Outstanding Law Student of the Month Award


Russ Johnson

Russ Johnson

April 2016

The VLP is pleased to announce that Russ Johnson has been selected as our Outstanding Law Student Volunteer for the month of April 2016.  Russ is a 1L at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, and has participated in the VLP’s Service Center and Domestic Relations Projects.  Russ recently became one of VLP’s newest student coordinators; and, the VLP is excited to continue to work with him in this new role.

Russ is originally from Dallas, TX, but considers Denver, CO his hometown as he spent most of his formative years in the Centennial State.  He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, and received a certificate in the Business of Sports Program.

When asked why he chose the University of Arizona for law school, Russ said:

UofA offers a culture similar to that of Denver, my hometown.  The people here are all very friendly and love the outdoors.  Furthermore, the academic environment at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law is extremely
open and relaxed.  There is a district lack of the “cut-throat” environment that you hear
about at so many other law schools.  I feel very welcome at this school and I have made
great friends.

His favorite law professor, so far, has been Professor Jaime Ratner.  Professor Ratner, according to Russ, “creates an intense, yet fun, learning environment.”  Russ shared that he appreciates Professor Ratner’s “open door policy in his office, [where he is] always willing to provide both educational and non-academic advice.” 

As a law student, Russ is involved in Student Bar Association, Sports & Entertainment Law Society, Arizona Intellectual Property and Cyber-law Society, and VLP.  Russ chose to join the VLP because he believes it is important for him to give back to the community given the advantages life provide to him – both economically and academically.  Russ said:

I believe that charitable work stimulates growth in the community, the legal profession,
and the character of those who choose to participate.  VLP offers an opportunity to
connect with the community and a way to begin giving back before I graduate. 
More importantly, VLP stands for the principle of providing assistance to those in
need, a sentiment which could use more circulation in the world.

Besides volunteering, Russ enjoys skiing, hanging out with friends, and watching sports.  His favorite shows are House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Bob’s Burgers. His favorite Tucson restaurant is Mi Nidito – home of the Presidential Platter.  And, his favorite vacation was spending a month in Europe last year with two of his closest friends – their stop in Prague being the highlight. 

Russ’s dream job is to be general counsel for the Denver Broncos.  But, he shared that, more realistically he would love to be counsel for a major business. 

The VLP is proud to have Russ as a volunteer and we can’t thank him enough for all his time and dedication to the program!