Lobby at 111. West Monroe in downtown Phoenix

Lobby at 111. West Monroe in downtown Phoenix

Yesterday, I attended a downtown Phoenix chamber-type luncheon. When I first RSVPed, I was told the location was TBA. But it turned out to be a great choice, and not only because the space is a high-rise going through an adaptive reuse. It’s also my old building.

Well, not mine, of course. My employer’s. For years, the State Bar of Arizona officed at 111 West Monroe. Eventually, the leadership decided to buy rather than lease, and that’s how we ended up near 24th Street and Indian School Road.

And ol’ 111? I miss that building quite a bit. It not only had the midcentury charm that takes you back. It also participated in an urban vibe that is all too rare in Arizona. Our views from the 17th through the 19th floors were often spectacular. And it was nice to stroll out on the street to buy a hot dog or a cup of soup.

Since we moved out, of course, downtown has become even more vibrant (thanks to many great people, many of whom toil at Downtown Phoenix Inc., on whose board I proudly sit).

Yesterday, the event was held in the 19th-floor space, gutted and ready for tenant improvements. But while everything was open, I slipped down a floor to my old office (sigh). And I spied where the Communications Department used to wield our mighty pen (and website, also mightier than the sword).

Afternoon sun in my old office at 111 W. Monroe

Afternoon sun in my old office at 111 W. Monroe

And who would’ve guessed, but when I walked up the fire stairs one floor, the door to the roof was open! I enjoyed the breeze and the view, one eye peeled for an angry security guard. But I enjoyed my brief perch over the sixth-largest city in the country.

Below are some more photos, including the old boardroom. (Click to enlarge and widen the images and to view them in a slideshow.)

How many of you attended meetings or events at the old State Bar spaces?

Rachel Schafer

Rachel Schafer

In 2014, we were pleased to see the Arizona Supreme Court adopt a rule that eased admission for a certain category of attorneys: those who are already admitted and in good standing elsewhere but who find themselves in this state because of the transfer of their military spouse.

Author and attorney Rodney Glassman wrote about it here. (And I covered it in the blog here.) Essentially, spouses of military personnel are able to get quick, temporary licensing if their spouse is stationed in Arizona.

The rule-passage was a great accomplishment, but even better news came this month when an attorney availed herself of the rule. Rachel Schafer of Quarles & Brady has become the first person admitted under Rule 38(1). The commercial litigator practices in Quarles’ Tucson office; her husband, a pilot, is stationed at Davis–Monthan Air Force Base.

I will be interviewing Rachel this week, and we’ll have a story on the topic in the May issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine. In it, we’ll also hear from the MSJDN Network, which is advocating similar rule changes around the country.

And you shouldn’t be surprised to see more of these stories around the country; here’s one from Virginia.

DRI defense research institute logoLaw students who seek substantial scholarships should consider a great opportunity, but get on it fast: The application for the DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship is due next Monday, March 30.

So if you are a law student or if you know one who could be a great fit for this award, please pass the news on.

Besides the application, an essay and recommendations are required. (Ask your law professors now and have them work through the weekend on your behalf! Turnabout is fair play.)

The ultimate prizes are two scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each. (Yes; ten thousand.)

And what kinds of students does the Defense Research Institute want to reward? Those who best meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated academic excellence
  • Service to the profession
  • Service to the community
  • Service to the cause of diversity

The essay question is one of the more intriguing I have come across. I’m guessing that talented law students could have a good and creative time with their answers.

More information and the application are here.

Prison Education conference 2015-page0001

It’s beginning to look like my Friday morning will be corrections-focused.

Yesterday, I mentioned a school-to-prison pipeline symposium focused on that topic. But on the same day—Friday, March 27—an ASU student group addresses the issue of what we do with individuals once they are incarcerated. Specifically, they are focused on prison education.

(I wrote before about this annual conference on prison education.)

This Friday’s event marks the fourth annual Prison Education Conference and will be held in the Turquoise room of the Memorial Union at ASU from 10am to 4pm (with complimentary lunch included).

ASU Prison Education Awareness Club logo-page0001Below is some detail about Friday’s free conference. You can register here.

“The Prison Education Awareness Club (PEAC) presents the 4th Annual Prison Education Conference, featuring Kyes Stevens from the Alabama Prison Arts and Education Project and Judith Tannenbaum, teaching artist and author of Disguised as a Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin and By Heart: Poetry, Prison, and Two Lives. Alongside them, representatives from the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rio Salado Distance Learning Program, and ASU prison teaching will speak.”

I spoke with Jess Fletcher, who heads up ASU’s Prison Education Awareness Club. She indicated that given the large attendance at last year’s event, this week’s conference will be in a larger space (in the ASU Memorial Union). There are still some spots left, so RSVP here soon.

You also can follow (and Like) them on Facebook and Twitter.

ASU Law school-to-prison-pipeline town hall

I have written about the school-to-prison pipeline before, which is why I am especially pleased to see an upcoming symposium dedicated to the topic—this time focused on the pipeline’s effects in Indian Country.

The event will be this Friday, March 27, at the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. More information is here.

Here is more background from the organizers:

The “School-To-Prison Pipeline” has been a crucial concern of parents, educators, tribal leaders, ministers, civil rights activists, lawyers and youth advocates for a number of years. Recently, it has become a major concern of the general public across our country due in large part to the spiraling statistics and the negative impact on children of color. Some advocates have defined the problem as a systematic way of syphoning children out of public schools and funneling them into the juvenile and criminal justice system. In fact, many civil rights lawyers regard the journey from “School-To-Prison Pipeline,” as the most critical civil rights issue facing our country today.

The one day event will feature panel discussions, a keynote speaker, and a town hall. The symposium and town hall will bring together individuals to discuss pipeline concerns, experts who have developed successful programs and projects across the country to address pipeline issues, and individuals and organizations from diverse backgrounds who are working toward solutions to this issue.  This symposium and town hall is currently the only American Bar Association sponsored event to focus exclusively on the “School-To-Prison Pipeline” in Indian Country.

And here are the previous stories I mentioned (here and here) that address this compelling issue.

Attorney Mark Bockel poses in the Larsen Gallery, Scottsdale, as photographer John Hall shoots his picture, March 12, 2015.

Attorney Mark Bockel poses in the Larsen Gallery, Scottsdale, as photographer John Hall shoots his picture, March 12, 2015.

The annual photo shoot for our Creative Arts Competition winners was held last week, and it looks like it was terrific.

I say “looks” because I was out of town and had to miss it. But that makes me doubly happy that Art Director Karen Holub thoughtfully provided me some “behind the camera” shots. (Which is kind of amazing, as she was herding cats, a photographer, and multiple lawyer-winners.)

All of the professionally shot photos will appear in the May issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine—along with the talented artists’ work. In the meantime, click here to see last year’s winning work.

Thank you to the Larsen Gallery in Scottsdale for hosting our shoot. As always, your space and the work you display are remarkable.

Have a great—and artful—weekend.

Here are a few more shots. (Click them to biggify.)

In the offing are proposed rules that could affect law practice. Comments by March 27.

In the offing are proposed rules that could affect law practice. Comments due by March 27.

Today I’m happy to share news from my State Bar colleague Patricia Sallen. She is a Bar’s Assistant Executive Director and our resident Ethical Rule guru (I’m guessing she has a different title than guru). But she writes to alert attorneys to proposed changes that are percolating and that may be adopted, changes that could have broad effects on law practice.

The proposals come out of a Supreme Court-created “Committee on the Review of Supreme Court Rules Governing Professional Conduct and the Practice of Law.” That committee has filed a rule-change petition, R-15-0018. In her article, Pat explains in broad strokes eight areas of possible change.

You can read Pat’s excellent summary here.

Probably most important and timely:

“The State Bar will be circulating the rule-change petition to collect input from its stakeholders such as committees, sections and other interested organizations. If you as an individual lawyer wish to provide input to the State Bar (apart from those committees, sections and other interested organizations), please email your comments to rules@azbar.org by March 27, 2015.”

For more background, read the committee’s report here and read the rule-change petition here.

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