Outstanding Law Student of the Month Award

Mia Hammersley

Mia Hammersley

June 2016

The VLP is pleased to announce that Mia Hammersley has been selected as our Outstanding Law Student Volunteer for the month of June 2016.  Mia is a rising 2L at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, and is currently one of VLP’s student coordinators.  As a 1L, she volunteered at the Service Center Clinic, helping self-represented litigants with family law matters.  Always quick to offer assistance with a smile, Mia is a valuable part of the VLP and we’re thankful to have her as one of our volunteers!

Mia grew up in Flagstaff and started her undergraduate studies at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR.  She soon transferred to Franklin University in Lugano, Switzerland and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies.  After undergrad, Mia moved to Tucson, where she obtained a Master of Science in Water, Society, and Policy from the University of Arizona. 

Post-Master’s, Mia turned her attention to law school.  She decided to stay at the U of A to obtain her J.D., and is working toward several certificates including a certificate in Environmental Law, Science, and Policy and a certificate in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy.  When asked about her favorite law school professor, Mia spoke about Dean Emerita Toni Massaro.  Mia said that Dean Massaro "has definitely stood out to me this year for her intellectually stimulating lectures, her ability to challenge students to think critically about the world beyond the classroom, and for her personal investment in students.  She will also always make you laugh if you go to her office hours."

Mia is a member of the Environmental Law Society and Native American Law Student Association.  She’s the student coordinator for the Legal Reference Volunteer Program at the Tucson Indian Center; and, she joined the VLP immediately after starting law school.  Mia shared:

Public service was central to my decision to come to law school.  As an incoming
1L, I wanted to volunteer with VLP because it gave me the chance to actively help individual people in our community as well as learn more about what being a lawyer would actually be like.

Mia also said:

The most important thing I’ve learned [since joining VLP] is that […] even small
tasks can have a big impact on clients.  Even though I didn’t feel like I had many
skills to offer only a few weeks into law school […], I found that even helping
people with simple tasks such as filling out paperwork correctly could make
an immediate, positive impact on their lives.

In her free time, Mia enjoys running with her dog, mountain biking, rock climbing, cooking, baking, and playing the piano and guitar.  She and her boyfriend like to spend long breaks camping in southern Utah.  And, her favorite lunch spot in Tucson is Time Market for its fig and prosciutto pizza.

Mia’s dream job is to “work for a public interest environmental law firm – preferable in a beautiful place where [her] time away from work can be spent outside!”

Thanks, Mia, for volunteering with the VLP!