|law.arizona.edu | Link June 5, 2013|
This week's three featured members of the Arizona Law community are student Katie Voll, Professor John Swain, and alumna Rui Wang. Enjoy!
Until the footnotes,
|Katie Voll (Class of 2013)
The U of A was a natural choice for recent College of Law graduate Katie Voll, who was raised in Tucson. And like many Arizona Law students - whether they come from Tucson, or from the West, or from around the world - her career path will take her outside of Tucson, to Denver.
"My ultimate goal is to be a public defender," Katie says. "I've explored different aspects of criminal law, but my most valuable experience was participating in the Public Defender's Clinic. I got to interact with clients often and assist my supervising attorney, Dawn Priestman, in everything she did."
Katie developed a passion for representing individuals accused of crimes and working to give them the best defense possible. "I want to have a career that is rewarding and to work towards something I think is important."
In July, Katie plans to take the bar exam in Colorado. "I visited Denver earlier this year, and I thought it was a beautiful city and would be a great place to live and work. I love running, yoga, and riding my bike. Denver will be a great place to enjoy these activities." Katie will still be in Wildcat country, as the Denver area is home to nearly 100 Arizona Law alumni.
Prior to attending the University of Arizona for her undergraduate degree in philosophy (BA, '10), Katie enlisted in the Marine Corps and spent one year in Japan and another in Iraq. "As a Marine I was exposed to so many different people from all over the world. I think this helped me develop a strong sense of empathy and understanding towards others, which will be helpful in my future career." She adds, "The discipline I learned in the Marines has been useful for me as a student, and I'm confident it'll be a very useful quality as a lawyer."
You can connect with Katie through her LinkedIn profile.
Professor John Swain has been teaching courses in tax law at the College of Law since 2001.
John's journey to law teaching was not something he had planned upon graduating from Dartmouth College. "After college I worked on a couple of congressional campaigns and on Capitol Hill, so I entered law school with the vague notion that I would remain active in government and politics after getting my degree. I soon discovered, however, that I was being socialized into the legal profession, which meant becoming a lawyer."
John first practiced with Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb in Albuquerque. "I figured that a state whose motto is "Red or Green?" can't be all bad. It's interesting how my focus in practice, and subsequently in teaching, emerged in large part from experience and opportunity."
John never studied business or accounting as an undergraduate, but as a 2L at Yale Law School he took tax because it was a core course. "After grades were in, the professor called me and said I wrote the best exam in the class and invited me to be his research assistant," he recalled. "I then took accounting for lawyers and the same thing happened - I got the highest score in the class and the professor asked me to be the teaching assistant for the next semester."
Still, John had little interest in tax. "After people in my firm started viewing me as being a guru because of one sales tax case I handled, I remembered my law school experience and made the choice to specialize. One thing swiftly led to another."
After two years of practice, he moved to Phoenix to join the tax department at Streich, Lang, Weeks & Cardon - now Quarles & Brady - where he stayed for 12 years. "After hitting 40, my options were to buy a red Corvette or become a law professor. I chose the latter and have never looked back."
His initial teaching position was with the Appalachian School of Law in westernmost Virginia. "Immediately to the north was Mingo County, West Virginia, the home of the Hatfields, and immediately to the west was Pike County, Kentucky, the home of the McCoys. It was a tremendous experience, and I miss the region and its people to this day. But when the opportunity arose to join Arizona Law, I seized it immediately."
Since he began teaching, John has recognized the importance of focusing on the student experience. "I believe what alumni of the College should know about me is what they should know about all of their professors: We care. While you were students here, we tried to do our best as teachers. Now that you are alumni, we want you to be successful and happy, and hope that in some small way we have contributed to those ends."
For all of his modesty, John is regarded as one of the foremost experts in taxation, and was recently named to "The All-Decade State and Local Tax Team" by State Tax Notes Magazine. You can read a list of John's published papers here, or learn more about him from his faculty profile.
Rui Wang ('05)
Originally from Phoenix, Rui Wang didn't have to travel far to attend law school. But she hasn't let that stop her from spreading the word about Arizona Law around the world.
"I chose the U of A because of its reputation as one of the best public law schools in the country, and it was close to my family in Phoenix. When my acceptance letter came in the mail, I remember there were personal, handwritten notes in the margins from then-Dean of Admissions Terry Holpert, asking me to consider attending. That level of attention and care was so refreshing."
Rui's fondest memories of law school are from time spent outside the classroom. "My favorite times were probably spent playing in a law school band, Res Ipsa Awesome, with Andy Stevenson ('05), Pat Mause ('05), and Alex Shub ('06)!"
Today, Rui is a prosecutor at the US Attorney's Office here in Tucson, a job she began after working at the Pima County Attorney's Office. "The bulk of my current cases are violent crime offenses that arise out of the Tohono O'odham and Pascua Yaqui Nations. I have had really positive working relationships with the tribal law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates."
Recently she had the chance to teach in a foreign country. "I was fortunate enough to travel to Timor-Leste to help teach a basic trial advocacy course to prosecutors there." Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, is an island situated 550 km north of Australia, and is the smallest and most eastern island of the Malay archipelago.
|Image from Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste|
"One of the things we did on the last day of class was to present a copy of Professor Mauet's Trial Techniques book to the Prosecutor General, Ana Pessoa, for their library. In addition to leaving a little piece of Arizona Law behind in Timor-Leste, it underscored the fact that good advocacy is relevant to any legal system, even one that differs in so many respects from our own."
A highlight of her trip was attending a reception at the US embassy and meeting US ambassador Judith Fergin. You can connect with Rui through her LinkedIn profile.
|Rui (right) with Prosecutor General Ana Pessoa|
Movers and Shakers
Is there something new or interesting going on in your life or your career? Do you have updated contact information or generally want to be more in touch with the college? You can always email us your latest news at email@example.com.
The Wildcat Wednesday - Letter of the Law is available every week for any colleague, family member, or friend who would like to keep track of life at the College. Anyone can sign up here.
Janet Kisinger Moving to Tech Launch Arizona
Assistant Dean Janet Kisinger ('99), one of our own who has contributed in so many ways to the success and happiness of the law school community for the past six-and-a-half years, will be starting an exciting new challenge as the Intellectual Property Manager in the Office of Technology Transfer at the U of A's Tech Launch Arizona. Janet's last day at the College will be June 7.
I will miss Janet's deep knowledge of and commitment to the law school, but I am heartened that she will remain at the university and at OTT and TLA, where we have active and increasing connections as part of our intellectual property law program.
Please help us congratulate Janet on this extraordinary opportunity.
Attorney Mentor Program - Tucson
Tucson area alums - Connect with the Arizona Law community by volunteering for the 1L Attorney Mentor Program. Mentors give first-year students a direct connection to the local legal community. Depending on a student's needs and interests, a mentor might provide advice on navigating the demands of law school, share insight into the practice of law, invite the student to a community or legal event, or engage in a common interest such as sports or music.
For more information on how to serve as a mentor, visit: www.law.arizona.edu/career/attorneymentorprogram.pdf
Distinguished Alum Michael King at Commencement
At commencement ceremonies on May 10, the College honored four members of the Arizona Law community for their service. Below, alumnus Michael King ('79) is shown receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award. King is a founding partner of Gammage & Burnham, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Mike's sustained commitment to Arizona Law and his willingness to help at every turn demonstrate his deep commitment to the College and the welfare of our students. In fact, Mike and the other attorneys at Gammage & Burnham have graciously donated space in their Phoenix office to Leah Won from our Career Development Office. Indeed, he has been generous with his time and talent to programs throughout the U of A.
House for Rent?
A new crop of 1L students will arrive in August, and many are looking for housing. If you have a house or other space for rent, please let us know. We will share the information with the incoming class.
Upcoming Dates to "Meet the Dean"
- Chicago - June 13
- The Gage: 24 S. Michigan Avenue on Thursday, June 13 beginning at 5:30pm
- Tucson - June 18
- Breakfast will be held at the College of Law on Tuesday, June 18 from 7:30am-9am
- Phoenix - June 21
- A wine and cheese reception hosted by Fennemore Craig, on Friday, June 21 from 4pm-6pm
- Seattle and Portland - June 24-27
- Washington, DC - July 11
- San Francisco - July 18
- New York City - August 6
- Las Vegas - August 8-9
Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law
James E. Rogers College of Law
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