2020 JD Grad Patricia Mabry: Invest in Yourself by Connecting with People, Communities

May 15, 2020

Name: Patricia Soledad Mabry 
Degree: Juris Doctor 
Student groups, clinics, awards, etc:  

Undergrad: Arizona State University 

  • Bachelor of Arts, History 

  • Bachelor of Arts, Religious Studies 

  • Minor, African and African American Studies 

  • Summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa 

Hometown: Guadalupe, Arizona 

What made you pursue your law degree? 
I chose to pursue a legal education to serve my community in a greater capacity. The communities I belong to are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system, and this has significantly contributed to my career goals. It is important that my communities are represented well, and I try to accomplish this on multiple fronts. I can become a more valuable resource for my community by educating myselfThen, I can encourage a cycle of service and support by connecting and engaging with my community. 

Why did you choose University of Arizona Law? 
This is hard to explain – something just felt right! Originally, I was enrolled in another law schoolNext thing I know, I am at Arizona Law orientation with my suitcase in hand - I hadn’t even found an apartment yet! Something was different about Arizona Law. The people here are so welcoming, and the environment is challenging and accepting. Arizona Law felt like the right place to grow and start a career. Turns out, Arizona Law was the perfect place! 

What is your favorite Arizona Law memory? 
I am not sure if I have one – these past three years have been filled with so many good memories. Sometimes the days felt really long, but when I look back, the last three years seem so short.  

What will you miss most about Arizona Law? 
The people! Arizona Law is filled with passionate, dedicated and kind people who genuinely care about our success. I am especially grateful for the mentors I have found here. The people in our Arizona Law community have become my second family, and I am so thankful for their support and friendship. 

What are you most proud of during your time here? 
Working as the president of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) has been my biggest accomplishment at Arizona Law. In addition to building relationships with alumni, community members and local organizations, BLSA has developed a solid system of support for our community. For example, BLSA created a book depository for students to borrow textbooks and course supplements for free. BLSA is also creating a test-prep scholarship for diverse prospective students in an effort to support law school applicants. As students, our Arizona Law community is what we make it I am so proud of how BLSA has impacted our community! 

What do you wish you would have known your first year at Arizona Law, that you know now? 
There are plenty of resources around to help you be successful, all you have to do is ask! 

What advice do you have for students who will be starting law school in the fall? 
You all have worked hard to get to this point, do not sell yourself short on the experienceYou have what it takes to be successful, and you owe it to yourself to go after any opportunity that comes your way. Invest in yourself by connecting with the people and communities around you.  

What are your career goals? 
I came to law school with a passion for criminal justice reform and participated in the University of Arizona Innocence Project. During my time working with the Innocence Project, I quickly grew an appreciation for maintaining a record, building a client relationship and securing a defendant’s constitutional protections 

My experience with the Innocence Project also exposed me to the unique duties of prosecutors. The duty of a prosecutor to seek justice is paramount to securing criminal justice reform and represents the epitome of public service. Working with the Innocence Project helped me understand that an effective prosecutor does more than protect the community through a system of accountability; an effective prosecutor takes a proactive role in securing justice. I am endeavoring to take up this role, ultimately, as an assistant United States attorney. 

Do you have a message for your fellow members of the Class of 2020? 
Congratulations! We have successfully crossed the finish line, and it is time to begin a new adventure. I am hopeful that our new season is going to be filled with great opportunities, rewarding challenges and noteworthy milestones. I am so excited to see what we can accomplish!