Army Veteran, Master of Legal Studies Grad Xavier Segura Says Family, Health, Discipline Lead to Success

May 18, 2020

Name: Xavier R. Segura 

Degree: Master of Legal Studies, with a Concentration in Criminal Law 

Student groups, clinics, awards, etc: 

  • University of Arizona’s 2019 Endorsed Leader Award

  • Dean’s List with Academic Distinction (Summa Cum Laude)Phi Alpha Delta Society of Scholars

  • Tau Sigma National Honor Society

  • Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society

  • Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society

  • City of Tucson’s Student of the Week

  • Juvenile Justice Clinic

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant  

  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Undergrad: University of Arizona, BA in Law and Sociology (Summa Cum Laude) 

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona 


What made you pursue your Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree? 
The diversity of challenges the MLS program brings. Especially for my next goal of earning future law degrees, the MLS is an additional steppingstone that sets you up for success and sets you apart from others in your class 

The MLS exposes you to the law school challenges and courses and allows you to overcome those obstacles while building character and transforming you into a more disciplined law student.  

What also intrigued me with the MLS is that this is a program that is held to the highest standard; therefore, as an MLS student, you can compete at the highest academic level. The MLS program expanded my knowledge of the law, strengthened my character and legal writing skills and allowed me to utilize this as a steppingstone for my next academic goal. 

Why did you choose University of Arizona Law? 
I chose University of Arizona Law due to the fact that there is no better feeling than here at James E. Rogers. The faculty is outstanding, the community you have with your fellow law colleagues, and the amount of support you have is endless. What sets University of Arizona Law apart from other educational institutions is the strong sense of community between faculty and students. Arizona Law professors care about their students and the work their students produce. Most importantly, the law professors here at James E. Rogers will not set you up for failure.  

What is your favorite Arizona Law memory? 
Taking Professor Rob Williams' American Common Law System courses and the assignment of the Case File Writing Project. The amount of stress and sleep deprivation I experienced in two weeks could never compare, especially in making sure your case file is perfect and error-free.  

But really, my favorite University of Arizona Law memory was being selected to converse with BYU's law school panel and dean, concerning the development of a BA in Law program, the potential benefits of the program, and any possible improvements of the law program from a student perspective.  

How do you think you’ve changed from your first year here to now? 
I’ve changed from my first year here to now in various ways. Especially being aArmy veteran, I had discipline instilled into me since day one. However, throughout these law courses, it becomes your ultimate test in making sure you remain disciplined and focused. 

Also, I remember during my first year here, I had no idea what a FIRAC or IRAC was. Right there, I automatically knew you have to get your head in the game and disregard any distractions, as this is your focus now. I must admit, though, although the finish line is there at the end, you can't get complacent about your work and grades. You have to stay on top of your game and get things done.  

There are three things I’ve learned throughout this entire time: your family, your health, and your discipline remain of the utmost importance if you want to succeed.  

What will you miss most about Arizona Law? 
The amazing faculty members and mentors that have always kept me on the straight path, provided guidance and remained my aspirations and role models.  

Especially learning from Arizona Law LLM student and teaching fellow Derek Kauanoe’s incredible legal knowledge and life advice, to even overcoming the challenge of the case file writing project in Professor Williams’s classesI will also miss listening to Nancy Stanley’s excellent rationale on why I should attend law school, to even stopping by the casita to say "hello" and check in with professor Keith Swisher, Mark BlairMarnie Parris-Bingle, and Linus Kafka. 

Additionally, I will miss my amazing colleagues as we all have remained each other’s support group, listening ears whenever we needed to vent, and motivation to continue driving on. 

What are you most proud of during your time at Arizona Law? 
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, earning the 2019 University of Arizona Endorsed Leader award, and becoming part of Phi Beta Kappa (One of the most prestigious honor societies).  

What do you wish you would have known your first year at Arizona Law, that you know now? 
How to network and socialize. This is essential as you never know who knows who, or who can help you out. Trust me, this will come in handy in the future, especially when you least expect it.   

What is your advice for students who will be starting their MLS in the fall? 
Stay focused, motivated, and disciplined. But, enjoy yourself. Network and socialize, build connections and bridges, but never burn them.   

Always exhibit integrity (because you never know who is watching) and be respectful to everyone you come across. Introduce yourself to your professors, and if you need help, don't be afraid to ask and speak up. Lead by example because you never know who is looking up to you.  

What are your future career goals? 
My future career goals include a PhD in educational leadership and Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice this upcoming fallI do have my eyes on the MBA program at the Eller College of Management as well, and to conclude, earning a Juris Doctorate and LLM from the James E. Rogers College of Law. Once my academic career is complete, I plan on practicing law as a criminal defense attorney, educational law attorney and a federal judge in the future.  

Do you have a message for fellow members of the Class of 2020? 
Congratulations to my colleagues. Best of luck in your next chapter and future endeavors!