Inaugural ASU Law Dean’s Circle kicks off with headliner comedian Paul Reiser

Monday, May 15, 2017

Supporters of ASU Law were recently treated to a comedy show featuring Paul Reiser, of the critically acclaimed NBC series "Mad About You," one of Comedy Central’s Top 100 Comedians of All Time and upcoming star of the second season of "Stranger Things."

The night was a celebratory one as the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University enters its fiftieth year and second year in the Beus Center for Law and Society on ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus. ASU Law Dean Douglas Sylvester wanted a special event to recognize how far the school had come with the top donors who made the journey possible. Sylvester established the Dean’s Circle for donors whose contributions equal $100,000 or more, and whose support continues to propel the law school to new heights.

Under Sylvester’s leadership, ASU Law has risen to No. 25 in the nation and No. 8 among public law schools. Sylvester reinforced the law school’s commitment to student success on every level which includes lowering the cost of attending law school and equipping graduates with jobs. ASU Law continues to place top 20 in the nation for employment. Thanks to the generosity of donors, the law school has averaged $12.6 million in annual giving for the past four years. The more than $50 million raised since Sylvester became dean is more than twice the amount raised in the prior years combined.

ASU Law has relied on the generosity of alumni and the broader law school community to grow into the outstanding institution it is today. This support has made the law school’s move to downtown Phoenix possible, has added 93 new scholarships since 2011, and has positively impacted the overall student experience.

“Thank goodness the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is in downtown Phoenix,” said Dominic Papas, a first year law student. “There’s an ecosystem of innovation at this law school. I find myself in conversations daily about new ideas, businesses, and opportunities. I couldn’t be at a better place or a better building to study law.”

“Last semester I had an externship with the district court of Arizona and I could just walk there,” said Amena Kheshtchin-Kamel, a second year law student. “I am now working for the attorney general’s civil rights office and can squeeze in extra hours in between classes. It was a wise decision to move because now we are at the center of the legal community.”

“The Dean’s Circle serves as a forum to provide our most valued partners an inside look at the law school,” Sylvester said.

According to Sylvester, the Dean's Circle provides far more than just finanical support. “Support can come in the form of ideas and advice, connections, funding, networking and hiring of our grads, as well as advocating and influencing public perception. This law school has achieved so much; we need more people to share our accomplishments and help us compete on a whole new level.”

While the rankings and numbers have shown how far the school has grown and what can be achieved in such a short period of time, Sylvester knows that ASU Law cannot risk being complacent.

“We have to drive changes before changes are required,” Sylvester said. “That means bringing people into the fold, seeking their advice, and tapping their passion to drive the law school forward. I am looking forward to Dean’s Circle members invigorating this law school with new ideas and challenging us to think beyond what we’ve already achieved.”

If you are interested in becoming a Dean’s Circle member, please contact Jim Van Wicklin at jim.vanwicklin@asu.edu.