Class of 2023: BA in Law Grad Will Continue Legal Education at Arizona Law, Help Local Community After Earning JD

May 8, 2023

“I want to continue to be a source of help in my community, which is often underrepresented in legal matters.”

Name: Jesus Carranza
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Degree: BA in Law & BA in Spanish
Awards, Student Groups, Clinics, Journals, etc.: BA in Law Student Ambassador, Project SOAR, Wildcat Writers, Summer Bridge Program (Orvieto, Italy)

What initially inspired you to major in law, and has that changed over the course of your studies?

I was heavily involved in migrant justice and advocacy throughout high school, and wanted to understand what was happening within our judicial and executive systems. I was fortunate enough to intern with the BA in Law program during high school. The program administrators shared the mission of the program, and I immediately knew this was the right choice. I wanted to learn more about legal principles and understand how the legal system worked. That has not changed, as I continue to study law. As a native Spanish speaker, I want to continue to be a source of help in my community, which is often underrepresented in legal matters.

Why did you choose the University of Arizona?

I chose the University of Arizona, in large part due to the BA in Law major. This innovative program is one of the only choices an undergraduate student has in the country if they would like to take substantive legal courses taught by judges, attorneys, and legal scholars. I knew the program would give me a great legal foundation and sharpen my critical thinking and writing skills. The University of Arizona is also in my hometown, and I always dreamed of being a Wildcat!

How do you think you have changed from your freshman year to now?

I have become more efficient with scheduling and planning. I have also developed socially, which has helped with networking.

What will you miss most about your time at Arizona?

Walking around campus! I think we often take for granted the serene scenery campus offers, and the great art and history hidden in and around the red brick buildings.

What was your favorite law experience or extracurricular activity, and why?

Participating in the UA Summer Law Camp was my favorite undergraduate experience. Every year, the BA in Law provides high school students who are interested in studying law the opportunity to hear from and interact with attorneys, law school faculty, and students in the BA in Law, Master of Legal Studies, and JD programs. Students can also tour the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County and participate in a mock trial to test their skills. Seeing students further develop their interest in the field has been extremely rewarding.

What are you most proud of while at Arizona?

My biggest accomplishment as a BA in Law student was being admitted into the Juris Doctor program at the James E. Rogers College of Law as a 3+3 student.

Are there any particular issues or causes within the legal system that you are passionate about or want to address in your career?

Although I have changed my mind several times since starting my BA in Law, I am currently interested in Criminal, International, and Immigration law.

What are your future career plans?

After graduating from law school in 2025, I plan on pursuing a judicial clerkship to round out my legal education.

Looking back on your BA in Law experience, what would you have done differently or what advice would you give to your younger self?

Reach out to your professors and go to office hours more frequently! Professors want to see you succeed and enjoy creating connections with students inside and outside of the classroom.

Message for your fellow Class of 2023:

Never stop learning – Bear Down!