University of Arizona Law Announces Inaugural Faculty Research Award Winners

July 6, 2021
University of Arizona Campus Sunset

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law has named the first recipients of the new Faculty Research Awards, created to highlight the many exceptional and diverse scholarly achievements of Arizona Law faculty. This year’s winners are:  

Distinguished Public Service Scholar: Negar Katirai and Shefali Milczarek-Desai 
Distinguished Early Career Scholar: Albertina Antognini  
Distinguished Legal Scholar: Jane Bambauer 
Faculty Research Fellowship: Simone Sepe 

This year’s recipients are emblematic of the cutting edge and impactful work taking place across the College of Law,” said Andrew Coan, associate dean for research, professor of law and director of the William H. Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures of Government. “From nonmarital families to immigrant workers to domestic violence to the economics of contract law to the future of the internet, these outstanding scholars are leading conversations that will shape the future of law and legal scholarship in Arizona, the U.S., and the world.” 

Coan along with Professor of Law Cathy O'GradyProfessor Emerita of Law and Co-Director of the Family and Juvenile Law Certificate Program Barbara AtwoodDirector of Legal Writing and Clinical Professor of Law Susie Salmon and Regents Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Chair of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program Rebecca Tsosie were part of the first Faculty Research Awards Committee, tasked with reviewing applications from the Arizona Law community and recommending this year’s award winners.  

“Although all the faculty members awarded do innovative and impactful work and richly deserve the recognition, they represent just a narrow snapshot of the rich diversity of significant research and scholarship taking place at this institution. The committee faced a difficult task selecting the award winners and was impressed by the quality, quantity, and range of the contributions our colleagues make toward identifying and answering vexing questions and creating thoughtful, meaningful change in our laws, our institutions and the legal profession,” said Salmon.  

They are wonderful examples of the extraordinary intellectual community that makes Arizona Law a special place,” concluded Coan.  

About the Faculty Research Award Recipients


Negar Katirai is Director of the Domestic Violence Law Clinic. She supervises law students in providing legal representation to survivors of intimate partner violence. This includes helping survivors obtain orders of protection against their abusers and advising them on custody, housing, and immigration law issues. Professor Katirai also teaches Family Law and a Domestic Violence Seminar, and often guest lectures in other courses on related topics, including vicarious trauma, trauma-informed legal representation, and diversity and cultural competence. Her scholarship investigates questions that arise in the practice of family and intimate partner violence law, and seeks to promote conversation and collaboration between practitioners and academics



Shefali Milczarek-Desai is Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Director of the Workers’ Rights Clinic, and Co-Chair of the Bacon Immigration Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. Professor Desai instructs the next generation of attorneys in client-centered and cross-cultural lawyering through representation of low-wage immigrant and migrant workers throughout Arizona’s borderlands. Under her supervision, law students have worked on cases resulting in published decisions in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Arizona District Court upholding the rights of asylum seekers and immigrant workers. Professor Desai writes at the intersection of critical race and feminist theory and employment and immigration law. Her current research focuses on how paid sick time laws and policies influence the legal rights and well-being of immigrant workers, and how migrant workers can reclaim their labor through worker-owned cooperatives. 



Albertina Antognini is a Professor of Law at the University of Arizona. She teaches Family Law, Property, Trusts & Estates, and a seminar that surveys how different legal fields shape the contemporary American family. Professor Antognini’s research seeks to expose how categories that may appear “natural,” are in fact products of law. Her recent work focuses on nonmarital relationships and considers the relationship they hold to marriage across various legal doctrines. 



Jane Bambauer is a Professor of Law at the University of Arizona. Professor Bambauer's research assesses the social costs and benefits of Big Data, surveillance, and communications technologies. Her articles have appeared in the Stanford Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the California Law Review, and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Professor Bambauer's own data-driven research explores biased judgment, criminal justice, and gender equity.



Simon Sepe is a Professor of Law and Finance. His areas of expertise include business organizations, corporate finance, contract theory, and law and economics. His scholarship focuses on corporate governance, corporate finance, and the theory of institutions. He holds doctoral degrees in both law and economics. Professor Sepe practiced banking and finance law at Clifford Chance, an international law firm based in London, and worked as an investment banker at Fortress Investment Group in London and New York.