University of Arizona Law class gift community service Graduate 2 Service

Class gift co-chairs Jillian Andrews and Storm Byrd announce the results of the Graduate 2 Service campaign at commencement. Photo: David Sanders.

In Twist on Class Gift Fundraising, Arizona Law Graduates Pledge Community Service Hours

Alejandra Cardenas Cuestas

Close to 80 percent of the University of Arizona Law Class of 2017 has committed to provide a total of more than 4,100 hours of community service in the next three years. The pledge serves as this year’s class gift.

A total of 104 students pledged hours as part of Arizona Law’s first Graduate to Service campaign. The campaign replaces the traditional class gift that solicits monetary donations from graduating students.

"Graduate to Service is the perfect class gift for the Class of 2017, because I know how devoted my classmates are to service,” said JD student Jillian Andrews, who co-chaired the campaign with Storm Byrd. “I'm constantly amazed by everyone's willingness to devote their time and talents to those in need, and I think our class will use our degrees to make positive change."

The Arizona Law graduates who participated in the giving campaign will provide pro bono legal services, community service, volunteer time, and service to charitable organizations or boards (legal or otherwise), during their first three years in the workforce.

The class gift is in keeping with the spirit of service many students bring with them when they join Arizona Law and exhibit while students. For example, in 2016-17, students completed 40,000 hours of pro bono service through the college’s legal clinics, working with clients such as military veterans, low-wage workers, entrepreneurs, immigrants seeking asylum, and victims of domestic violence.
Another student community service tradition is the partnership with Southern Arizona Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyers Program. Since the program launched in 1999, more than 1,300 students have delivered civil legal assistance to more than 16,000 Pima County residents.

“I am delighted but not at all surprised by this community service pledge from our big-hearted students,” said Dean Marc Miller. “Every day I hear stories of how our students and alumni are using the law to give back, and this is a vibrant and living legacy for our newest graduates to leave. I look forward to hearing about the service our graduates give, and to seeing how this meaningful new tradition grows.”