Q&A with Inaugural Cohen Scholar Jackson Bednarczyk
First-year University of Arizona Law student Jackson Bednarczyk is the first person to be awarded the Judge Gary Cohen Endowed Scholarship Fund, in honor of University of Arizona Law alumni Gary J. Cohen (‘93), a judge for the Pima County Superior Court in Arizona.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend the University of Arizona without having to worry about financial burdens,” says Bednarczyk. “I will not waste this chance, and I will work as hard as I can to make sure that anyone who has supported me along this journey is proud.”
Check out this Q&A with Bednarczyk:
WHAT DREW ME TO ARIZONA LAW
I love the environment in Arizona. I fell in love with the climate and look. Arizona Law specifically caught my attention with its emphasis on community and relationships. My graduating class in high school had about 850 students, and during my undergraduate degree I didn't really know a lot of my classmates. So, I was looking forward to, and have been very satisfied, with the small community here.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE THE FIRST COHEN SCHOLAR
I feel very proud to be the first Cohen Scholar. Judge Cohen has a long and diverse history of success in the law. As someone who is now just entering their legal career, it is an honor to be the first person to be awarded with a scholarship under Judge Cohen’s legacy. In my legal career, I would love to emulate how Judge Cohen has served and continues to serve the Arizona community.
KEY EXPERIENCE SO FAR AT ARIZONA LAW
I have loved meeting with professors in office hours and outside of school. Having lunch with a professor is something that I would never have even thought about doing while I was in undergrad. I have also enjoyed playing volleyball on Mondays and Wednesdays with the 2Ls and 3Ls.
WHAT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING NEXT AT ARIZONA LAW
I am really looking forward to joining clinics and doing my summer job, because I like hands on and learning by doing. Getting out and applying that knowledge from the classroom to the real world.
FAVORITE THING TO DO IN TUCSON
I have two favorite things to do in Tucson. Number 1: I love trying the diverse foods that Tucson has to offer. Whether it’s Indian food at Sher-e-Punjab, Mexican at Boca Tacos, or even my guilty pleasure, In-n-Out, Tucson has so much to offer for different culinary experiences. In fact, Tucson is one of two cities in the United States that has been named a City of Gastronomy by UNESCO! My other favorite thing to do in Tucson is to just be outside. I love to run alongside the Rillito River(bed) and take in the mountain panoramas when the weather is nice. Also, the Brown Mountain trail west of Tucson offers amazing hiking through a sea of Saguaros.
A CAUSE THAT IS IMPORTANT TO ME
A cause that is important to me is the preservation and use of languages outside of English. I am a lover and student of languages (I speak English, Spanish, and am learning German and Japanese), and I think it's so unfortunate that most Americans cannot speak a second language.
WHAT I'D LIKE YOU TO KNOW ABOUT ME
I am an extremely hard worker, and I never feel satisfied about achieving something if it didn't require effort. I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend the University of Arizona without having to worry about financial burdens. I will not waste this chance, and I will work as hard as I can to make sure that anyone who has supported me along this journey is proud.
WHAT I HOPE TO DO WITH MY LAW DEGREE
I hope to go into an area of law that has an international perspective. I am not 100% sure about what this means yet (whether I want to work for the government, a law firm, in-house, non-profit, etc.). What I do know is that I would love to combine my love for languages and other cultures with my legal education.
Judge Gary Cohen Endowed Scholarship Fund
Judge Gary Cohen was appointed to the bench by Governor Doug Ducey in 2021. Prior to his appointment, Cohen was a shareholder at the Tucson firm of Mesh Clark Rothschild. Cohen joined Mesh Clark Rothschild in 1993 and specialized in commercial litigation, personal injury, medical malpractice, employment law, municipal law, and appellate matters. He also served as City Attorney for the town of Benson, Arizona.
During his time as a law student at the University of Arizona Law, Cohen was a member of the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law.