You may not have heard of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Alumni Association, or you may have forgotten that, by virtue of receiving your degree, you are a member.
The Alumni Association is excited to join with the new dean, Douglas Sylvester, in a new focus and emphasis on alumni. We hope that, in the upcoming months, you will have more information about the Association, and will choose to help it better support the law school and its students, initiatives and, of course, fellow alumni.
We all celebrate and congratulate the law school on its new faculty, proposed new building, re-energized focus on the future, and its recent US News & World Report rankings. The important achievements and accomplishments of the alumni, making their mark on the country, the communities in which they live and the legal profession, surely are part of the law school’s increased reputation, which is a contributing factor to the rankings.
We want to celebrate these alumni accomplishments. Therefore, the law school, in partnership with the Alumni Association, will recognize alumni several times throughout the year. We want to celebrate not only newsworthy accomplishments of awards or accolades, but also contributions that may be overlooked or understated. We want to recognize the great lawyers, scholars, teachers, community participants and professionals in our ranks, and those whose reputation for professionalism and legal abilities improve the overall reputation of the law school and all alumni.
Simply put, we want to recognize alumni for being good at what they do in their daily lives and serving as models for what new alumni should strive to be.
We cannot do this alone, however, and need your input. Please let us know if you, or someone you know personally or by reputation, are worthy of this recognition.
Recently, at the alumni reception held during the State Bar of Arizona convention, we honored and recognized three individuals meeting this criteria: Pat Gerrich (Class of '83), Director of the Volunteer Lawyers Program, which is co-sponsored by Community Legal Services and the Maricopa County Bar Association, U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor (Class of '74) , the first Latino to represent Arizona in Congress, and the Hon. Louraine Arkfeld (Class of '76), retired, who served as the Presiding Judge in Phoenix Municipal Court since 1994 and in Phoenix Municipal Court since 1984.
With the new dean and a new focus, there are expanded opportunities to become involved. This includes new ways to engage with current students, such as lunch events, mentoring and shadowing opportunities, and more opportunities to hire current and graduating students.
In addition, the Alumni Association is seeking new board members to help increase alumni participation, recognition and support of the law school. If you would like to get involved, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rebecca Bair, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, at email@example.com.
Finally, there are several upcoming events noted in this publication that you should put on your calendar and plan to attend.
Thank you for your continued support of the College of Law,
President, Alumni Association