Last week we felt the power of the extended Arizona Law community, as the members of our Board of Visitors (BOV) returned to campus for their annual meeting. Each member of that distinguished group serves as a year-round ambassador for Arizona Law. The annual meeting gives them a chance to learn about our major initiatives and challenges, provide advice, and engage with our new students.
Our students are flourishing during this busy semester, both in the classroom and through experiences afforded by our active student organizations. Observing Black History Month, the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) has planned a number of events open to students and alumni alike. Take a look at their February lineup below and join us if you are able.
Our alumni also continue to make us proud. This week, we feature recent grad Aaron Gbewonyo and his new career trajectory, and celebrate the much-deserved recognition recently given to our alumna, Lynne Wood Dusenberry.

Until the footnotes,


Catch Up with Aaron Gbewonyo ('15)
Class of 2015 alumnus Aaron Gbewonyo has returned to his hometown of Los Angeles -- and the beautiful beaches of Southern California -- to serve as General Counsel of Surrogacy Concierges.
In this capacity, Aaron drafts, reviews, and negotiates agreements between intended parents and egg donors, surrogates, and various agencies. 

He also assists intended parents with establishing parentage, defends them in any disputes that might arise, and, when applicable, will help international clients with immigration matters. And, he oversees all of the general legal matters for the company.
Aaron attributes much of his success in assisting clients to Arizona Law courses such as contracts drafting, corporations, and immigration, and his experience in the Child and Family Law Clinic,  gaining knowledge from professors including Andrew Silverman, Simone Sepe, and Paul Bennett.
Having begun his career in compliance after graduation working for a hospital in Los Angeles, Aaron later served as a law fellow with Arizona Law, assisting with outreach and recruitment, before accepting his current position.

Like the many students who come to Arizona Law without prior connections our state or city, Aaron came to think of Tucson as his home away from home.  He says his time at Arizona Law stands out not only for all he learned as a law student but for the college's welcoming atmosphere.
"It was this collegial atmosphere that allowed me to forge friendships that have helped to shape me as a person and a professional."
Aaron says that as a transfer student, he expected that he might feel out of place,
"not having experienced walking through the abyss that is 1L year with the remainder of my class."
To the contrary, he says that he was not only welcomed with open arms, but encouraged to get -- and stay -- engaged.
Aaron quickly became involved in a wide array of student organizations and activities, including serving as president of the Black Law Student Association, a member of Latino Law Student Association, a member of Phi Alpha Delta, and working with students on main campus as a mentor to UA undergraduate minority students, including those interested in law.
Aaron says he appreciated the feeling of openness at Arizona Law:
"It truly allowed me to get to know and build relationships with not only faculty members, but administration and staff as well."
Aaron looks forward to having many opportunities to return to Tucson to reunite with fellow alumni and the Arizona Law community.


Around the College

BOV Members Promote Arizona Law Vision, Connect with Students
On Friday of last week we hosted 45 leaders in law who serve on our Board of Visitors, including managing partners, business leaders, members of the federal and state judiciary, and top legal professionals. And while many members are alumni, the BOV also includes graduates of other law schools who embrace our mission and support the college (yes, Wildcats, there are other law schools...).

Each year, board members come to campus to learn directly about current Arizona Law priorities and future directions. They provide their perspectives on challenges and opportunities affecting the college and the wider legal profession.

Among other topics, this year we focused on the challenge of embracing the changes that technology is bringing to the practice of law. All of our discussions had at their foundation the heart and soul of the college -- our students.

Board of Visitors members always enjoy the service component of the annual meeting: they lunched with current first-year law students (1Ls, transfer students, LLM, MLS, SJD) and conducted mock interviews for students in advance of actual summer employment interviews. They also toured the new Arizona Law studio, where we're busily filming courses for our growing online degree options and materials for "flipped" classes.
As always, the gathering was enlightening and truly invigorating.

Black Law Student Association Events in February

The UA Black Law Student Association (BLSA) has planned several events in recognition of Black History Month. For more information, contact BLSA president, Nji Anyere at nanyere@email.arizona.edu. Alumni are welcome!
  • Feb. 7, TODAY, Arizona Law's chapter of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is holding the second of its two screenings of the 2014 film, Selma. Noon in Room 137, with discussion to follow. Sponsored by the UA Black Alumni Association.
  • Feb. 13, "Celebrating Black Legal Minds." Guest speaker, Chief Judge Raner Collins ('75) of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Takes place at noon in Room 156. Lunch will be served.
  • Feb. 23, Black Jeopardy, 7-9 p.m. in Room 164. It's $5 per person to play, and that includes dinner! The first three teams will receive prizes in the form of gift cards.
  • Feb. 27, Panel discussion, "Racial Harmony in America -- Where and How Can it be Improved?" A panel of students will engage in an informal discussion of the topic from noon-1:15 p.m. in Room 156.

Congratulations to Lynne Wood Dusenberry ('74)

On February 3, Lynne Wood Dusenberry ('74) was honored as 2017 Woman of the Year by the organization Greater Tucson Leadership.

She is retired senior deputy general counsel for the University of Arizona. She is also a member of the Arizona Law Board of Visitors.

Colleagues, including Professor Barbara Atwood, Dean Emeritus Toni Massaro, and I, gathered to celebrate Lynne's leadership and professionalism. 

Her button celebrates the directness and colorful perspectives admired by her friends and colleagues . In her remarks, she emphasized the importance of friends, family, and having fun in life and work.

Join the Steve Hirsch Gutter Bowl Committee
The 2018 Steve Hirsch Gutter Bowl will be held on April 10, 2018 -- more details coming soon! 

As we prepare for our annual event of lousy bowling, we are looking for alumni and friends to help with outreach to make it a great event. The 2018 committee will connect with alumni and firms with sign up information and help plan out the logistics of the event. 

If you are interested in being part of the committee (or if you know right now that you want to put together a team), please contact Chris Gast at cgast@email.arizona.edu or 520-626-2400.

Arizona Law in the News
UA at Work, Professor Robertson talks about legal issues in health care, the regulatory pathways for medical breakthroughs, and the ways in which artificial intelligence is saving time for lawyers. 
JD Journal, Arizona Law was the first law school to accept GRE scores as well as the traditional LSAT from applicants. John Marshall Law is now the 15th school to accept GRE. 

Aaron's journey from transfer student to successful early-career professional attests to his versatility and commitment to serving others through the law. These are qualities we've come to expect from Arizona Law graduates.

We also rely on the devotion of our alumni from all years. We are grateful to our Board of Visitors members -- both alumni and friends -- who have once again demonstrated their commitment to Arizona Law.



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