"The world is getting smaller, and the practice of law is becoming more and more transnational," she said. "We are looking at things we can do to make your practice of law easier."
Like all state agencies, the court has tightened its belt during the recession, reducing its staff, travel, even use of office supplies, Berch said. She ended her remarks on a hopeful note, however.
"We're a tremendously resilient state, we have a lot of energy, we have a lot of compassion, and we're going to get through this," she said, urging her fellow alums to be generous with their time, talents and financial support. "And once we do, we will be stronger than ever."
Berman mentioned the recent renaming of the Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology to the Center for Law, Science & Innovation, putting the College at the center of global public policy discussions on issues involving policy, ethics, science and technology. He talked about the new Public Health Law and Policy Program, a partnership with the Washington, D.C.,-based New America Foundation, which will result in collaborations on major events in public policy, the College of Law's new Washington, D.C., Legal Externship Program and the post-graduate public interest fellowship program.
The Dean also discussed the new Bridging the Gap program, which he instituted to help law students more successfully make the transition from law school to law practice, the College's 10 clinics, which provide students unique practical experiences, new professional development training tools for students, and his ramped up face time with alumni.
"I've tried to focus not so much on how much money you give to the law school, but on participation," said Berman, pointing out a jump in alumni mixers, reunions and continuing legal education programs for alumni. "We're building legal education, and we're building the future economy of Phoenix."
The Alumni Association also presented the 2010 Outstanding Faculty Award to Professor Myles V. Lynk, the Peter Kiewit Foundation Professor of Law and the Legal Profession, and a Faculty Fellow of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation.
And the association made three scholarship awards, a one-year full tuition scholarship valued at $18,950 to 3L Blair Moses, and the Kevin M. Kane Book Scholarships to 3L Triumph Curiel ($200) and 1L John Skabelund ($250).