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I grow accustomed to learning about the great amounts of volunteerism about Arizona lawyers. That demonstrates how many attorneys recognize the value and importance of providing pro bono assistance.

But a communication I received from Bar colleague Alberto Rodriguez knocked me for a loop. Below, he reports on the volunteers who participated in the annual Arizona Veteran StandDown event. The amount of participation, by lawyers, law students and others, is stunning.

More photos from this year’s StandDown are here.

Thanks and congratulations to everyone who took part. Here’s Alberto:

On Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15 the State Bar of Arizona and 23 of its members participated in the 2014 Arizona Veterans StandDown. The State Bar and volunteer attorneys joined several service providers at the three-day event that offered a variety of health and human services to nearly 1,700 homeless and at-risk veterans in our state. Volunteer attorneys from across the valley fielded legal questions via one-on-one consultations with veterans seeking legal advice.

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The “Civil Law Clinic” organized by the State Bar offered legal consultations by members who practice Family Law, Bankruptcy/Foreclosure/Tax Law, Probate/Trust Law, Elder/Mental Health Law, and Real Estate/Landlord & Tenant Law. In addition, Community Legal Services, Project Salute, and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU participated in the civil law clinic.

Volunteer attorneys provided 177 consultations during the two-day civil law clinic for the 160 veterans who were seen. In addition, many attorneys offered pro-bono legal services after the StandDown to veterans who needed representation. Adding to the legal services provided for veterans, on-site courts coordinated by Gary Kula, Director of the City of Phoenix Public Defender’s Office, saw 937 veterans who needed to address court-related issues.

The following is a list of civil attorney and logistics volunteers:

Attorney Volunteers

  • Dorothy Brogan, Law Office of Dorothy E. Brogan
  • Robert C. Brown, Dickinson Wright
  • Rebecca E. Browning, Browning Law Office, PLLC
  • Kristen Coyne, CKGH Law
  • Rachel Frazier Johnson, Rachel Frazier Johnson Law
  • Steve Gervais, Land Advisors Organization
  • Sean D. Greengard, Community Legal Services
  • Peter Gustafson, Gustafson Law Office, PLLC
  • Taylor House, Taylor House Law, PLC
  • Christine Jensen, Christine Jensen, PC
  • Billy Miller, Law Firm of William A. Miller
  • Judy M. Miller, Judy M. Miller, PC
  • Maya Milovic, Tijjani, Milovic & Phillips, PLC
  • Matt Nelson, Project Salute
  • Nicole L. Pavlik, Forakis Law Firm
  • Bret Rasner, Community Legal Services
  • Jennifer Ryan-Touhill, Touhill Law Offices, PC
  • Bree Stamper-Gimbar, Community Legal Services
  • John Starkey, John Starkey Attorney at Law
  • Nina Targomilk, Community Legal Services
  • Jim P. Webster, James Portman Webster Law Office, PLC
  • Debbie Weecks, Weecks Law
  • John Withee, Withee Law Firm, PLLC

Certified Limited Practice Students (from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU)

  • Laura Anderson
  • Tory Beardsley
  • Christine Bolton
  • Marcy Karin, Clinical Professor of Law
  • Ryan Lockner

Logistics Volunteers

  • Rodrigo Antillon, Lambda Sigma Upsilon
  • Jesus Enriquez, Lambda Sigma Upsilon
  • Jerry Herrera, Community Legal Services
  • Denise Lopez, Magellan Health Services
  • Charles Wilson, Lambda Sigma Upsilon

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University of Arizona Law School logoFor more than a decade, I’ve had the pleasure of reading the work of law students, courtesy of an annual competition at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.

The Richard Grand Legal Writing Competition is named for (and funded by) a UA Law alum whom I’ve written about before. This year, the winners in his competition are:

  • First place: Sandra Jonas (1L) ($2,000 award)
  • Second place: Brendan Haberle (1L) ($1,000 award)
  • Third place: Germar Townsend (3L) ($500 award)
  • Honorable mention: Matthew Chandler (3L) ($250 award)
  • Honorable mention: Bret Shaw (2L) ($250 award)

The other competition judges were Arizona Vice Chief Justice W. Scott Bales, Hon. Bruce G. Macdonald, Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court; and attorneys Brian I. Clymer and Gloria A. Goldman.

Thank you to the Law School for including me in this tradition once again. And congratulations again to the winners.

Today, because I am still seeking great story ideas for 2013, I share my editor’s column from the July/August Arizona Attorney. Contact me with ideas—or most anything—at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Ever wonder what most interests magazine folks? Here it is: What’s next.

Even here, in the land of articles written on paper (paper!), we seek to examine what’s around the bend, not just what’s already occurred.

The reason for that is simple: What has happened in the law is certainly worthy of analysis. But what’s coming tomorrow, next week and next year may wreak havoc or happiness in your law practice and legal career. A firm and clear focus on the future is what your work life needs.

I’m thinking on that topic as I ponder two magazine initiatives.

The first is our annual Editorial Calendar, which I’ll construct in the next month. That “roadmap” sets us on a trajectory, but it is valuable only insofar as it gives you useful insight and actionable news.

I invite you to share with us your thoughts for upcoming story ideas. Tell us what legal topics you believe we should cover in 2013. They may be broad or specific, profile ideas or trend stories. They may be about a particular case or law, or about a new practice area.

Write me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

In case you were wondering what we’re about, here is our mission statement, which I keep in mind as I think on the magazine’s content: 

  • Arizona Attorney helps our readers do their job better—more efficiently and profitably—through editorial content that is analytical and topical.
  • Arizona Attorney is a practical resource and a valuable tool for Arizona lawyers on matters related to their practice, the justice system, the regulation of the legal profession and the improvement of the quality of legal services.
  • Arizona Attorney strives to be the number-one source of legal news and information and the best forum for Arizona lawyers.
  • Our content sparks stimulating discussion through the presentation of challenging and thoughtful ideas.
  • We take an active role in creating a community in which lawyers can better connect with each other.

Our focus on the future may be best achieved by conversing with people who are inhabiting it. Lacking a time-machine, that takes me to our second initiative—our aim to create a “law school bureau.”

We are having conversations with Arizona law students and law schools right now. Our goal is to collaborate on articles that are forward-looking and that serve practicing lawyers as well as law students. The result may occasionally be a story about a new endeavor at one of the schools. More often, we expect the articles to be about the wider legal community.

Whether you’re a new lawyer or an experienced one, I welcome your ideas on that and all our initiatives.

An upcoming event this Saturday offers attendees a look into cutting-edge topics in two distinct yet related areas: sports and entertainment law.

The entirely student-run conference is hosted by the aptly named Sports and Entertainment Law Students Association at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. This is their second-annual run at this topic, and it follows on the heels of a 2010 event that garnered more than 150 attendees. This year, organizers aim even higher.

The all-day conference is centered around seven panel discussions, each with three to four speakers. The topics range from big-league collective bargaining, to intellectual property, bankruptcy, drug testing and defamation. (See the flier at right for a complete description; click it to make it larger.)

Casey Johnson, a 2L, is this year’s conference director. He explained that many students had been involved to handle the multiple details of such an event: contacting speakers, organizing and brainstorming topics, and even making hotel and plane reservations.

In choosing topics, Johnson said, students looked first at the news headlines. That allowed them to select areas of focus that were timely and compelling.

Johnson said that student organizers were pleased to have Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwell launch the conference as their keynote speaker. Topics that Bidwell may cover include team management issues and league governance. Almost certain to be mentioned is the path that led to Arizona’s being awarded the 2015 Super Bowl. In addition, Bidwell, a former federal prosecutor, may be able to touch on a variety of the conference’s topics.

(Click here for a story about Bidwell’s speaking at the 2010 annual convention of the State Bar of Arizona.)

For more information on Saturday’s conference or to register, click here to go to the student association blog page. Or email asulaw.selsa@gmail.com.