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January 25th, 2011:

SALK Day 25: Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona Mardi Gras Gala

Today’s sponsor is my friend, Jana Knapp.  She asked me to promote the Mardi Gras Gala for the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona, coming up on March 5, 2011.  Jana became passionate about epilepsy awareness when her nephew was diagnosed with it when he was only nine months old.

There’s no cure for epilepsy.  Since it is a neurological problem, its effect on each person is unique.  Some people can manage it with drugs; others will grow out of it; and for others, it will be something they deal with every day of their lives.

There isn’t enough money to properly train EMTs, police officers, school nurses, and even doctors to properly treat a person after a silent seizure.  Children are often misdiagnosed with ADD and seizures are mistaken for strokes in the elderly.  Veterans do not have the necessary care for their traumatic brain injuries.

Until there is a cure, the best thing we can do is to be knowledgeable and compassionate towards people living with this illness.  The Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona has the programs to help accomplish this goal, but they need funding.

The Mardi Gras Gala on March 5th is the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona’s annual black-tie fundraiser.  It will be a delightful evening, held at The Venue Scottsdale.  The evening will feature national recording sensation Katrina Shoen Carlson, magicians, stilt walkers, gambling, and Cajun cuisine.

This year the Foundation will be crowning Colonel Joey Strickland, Director of the Arizona Department of Veteran Services as their King of Mardi Gras.  Colonel Strickland is being honored for his work to develop and implement the Foundation’s Operation Outreach program for veterans with traumatic brain injury.  These soldiers are at an increased risk of developing epilepsy.

The Foundation needs more silent auction items to make the night more magical, including gift certificates, gift baskets, or cash to purchase auction items.

If you want to attend the event, tickets are as followed:

  • Individual: $200
  • Private Table: $1000
  • Corporate Table: $2500

Even if you cannot attend, please consider making a donation to the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona so that they can continue to provide the necessary education on epilepsy and to promote compassion for those living with this condition.

Sponsor A Law Kid is my endeavor to pay for my last semester of law school. Today’s sponsor is Jana Knapp on behalf of the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona.   For more information about Sponsor A Law Kid or to see what days are still available for sponsorship, visit my Sponsor A Law Kid page.

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Screwed by the ASU Tuition Classification System

One of the benefits of ASU Law School is that non-resident students have the option to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes after one year if they intend to stay in Arizona after graduation.  For one student, who will remain nameless, the system failed him.

Money
Image by TW Collins via Flickr

To be considered a resident in the eyes of ASU, the student has to prove “by clear and convincing evidence” that they had been continuously physically present in the state for 12 months and intend to stay in Arizona indefinitely.  ASU assumes you’re only there to get an education.  A student can prove their intent to stay in Arizona with documents such as a tax return, driver’s license, car registration, bank account, insurance, voter registration, and proof of ownership of property in the state.

My friend got into other law schools that are better than ASU, but he picked ASU because of Arizona’s strong legal market and the school’s high career placement for its graduates.  He complied with the rule regarding residency and submitted his application to have his residency status changed.  Surprisingly, his application was denied.  The committee claimed one of the reasons for the denial was that his financial support came from all student sources.  This is completely inaccurate.  He had a full tuition scholarship, but he paid for his living expense out of his savings.  Basically he was denied in-state tuition because he was smart and was fiscally responsible.

He appealed the decision.  When a student appeals a residency decision, they have to appear before a 3-person panel and state their case.  The panel asks questions and then deliberates right in front of the student before rendering a decision.  Allegedly, my friend’s appeal was hijacked by one of the panel members from University Libraries.  According to my friend, she shared her assumptions about law students with her fellow panel members, such as law school applicants go to the best school they get into and that law school graduates can get jobs anywhere.  Apparently she wasn’t aware that passing the bar exam only allows you to practice law in one state, unless there is reciprocity.  The panel allegedly considered these assumptions about law students rather than the facts that my friend presented.

Now, my friend is wicked smart and a great guy in general.  He has a summer associate position lined up, and if all goes well, he could be offered a job for after graduation.  His statements to the panel regarding future employment were not unrealistic.

The worst thing the panel mentioned in their deliberation was his alleged lack of community connections.  Anyone who understands law school knows that students don’t have much time for a social life.    Furthermore, the panel said that he could have established intent if he had mentioned that he was a member of a church!  ASU is a public school and the panel never asked if he was member of a church.  The panel disregarded his connections with Teach for America, Junior Law, and Community Legal Services because he could have been involved in these organizations regardless of where he lived.  Isn’t the same true for a church?

So, despite my friend following the rules, he got screwed over by the system and there’s nothing he can do but pay the more expensive non-resident tuition, reapply for residency, and hope if it’s denied, that he has a panel that decides his case on the facts and not their assumptions.

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