Distinguished ASU Law legal writing professor, former associate dean of academic affairs retires after 27 years of teaching

December 2, 2020

Following a distinguished legal writing career with numerous accolades, Professor Judy Stinson is retiring this year from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. A new annual lecture series – the Judy Stinson Lecture – is being created in her honor.

Stinson, who implemented the transition to ASU Law’s current Legal Method and Writing Program and served as its director from 1997 to 2011, has taught for the past 27 years. Highly regarded for her dedication to students, Stinson received the 2013 Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing. The prestigious honor is given annually by the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) and the Legal Writing Institute. photo of Judy Stinson Professor Judy Stinson, who implemented the transition to ASU Law’s current Legal Method and Writing Program and served as its director from 1997 to 2011, is retiring after 27 years of teaching. Download Full Image

“Judy’s tireless involvement with ASU Law students over nearly three decades was critical for taking the law school and, in particular, its writing program to national prominence,” Dean Douglas Sylvester said. “A law school is only as great as its graduates, and our graduates can only be great if we have a fantastic legal method program. Judy’s legacy is that we have, and will always have, one of the best programs in the world.”

Tamara Herrera, ASU Law associate dean of academic affairs, was one of the Blackwell Award nominators who wrote this of Stinson: “Anyone who knows Judy can attest that Judy has an inexhaustible amount of energy that she channels into nurturing and motivating her students. When it comes to students, Judy does not know how to say ‘no.’ She has an open-door policy and is available day and night for her students, whether it is to assist on a current assignment or advise on course or career choices. (It is not uncommon for a student to email Judy at 2 a.m. and receive a response immediately!) Judy’s involvement with the students does not end upon graduation. Judy has past students all over the country who keep in touch with her for guidance and support.”

Hanna Reinke, ASU Law 2L and a former student of Stinson, said, “The transition to law school can be daunting, but Professor Stinson’s positive energy and unyielding patience was so refreshing. I feel very fortunate to have begun my legal studies under her mentorship and look forward to staying in touch for years to come.”

Added Shayna Frieden, who took Stinson’s Legal Method and Writing class last year and has served as her teaching assistant this past semester, “As a professor, Judy motivates the class with her in-depth knowledge and ability to guide students toward reaching the best answer, and her sense of humor makes her class all the more engaging. As her TA, I had the opportunity to get to know her on a more personal level. She is enjoyable to work with, so much fun to talk to and truly very kind, genuine and supportive. It has been a privilege to be her student and assistant, and I am grateful to be her friend.”

A previous president of ALWD and member of its board of directors, Stinson also is a recipient of the Rocky Mountain Award. With Suzanne Rabe and Terry Pollman, she co-founded the Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference in 2000.

Stinson was instrumental in hiring every other legal writing professor at ASU Law after she built the current Legal Method and Writing Program. She also served as director of ASU Law’s Academic Success Program from 1997 to 2006 and as associate dean of academic affairs from 2011 to 2017. She was then executive associate dean from 2017 to 2018. In 2019, ASU awarded her the Distinguished Professorship in Legal Method, a fully endowed $1 million professorship.  

She is the author of “Examples and Explanations: Legal Writing,” now in its third edition (with Pollman as co-author) and “The Tao of Legal Writing,” as well as numerous articles.

The Judy Stinson lecture series will be an annual event featuring a legal writing scholar hosted by ASU Law. Each lecture will be open to the public and will be livestreamed. The inaugural lecture will be delivered by Linda Berger, emeritus professor of law at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in spring 2021.

Julie Tenney

Director of Communications, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Applications open for fall 2021 cohort of new learning-by-doing master’s degree in innovation

December 2, 2020

Have you dreamed of starting your own business? Are you obsessed with the idea of making the world a better place? Are you impatient for progress? Do you have a great idea, but don’t know where to start?

Arizona State University’s new one-year Master of Science in Innovation and Venture Development may be just the place for you. The program was launched in fall 2020 as a transdisciplinary partnership between the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Though applications are accepted at any time, Jan. 15 is the priority deadline for the upcoming fall session. student in classroom speaking to woman via telecommunication Daniel Mariotti, a current student in the MSIVD program, conducting a research interview in one of the conference rooms in the 777 Tower at the Novus Innovation Corridor. Download Full Image

“This experience is for people who want to make their own opportunities,” said Cheryl Heller, director of design integration, a joint position among the business, engineering and design schools. Heller, who joined ASU in 2019, leads the program. Author of "The Intergalactic Design Guide: Harnessing the Creative Potential of Social Design," Heller is internationally recognized as a business strategist and leader in design thinking. 

“People talk about design as problem-solving,” Heller said. “But that’s a limited view. The most exciting aspect of design is its capacity for creating conditions that have never existed before. We need that now. We need to create new ways of being on this planet, and with each other. Design is the process for accomplishing that.”

COVID-19 has sparked urgent and obvious needs for new forms of communication, collaboration, sanitation, testing and health care, research and just daily living. “The pandemic has certainly changed the definition of economic opportunity and personal satisfaction,” said Heller. “You can wait for jobs to become available or you can create your own path.” 

The program is a single year “studio” program that is open to motivated students with any undergraduate degree. During the program students create their own venture. Graduates acquire both the expert and soft skills needed to think across complex systems, lead multidisciplinary teams, identify needs, evaluate opportunities and create and launch-scalable business models that provide value to all stakeholders in a world of growing uncertainty and ambiguity. The students also learn the “soft skills” of entrepreneurship — high-performance teamwork, ethics and leadership.

The inaugural cohort includes recent graduates from ASU and across the world, but also career professionals who have a vision for a different future. Undergrad degrees include psychology, communication, film, media study, economics, engineering, business and information technology, among others.

“What I love about this program is that it’s real. It’s the real world,” said Grady Gaugler, who is currently a student in the program. Gaugler, who earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from ASU, wasn’t sure he wanted to pursue a master’s degree. “School alone isn’t what I am looking for. I am looking for experience.” 

“I have a passion for design. I love engineering – and business is the key to getting things done in this world,” he said. "When I saw that this program brought all three elements together, I knew it was for me.” Gaugler is currently partnering with another student to explore opportunities for advancing applications of solar energy. “I’m a firm believer that solar can power 100% of the world,” he said. “It’s stuck in a trench right now. We should have a circular economy around this green solution.” 

Heller is joined by a roster of superstars – both from ASU’s ranks and from the entrepreneurial world outside the university. Partnering with Heller is Brent Sebold, faculty lead for the Fulton Schools of Engineering and director of Entrepreneurship + Innovation at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and liaison for the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute. Students will have access to mentors, advisers and funders – representing some of the world’s most successful design thinkers and entrepreneurs. 

The program was launched with a gift from Tom Prescott, an alumnus of ASU and the former CEO of Align, the company that produces the Invisalign straightening system for teeth. Prescott has been involved in entrepreneurship at ASU for several years through the Tom Prescott Student Venture Fund.

“The project has to block out the sun — it has to be that important to advance itself," said Prescott. “The idea is to make this experience as realistic as possible.”

“We want diversity – real diversity – of interests, experience, culture. We want designers and nondesigners alike. You need to be creative and visual. And we want people to have fun on top of all that,” said Heller.

The degree has a STEM certification, which activates additional financial aid for students who are veterans and also allows international students to stay an extra year to get work experience.

To learn more about the Master of Science in Innovation and Venture Development program, please contact Jackie Collens at Jacklyn.Collens@asu.edu or 480-727-1865. A full schedule of introductory webinars is also available.