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Business professor looks to the law for her future

A brunette woman in a blue floral dress smiles for the camera.

Amber Montz will take the legal knowledge she gained throughout the Master of Legal Studies degree program at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law to her own classroom.

May 03, 2024

Editor’s note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2024 graduates

Peggy “Amber” Montz has a Master of Educational Technology from Arizona State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Now, she can add a Master of Legal Studies from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU to her list of prestigious degrees. 

Montz teaches undergraduate, graduate and executive programs in strategic business and leadership communication at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.

Although she was interested in studying the law from a young age, she said the nature of the current political and cultural landscape made her want a firmer foundation in legal knowledge. 

“I’ve always wanted to study law, yet my path was clearer to pursue an MBA earlier in life,” Montz said. “Now, as our democracy and nation face new challenges, it is more important than ever to understand our governance systems and individual rights and responsibilities.”

An online student who earned over a 4.0 GPA while working full time, Montz was chosen as the semester’s Outstanding MLS student and will address her peers at graduation on May 7.

After the ceremony, Montz will continue teaching students in Tucson, bringing her newfound legal knowledge from ASU Law into her classroom. Montz said she believes the critical thinking and logic skills she gained through the MLS program have only enhanced her career. 

“In my constitutional law class with Judge Roslyn Silver, I was reminded of many earlier lessons on the foundations of U.S. law,” she said. “I was also surprised to learn a far greater depth of theory and interpretation than I had previously considered. My perspectives on my ongoing responsibilities as a citizen were also changed.”

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: ASU offers a great education in any format, and the design and management of online programs is unparalleled. I was a Sun Devil in Tempe before I became a Wildcat in Tucson. I’ve learned it’s possible to Bear Down with Forks Up!

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Professor Sandra Erickson was my first professor in the MLS program and one of my last with a new advanced course she developed. These courses provided opportunities for growth and substantive feedback that improved my critical thinking and reasoning skills from beginning to end. I see her guidance and mentorship at the bookends of my wonderful experience at ASU Law.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Allow yourself to reach your goals at the pace best suited to your many commitments. We often balance competing priorities between our studies, work and families. It is important to maintain perspective and find time for self care to ensure your well-being. It is not a race to the finish of a degree; it is the process of learning and integration into your other identities that will ultimately yield the greatest results.

Q: What about advice for those considering ASU Law?

A: Speak with the people in your personal and professional support network as you consider any advanced program. You will need their support, as a law degree requires tremendous time, money and energy. Once you make the decision to pursue this, ASU Law will be exceptional in academics and will support you in achieving your goals. Go for it!

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: I would invest in civil discourse education programs for young people. Encouraging and fostering respectful and constructive dialogue while exercising our constitutional rights is a critical need in our communities.

Q: What does graduating mean to you and your loved ones?

A: I am proud to honor my mom's commitment to lifelong learning and further demonstrate this value to my children.

Q: Who, if anyone, helped you get here?

A: My mom, son and daughter help me meet my goals every day with practical and emotional support. I would not have pursued another degree — or completed it — without them.

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