Outstanding Law Student of the Month Award
The VLP is pleased to announce that Adrian Saenz has been selected as our Outstanding Law Student Volunteer for the month of January 2014. Adrian is a thoughtful volunteer who is well liked by all the VLP staff. He has participated as a VLP Advocate almost every semester since he started law school in August 2012; and the VLP hopes he will continue to share his time and talents for the benefit of the program and our clients.
Adrian is from Phoenix and attended Arizona State University for his Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies. He also minored in Spanish. As a fluent Spanish speaker, Adrian studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain where he was able to spend time in Madrid and travel to Portugal. While still in undergrad, Adrian worked as a file clerk in the Phoenix office of Lewis and Roca LLP. In this role, he assisted partners and associates with trial preparation and maintaining client files.
Being a Sun Devil, Adrian was hesitant to consider the University of Arizona for law school. But, it was the U of A’s hospitality and close-knit community that won him over. According to Adrian, he was also ready to trade the city campus of Arizona State for the college town environment of U of A.
Adrian said that his view of the legal system has changed in both positive and negative ways since starting law school. On the positive side, Adrian said that studying law has helped him to understand that he will be able to make significant changes in people’s lives while practicing law. He sees his involvement in the legal system as being a problem solver for others. On the flip side, Adrian said that studying law has shown him that most law-related problems are not as easy to solve as they first appear, and that desirable results take a long time to manifest.
When asked about his favorite law professor, Adrian said that Professor Jane Bambauer, who teaches Criminal Procedure, is his favorite because of her teaching style and personality. According to Adrian, Professor Bambauer provides practical, engaging lessons where she introduces hypothetical situations related to class materials while also sharing her own pending criminal procedure research.
Besides being involved with the Latino Law School Association, the Student Bar Association, and the Arizona Journal for International and Comparative Law, Adrian has also volunteered with the VLP since his first semester of law school. According to Adrian, he “chose to become involved with VLP Advocates after the 1L orientation presentation.” VLP attracted him because of the “valuable, practical experience [he could get] while giving back to the community.” He has participated in the Service Center and Domestic Relations Clinics; and, this involvement has changed Adrian’s feelings about the possibility of practicing family law. Whereas before he had little interest in this area, Adrian can now see himself as a family law attorney.
When he’s not studying, Adrian is cheering for Arizona sports teams including the Arizona Cardinals, the Phoenix Suns, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and ASU football. He enjoys watching scary movies and tv shows, and is currently hooked on American Horror Stories. Adrian says he also has a competitive spirit, and plays intramural sports like flag football and kickball to stay active.
After law school, Adrian is interested in entering local politics. He would also like to practice in an area of law, like criminal law, where he can use his fluent Spanish to assist people who feel disadvantaged because English is not their first language.
Adrian has been a wonderful volunteer, and the VLP staff says “thank you!” for all his hard work.