On the 9th day of giving, connect with your community

December 21, 2012

As Arizona State University gears up to win the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Dec. 29, in San Francisco, the university is taking the opportunity to offer suggestions for 12 Days of Giving in order to make a big difference this season and celebrate the university’s outreach role in the community.

Day 9
Connect with your community. Download Full Image

Arizona State University has 491 community outreach programs in 174 locations, offered by 121 different units, totaling 753 outreach opportunities. ASU has programs in a variety of areas including: education, economy, human rights, quality of life, sustainability, technology and discovery. Find out how you can get involved.

Kenja Hassan, assistant director for ASU’s community outreach and relations, says "there really isn’t a point in having institutions of higher learning, if learning isn’t applicable to people’s daily lives." Hassan was honored Nov. 1 by the Black Board of Directors Project for her work and "high commitment to civic involvement."

She believes Arizona’s biggest strength is its diversity – the in migration of people from across the country, of all ages and backgrounds, and from all over the world.

“The university has an opportunity to look at the state as a microcosm,” says Hassan, who, in 2008, initiated an ASU policy publication, modeled after the National Urban League’s “State of Black America,” that looks closely at current statistics of Arizona’s minority communities and identifies areas of success and need. The publication, called State of Black Arizona, is a step toward starting a continued conversation and spurring focused research within African-American communities all over Arizona.

“My goal is to find meaningful ways for ASU to be engaged in communities around the state, and we are especially interested in communities where ASU hasn’t had a really strong presence in the past," Hassan says.

The State of Black Arizona report, updated twice by ASU professor Kimberly Scott since its first volume, inspired similar publications on the status of Asian American, Pacific Islander and Latino communities.

Being engaged in one's community is one of the most important parts of being a citizen, says Hassan.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

New law degree to prepare graduates to practice in US, Canada

December 21, 2012

A new degree at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law will now prepare students from the U.S. and Canada to seek bar admission in both countries, expanding the job market for new attorneys and creating new opportunities for international law practice.

The North American Law Degree will allow students to graduate, within three years, with a J.D. designed to allow them to immediately seek licensure in Canada without further coursework, in addition to qualifying them for bar admission in the U.S., making the College of Law’s J.D. program unique among U.S. law schools. Dean Douglas Sylvester, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada and a graduate of both Canadian and U.S. schools of higher education, believes the degree will be an invaluable opportunity for future attorneys. Download Full Image

“I have seen firsthand the benefits of obtaining higher education and skills that are applicable to the legal and business environments in both countries,” Sylvester said. “We expect our North American Law Degree will increase the diversity of our student body and attract students interested in dual bar admission. We are confident the program will prove attractive to a large and growing segment of Canadian companies and law firms looking to hire attorneys who will be authorized to practice law in both Canada and the United States. We intend to work closely with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to ensure our program meets the highest standards for Canadian licensure.”

The North American Law Degree will comprise:

• A comprehensive curriculum in Canadian law
• A three-year program that seeks to fulfill all substantive J.D. bar requirements in common-law Canada and the U.S.
• The ability for third-year students to take the Arizona bar exam in their final semester and focus on the licensure process in Canada immediately after graduation
• Unparalleled experiential learning opportunities through clinics and externships
• A J.D. from one of North America’s most respected law schools

Eugene Meehan, Q.C., former Executive Legal Officer of the Supreme Court of Canada, past National President of the Canadian Bar Association and a practicing member of the bars in both Canada and Arizona, believes ASU’s program is innovative and strategically important.

“ASU’s just-announced North American Law Degree program is a forward-thinking, forward-planning initiative,” said Meehan, currently the founding partner of Supreme Advocacy LLP in Ottawa. “This program contains an essential incongruity: on the one hand it is explosively creative and new; on the other hand it is remarkable that nobody thought of it before. But Dean Sylvester and his faculty are not just thinking about it, they are doing it.”

R. Glenn Williamson, chief executive officer and founder of the metropolitan Phoenix-based Canada Arizona Business Council, is working with Sylvester to promote the new degree north of the border.

“ASU is showing a leadership role in creating this program, as there remains a lack of lawyers experienced in handling cross-border deals. As deal flow among small- to medium-sized businesses increases between the U.S. and Canada, more options are needed for handling cross-border legal issues than just the few trained specialists in big firms,” Williamson said.