Alumna Dee-Dee Samet Contributes $50,000 towards ‘A New Day in Court’ Initiative at UArizona Law

Jan. 29, 2024
Headshot of Dee-Dee Samet

University of Arizona double wildcat and James E. Rogers College of Law alumna Dee-Dee Samet (’63) has contributed $50,000 to the “A New Day in Court” fundraising initiative in support of University of Arizona Law's Advocacy program.

When construction is completed, arguments will be made from the Dee-Dee Samet Appellant Table, an upgraded space in one of the college’s two new courtrooms. 

“A New Day in Court” will raise funds for capital projects, faculty expansion and student experiential learning. The initiative also includes renaming the program to the Thomas Mauet Advocacy Program, in honor of Professor Emeritus and renowned trial expert Thomas Mauet, who stepped down as advocacy program director in 2016.

Dee-Dee graduated from the College of Law in 1963, one of only three women in her class. For over five decades, she has devoted her law practice to public benefits work, focusing on Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income, and Workers' Compensation. She has also handled family law and civil cases. She is a Certified Specialist in Workers' Compensation and is a previous co-chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and the Workers' Compensation Section of the Arizona State Bar. The Appellant’s Council’s table is a particularly appropriate space for Dee-Dee to support as she has approximately 154 appeals as an attorney throughout her career to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Arizona, the Ninth Circuit and United States District Court. Since 1985, Dee-Dee has been a Judge Pro Tempore with the Pima County Superior Court and she has served as a Judge Pro Tempore for Santa Cruz County.

Her record of professional service at the national, state, and local level is extraordinary.  She served as president of the Arizona State Bar in 1999-2000, the third woman to hold that position. In that role, she was a member of the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents. A member of the Arizona State Bar Board of Governors and the Arizona State Bar Foundation Board for many years, Dee-Dee also served as president of the statewide and the southern Arizona Women Lawyers Association, the William D. Browning Federal Bar Association, and the Pima County Bar Association. Dee-Dee also served as co-chair of the United States District Court’s Gender Equality Task Force. Her community service includes board membership with Casa de Los Niños, Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy, Tucson Homeless Connect and the Invisible Theatre.

“Through this gift, Dee-Dee continues to champion the values of justice, equality, and community service, said Barbara Bergman, director of the advocacy program. “Her legacy, both in the courtroom and in her selfless dedication to organizations such as Casa de Los Niños, Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy and Tucson Homeless Connect inspires us all.”

An active member of the University of Arizona Law community, Dee-Dee, was honored by the faculty with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021.

"I am proud of my law school education and the many excellent changes that have been made since my graduation,” said Dee-Dee. “It is a privilege to donate to the future of the law school and to the continuing improvements that enhance the student’s experience. I believe that the ‘New Day In Court’ Initiative is one more example of the law school’s efforts to graduate lawyers that will add to the legal community and the justice system in the most positive way. Go Cats!”

The College of Law began construction on this project in early January 2024 and it is set to be completed in the fall of 2024.