The initiative will fund the renovation of student courtrooms and support student experiential learning.
The viewing galleries within each of University of Arizona Law’s new practice courtrooms will bear the name of Chief Justice William Rehnquist as part of the college’s "A New Day in Court" initiative. Dean Marc Miller, in partnership with the Rogers Foundation, directed $500,000 towards the project in honor of the late chief justice.
The “A New Day in Court” initiative will fund the renovation of student courtrooms, establish an endowed faculty chair of advocacy and support student experiential learning. The initiative also includes renaming the college’s advocacy program to the Thomas Mauet Advocacy Program, in honor of Professor Emeritus and renowned trial expert Thomas Mauet, who retired as advocacy program director in 2016.
University of Arizona Law’s highly rated advocacy program prepares students for careers in the courtroom, with a strong emphasis on experiential classes that allow students to act as litigators and try cases against each other. The program also teaches core advocacy skills such as client interviews and fact gathering that are essential for any lawyer, even those not practicing in court.
“We are always pursuing ways to better equip our students to meet the challenges of practice, and this investment will give us the ability to offer students the best possible education in advocacy,” said Miller. “It is fitting that these spaces will be named for Chief Justice Rehnquist who made a tremendous impact during his time at the college.”
A Wisconsin native, Chief Justice Rehnquist moved to Arizona in the early 1950s where he became active in state politics. He was a guiding force at the University of Arizona, maintaining close ties to the College of Law while on the Supreme Court. During his time as an associate justice, Rehnquist delivered the 1980-81 McCormick Lecture, an annual event which brings experts on law and public affairs to speak on the University of Arizona campus and in 1994, he received the University of Arizona's Distinguished Citizen Award for his extraordinary service to the public. Soon after Chief Justice Rehnquist became the Jeanne Kiewit Taylor Visiting Professor of Law, returning to teach a class on the U.S. Supreme Court throughout the early 1990s and 2000s. It was during this time where he developed lasting friendships with students, faculty and community members including college namesake James E. Rogers and his wife Beverly, who recalled fond memories of her time with the chief justice.
“The Rogers Foundation is proud to honor the life and work of William Rehnquist through this project,” said Beverly Rogers, chair of the Rogers Foundation. “It is our hope that this new state-of-the art courtroom space will attract talented students who will go on to become our society's most powerful legal advocates.”
Following his death in 2005, University of Arizona Law founded the William H. Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures of Government as an honor to the chief justice’s legacy by encouraging academic and public understanding of the constitutional structures of government. Today, the center provides opportunities for Arizona students, faculty and members of the public to observe the workings of the U.S. constitutional system through scholarly events with leading state and national officials.
“I am thrilled to know that the Chief’s legacy will continue to influence the work of the students who will benefit from this campaign,” said Sally Rider, former director of the Rehnquist Center. “He viewed law school as critical to the sharpening of analytical skills and was a generous mentor to many during his time with the college.”