoomed" their way to top honors on negotiation day. Among tough competition from the twelve teams participating, Arizona Law earned "Overall Runner Up Team" representing the hypothetical seller in the transaction. Coach Sjostrom reports:
 
"I was proud of how the team seamlessly translated classroom learning into real-world advice and impressed a judge with 30 years of M&A experience in the process."
 
The participants had a great experience, and encourage others to participate in the future: 
 
"There are not a lot of opportunities to develop real-world transactional-law skills, as most of the competitions are focused on litigation, so I was very happy to be involved in this competition. It helps having a great coach and teammates to guide you. Also, it was a lot of fun!" -- Jared Keating
 
"I just recently decided that I want to practice transactional law and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to participate in a mock draft and negotiation before graduating. Being on the mergers & acquisitions team was one of best experiences in my law school career. I'm looking forward to putting my newly developed skills to work." -- Brooke Harris
 
"After taking the mergers & acquisitions class in the fall I was so excited to be involved in this team. I always knew I wanted to do transactional work and getting this experience before work was such a privilege. Getting feedback from Professor Sjostrom and the judges that currently work in M&A transactions was very beneficial." -- Castille Cox 
 
The team also wants to give a shoutout to Will Pew ('14) of Hecker & Pew PLLC for providing them with advice on negotiations.
 
Please join us in congratulating our Arizona Law team on a job well done!
 
Next Short Story Club, April 20

You are invited to participate in the next Arizona Law Short Story Club on Monday, April 20, at 12 p.m., via Zoom. Associate Professor of Legal Writing Sylvia Lett will host participants in discussing "I Stand Here Ironing" by Tillie Olson and "Diem Perdidi" by Julie Otsuka. Please join us in our virtual community for companionship and a good discussion.

Click here to access the readings.

To join the Zoom meeting, copy and paste this link:  https://arizona.zoom.us/j/492064681
 
Password: 626475
 
How to Help Students Right Now


Please consider donating to Fuel the Response a UA fund to help provide financial relief to all UA students -- including our professional and graduate law students -- in times of significant hardship.

In the News

Univision, professor Christopher Robertson talks to Univision as they examine how the current health pandemic could help Obamacare's permanency.

Chicago Tribune, commentary co-authored by professor Christopher Robertson


As is often the case, our students are leading in adapting and responding to the strange times in which we find ourselves.  The Socially Distant Bulletin is as communally connected as can be.
 
I can't say it enough. To our students, and to staff, faculty, and the larger community -- t hank you.
 
And stay safe,

 
 

 

 
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