This issue spotlights Judge
Frank Zapata ('73), one of the college's 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.
Along with fellow honorees
Philip Alan Robbins
('56), Judge Zapata will be recognized at the college during the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award reception, Friday, Oct. 26, beginning at 5:30 p.m. I hope you will join us (
Arizona Law has a robust presence in the judiciary, as well as a strong record of placing our students in judicial externships and clerkships. Almost one-third of employed Arizona Law graduates from the class of 2017 earned judicial clerkships, compared to the national rate of 10.7 percent.
Also in this edition, 3L
Sasha Charls reflects on her time working as an extern for Judge Zapata at the U.S. District Court of Arizona.
Last Thursday, the fall 2018
Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice
brought the courtroom to the classroom as nationally known litigator and director of the Civil Jury Project at NYU
(above) delivered a thought-provoking talk on the need to preserve jury trials to a packed room (
see video here
Honoring Judge Frank Zapata ('73), 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awardee
We are honored to count Judge Frank Zapata, Class of 1973, among the ranks of alumni. We will present him with a 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award during Homecoming this year (
event details and RSVP
Over the course of his career, Judge Zapata has embodied the idea of public service and demonstrated his commitment to our College of Law --
his College of Law.
The full text of his Lifetime Achievement Award reads:
Judge Frank Zapata is a Senior District Court judge of the United States District Court of Arizona. He was born in Safford, Arizona, in a camp for farm workers. He and his four siblings were raised in Safford by their mother.
Based on his intellectual promise, Zapata was awarded a work-study scholarship by Eastern Arizona College where he did maintenance work for the College as an undergraduate to support his education. He earned his Associate of Arts degree in 1964. Zapata then enrolled in the University of Arizona, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966, summa cum laude, and his JD degree in 1973.
Before attending law school, Zapata taught public school in Hayden and Tucson for three years. After graduating from law school, Zapata was a staff attorney of the Pima County Legal Aid Society for one year.
In 1974, he became an assistant federal public defender, and was promoted to Chief Deputy Federal Public Defender. He served in that role from 1984 to 1994. He served as a United States Magistrate Judge in Arizona for two years, and in 1996 was nominated as a District Court judge by President William ("Bill") J. Clinton.
In 2010, he went on senior status.
In a district that has one of the highest caseloads in the country, Zapata carries a large number of cases even while on senior status. He is a highly regarded judge who treats all who appear before him with respect and humanity. In this and many other ways, he inspires trust in the federal judiciary.
In 2000, he was named one of only 100 Distinguished Women and Minority Lawyers by the State Bar of Arizona. Zapata also was for many years an instructor in the College of Law's award-winning trial advocacy program, and is a long-time supporter of the college and its students. In recognition of his service and many professional achievements, Judge Zapata received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Law in 2003. In 2013, he was awarded the Public Service Award from the University of Arizona Alumni Association.
Sasha Charls (3L), Former Extern for Judge Zapata
Third-year Arizona Law student
is a native Tucsonan. She went to ASU for her bachelor's degree but says,
"Thankfully, I came back to my senses and came down here for law school. I came to UA Law because I love our small community and our trial advocacy program."
Sasha has made great use of her trial skills training as part of the college's
Barry Davis National Trial Team, as an extern for Senior Judge
Frank Zapata in the U.S. District Court of Arizona in Tucson
during her 1L year, and currently as a clerk with the firm of Miller, Pitt, Feldman, & McAnally, immersed in plaintiffs' personal injury matters.
Of Judge Zapata, Sasha shares:
"I cannot think of anyone more deserving than Judge Zapata for the Lifetime Achievement Award. With every sentence or motion I've observed, I have seen the preservation of liberty, the integrity of justice, and the embodiment of fairness.
Despite several decades on the bench, Judge Zapata exudes understanding of the nature and gravity of every sentence he imposes. This is no easy feat. It is easy to become jaded, cold, or detached in this profession. Many might respond to such a challenge by compartmentalizing a defendant as 'just another criminal' or 'drug addict.' It would be considerably less taxing on the moral conscience to do so. And yet, judgment isn't and shouldn't be easy. Judge Zapata looks at every defendant, not as a criminal but as a dimensional human being. He accounts for the direction of their life, the 'totality of their circumstances,' and the weight of each sentence imposed. He approaches sentencing with the understanding that human beings are fallible. Human beings are subject to circumstance. Human beings are human. This careful consideration alleviates any fear about unfairness in our judiciary.
Judge Zapata is not only a fantastic judge, he is an astounding human being."
A key part of Sasha's Arizona Law experience has been her involvement in skills teams. Last February, Sasha and her team members on the
Barry Davis National Trial Team won the regional
round of the National Trial Competition, placing them among the top 10 percent of trial team competitors from law schools around the country.
"I'll never forget going into the last round with Hanees "Hands" Haniffa and winning the tournament in New Mexico."
Barry Davis National Trial Team in February 2018: Matthew Ashton, Kristian Garibay, Hanees Haniffa, Sasha Charls,
Will Vitkus, and Jean Paul Barnard (l-r).
She is a member of the team again this year, and is thrilled to be heading with the team to Philadelphia at the end of October to compete in the by-invitation-only Tournament of Champions.
"I hope we can work hard and again make our law school proud. Bear down!"
Looking forward, Sasha sees possibilities in personal injury work and also has interest in serving "The People" as a public defender.
"Judge Zapata, Judge
Deborah Bernini ['81, Pima County Superior Court], and
Joel Feinman ['07, Pima County Public Defender] are my three legal heroes in the Tucson community. They were all public defenders at some point in their career. I hope to follow in their footsteps."
There's No Place Like Homecoming ...
Arizona Law Homecoming and Reunions 2018
Homecoming weekend is a great opportunity to celebrate our College of Law community and the University of Arizona. Please join us!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26
UA Alumni Association Homecoming Luncheon
12:30-2 p.m. Student Union North Ballroom, hosted by UA Alumni Association.
Alumni of the Year Ceremony and Champagne Reception
2:30-5 p.m. in the Student Union Grand Ballroom South, hosted by UA Alumni Association,
Celebrate Mary Grier,
Arizona Law Class of 1977, the 2018 James E. Rogers College of Law Alumna of the Year, and other university honorees.
Lifetime Achievement Awards and All-Alumni Reception
5:30-7 p.m. in the Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie Lobby and Snell & Wilmer Courtyard,
Please join us for the Lifetime Achievement Awards and All Alumni Reception as we honor Professor Barbara Atwood
, Class of 1976, Philip Alan Robbins (posthumously)
, Class of 1956 and Judge Frank Zapata
, Class of 1973. Free and open to all alumni, family and students!
Glow: A Young Alumni Party at Homecoming
9-11 p.m. University Boulevard, hosted by UA Alumni Association,
It's the first young alumni Homecoming party just for UA graduates from the last five years! Food, drinks, games, good people and, of course, great music.
ARIZONA LAW CLASS-SPECIFIC FRIDAY REUNIONS
Class of 1968 and Beyond: 50-Year Reunion, also celebrating those graduating in prior years
Class of 1978: 40-Year Reunion
RECENTLY ANNOUNCED! Thursday AND Friday
Cocktail reception kick-off on Thursday, October 25, 6-9 p.m., Aunt Chilada's Squaw Peak Mexican Restaurant in Phoenix.
Class of 1983: 35-Year Reunion
Class of 1993: 25-Year Reunion
7:30-9:30 p.m. at El Charro Cafe Ventana,
$25 per person,
Class of 1998: 20-Year Reunion
Class of 2003: 15-Year Reunion
Class of 2013: 5-Year Reunion
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27
Red & Blue BBQ
12-2 p.m. (time subject to change depending on kickoff time of the UA football game) in the Snell & Wilmer Courtyard.
This event is free and open to all Arizona Law alumni, family, and students! Bring the whole family for food, drinks, and conversation at our pre-tailgate BBQ.
Homecoming Football Game UA vs. Oregon
Bear Down and cheer on your Arizona Wildcats to a victory against the Oregon Ducks!
The College of Law has a block of seats for our alumni, friends and family. Purchase your tickets to sit with the College of Law for $17 each.
This week our current students get a fall break -- to regroup, plan, write. In the current educational argot, we have been adding more "formative assessments" (mid-class assessment ... aka problems, midterms, etc.), especially for first-year classes. The fall break gives time for faculty to give
-- and students to get -- feedback.
Our courses also run at a fairly intense pace, with many additional talks, workshops, and activities, and a short break can be good for the mind and soul.
Next week we regroup as a community with the
by law dean and constitutional super-scholar
The following week is Homecoming and Reunions and our Lifetime Achievement Awards and Alumnus of the Year ceremonies.
And all of these intellectual feasts and community festivities take place in a Tucson that has happily made the turn to mild fall weather.