The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University is pleased to welcome a dynamic and diverse group of new faculty members for the 2017–18 school year. A top 25 law school and one of the highest-rated public law schools in the country, ASU Law is continually evolving and expanding its programs as it remains committed to offering an elite education and a pathway to a rewarding legal career.
ASU Law Dean Douglas J. Sylvester is confident the newest members of the faculty will help continue that growth.
“We are thrilled to be adding such a brilliant and accomplished group to what is already a world-class team of legal minds,” Sylvester said. “The diversity of their expertise and experience will help us evolve as we continue to offer the high-level legal education, incredible opportunities, and successful outcomes we’ve grown to expect.”
The newest full-time members of the ASU Law faculty are:
Angela Banks, professor of law
Banks joins ASU Law as a Charles J. Merriam Distinguished Professor of Law. An immigration and citizenship expert, she will be part of ASU’s Southwest Borderlands Initiative, a provost program that focuses on issues related to the Arizona-Mexico border.
Banks most recently taught at the William & Mary School of Law and is a regular contributor to leading American law review journals.
She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Spelman College summa cum laude and a Master of Letters in sociology from Oxford, where she was a Marshall Scholar. Banks is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she served as an editor of the “Harvard Law Review” and the “Harvard International Law Journal.”
Jessica Berch, lecturer
Berch joins ASU Law as a lecturer, after visiting the previous year. Before that, she was an associate professor at Concordia Law School and served as a visiting associate professor at Southwestern Law School.
With a wide range of expertise, her scholarship involves the intersection of civil procedure, strategy and ethics, and she has recently taken an interest in the horizontal federalism implications of piecemeal marijuana legalization.
She received a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Arizona State University summa cum laude, and is a graduate of Columbia Law School.
Jason Cohen, clinical professor of law
Cohen joins ASU Law’s highly ranked legal writing team. He was awarded the Rutgers Law School campuswide Chancellors’ Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015, and was selected as Professor of the Year, Reader of the Names and Grand Marshal of the Law School’s graduating classes. In 2016 and 2017, he was selected the law school’s Lawyering Professor of the Year.
Cohen has represented governmental and quasi-governmental entities, including the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate in various matters before Commonwealth Court and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He recently served as special counsel to the Parliamentarian of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on issues involving statutory interpretation, and he has served on the Board of Directors for GALLOP (Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia) and the Mazzoni Center, an LGBT wellness organization based in Philadelphia.
After graduating from the University of Florida with honors, Cohen graduated cum laude from Rutgers Law School.
Don Gibson, professor of practice
Gibson has more than 30 years of experience as an attorney, business executive and entrepreneur in the sports and entertainment industries. He has spent more than 20 years in senior leadership roles with major sports organizations, including Major League Baseball and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In his eight years with MLB, his roles ranged from an attorney in the Commissioner’s Office to senior vice president in charge of Major League Baseball Properties, the division responsible for licensing, corporate sponsorship, special events and marketing.
Gibson was a faculty associate at ASU Law from 2015 to 2017, teaching courses in sports law and business. Now joining the staff as a professor of practice in the Sports Law and Business Program, he focuses primarily on interscholastic and intercollegiate athletics, including an examination of gender- and racial-equity issues. He also designed a new course focused on personal and business branding for athletes and sports properties.
Gibson graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell and is a graduate of University of California Los Angeles School of Law, where he was a member and chief comments editor of the law review. Following law school, he was a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge David W. Williams in the Central District of California, and a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School, where he taught legal research and writing to first-year students.
Stephanie Jarvis, lecturer
Jarvis joins the Sports Law and Business Program, where she will teach sports strategic career planning and business communications. She is also developing a new course that will focus on the planning and execution of sports big events from a legal and business perspective.
She has played leading roles on various organizing committees for some of the Phoenix area’s largest collegiate sporting events, including the chief operating officer for the men’s basketball Final Four and the senior vice president and chief operating officer for the College Football Playoff, and was general counsel and chief compliance officer for the Fiesta Bowl.
Jarvis also served as associate commissioner and general counsel for the Indianapolis-based Horizon League, where she was in charge of NCAA compliance, oversaw conference championships and worked with student-athlete advisory committees.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in French language and literature from Northwestern University, she graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Abigail Jones, lecturer
Jones, who had taught as an adjunct professor at ASU Law since January 2016, joins the faculty as a lecturer this fall.
After graduating from law school, Jones completed a clerkship in Federal District Court with the Honorable William P. Copple. While in private practice, she worked in the litigation departments of several law firms, focusing on product liability defense and commercial litigation.
In 2002, after helping Questar Corporation prevail in the trial of a $500 million partnership dispute with another energy company, Jones joined the legal department at Questar, where she became vice president, compliance and corporate secretary.
Jon Kappes, lecturer
Kappes joins ASU Law as a full-time faculty member after several years teaching intellectual property courses as an adjunct professor.
Kappes owns a law firm that represents clients in patent licensing and enforcement matters in a variety of technical area, including semiconductors, mass media and wireless communications.
He received the first annual Lisa Foundation Award for contributions to the Center for the Study of Law, Science & Technology at ASU, as well as the Hon. Mary M. Schroder Award for federal practice.
A magna cum laude graduate of ASU Law, Kappes has a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at Colorado State University, and a master’s degree in radiochemistry.
Victoria Sahani, associate professor law
Associate Professor Victoria Shannon Sahani is an expert in ADR, civil procedure, legal ethics, and international law. She served for five years as deputy director of Arbitration and ADR in North America for the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.
A prize-winning legal scholar, Sahani received the 2014 Francis Lewis Law Center Prize for Excellence in Legal Scholarship and the 2015 Law Alumni Faculty Fellowship Award for Teaching given by Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Sahani participated in the inaugural 2003-2004 class of the Harvard University Management Fellowship Program, during which time she served as the External Relations Fellow in Harvard’s Office of Government, Community, and Public Affairs.
She graduated cum laude with a psychology degree from Harvard University, and is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Joshua Sellers, associate professor of law
Sellers was an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, and a post-doctoral fellow in law and political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
This fall he is teaching Civil Procedure and Election Law, a course that will examine the Constitution and its protection of the right to vote, reapportionment, the Voting Rights Act, gerrymandering, the constitutional rights of political parties, campaign finance regulation and election administration.
Before entering teaching, he was a law clerk to Judge Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
He studied political science and Afroamerican and African studies at the University of Michigan, where he graduated with honors. He received a Juris Doctor and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago, where he served as an articles editor of the University of Chicago Law Review.
Click here to learn more about the ASU Law faculty.