Arizona State’s Sandra Day O’Connor Law School Finds New Home in Phoenix

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Tuesday marked an important day for the Arizona State University community; particularly those associated with ASU’s Law School. Since its inception in 1965, the Sandra Day O’ Connor College of Law has remained where ASU’s main campus is, in Tempe, Arizona. However the construction of the new $129 million law school building in downtown Phoenix has been underway since July 2014. On June 9, the final beam was hoisted atop a six-story building under construction, attesting to the fact that the initial plans for the building’s completion by 2016 are still very alive.

Dozens of residents, council members, community leaders, law school faculty, and many more crowded at the foundation of the structure on Tuesday. One by one they signed their names and the date on a large piece of steel meant to complete the final piece of the foundation. The crowd cheered away as if at a Cardinals vs. Seahawks game as the massive section was hoisted up by crane and carried to its place six stories up.

Located in downtown Phoenix, the new location of the law school could not be more ideal. With more than 12 major law firms located within walking distance of the new campus, students will have even more networking and job opportunities than ever before. In a press release, the school’s president, Michael M. Crow, stated the following:

Having the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in downtown Phoenix fits perfectly with ASU’s mission of building strong learning and career connections with media, health care, corporate and government organizations for the more than 11,500 students at the downtown campus.

The new location is set to have high-tech equipment and state-of-the-art facilities with the goal of taking teaching and learning to a new level. Amid the 280,000 square foot structure, students can expect a brand new Ross Blakely Law Library, two think tanks, multiple centers with cross-disciplinary focus, and also the new ASU Alumni Law Group, the first teaching law firm associated with a law school. The new law school will also feature one large lecture hall for undergraduate students, as well as cafes and restaurants on the first floor.

Funding for the new law school comes from a combination of donors and alumni, as well as $12 million and land from the city of Phoenix. Local Phoenix attorney Leo Beus and his wife Annette donated $10 million to the effort.

As witnessed Tuesday on site, the majority of the ASU community is thrilled about the new location for the Sandra Day O’ Connor Law School. Despite having established a well known presence and fostered a home within the learning environment for thousands of students throughout its 50 years at Tempe, those affiliated with the school view the construction as a positive change. Many alumni expressed that as long as the College of Law maintains the same standards and ensures that the Armstrong name is honored–the current law school sits in Armstrong Hall– the new location for the law school is a big leap forward.

Symon Rowlands
Symon Rowlands is a member of the University of Miami Class of 2016 and was a Law Street Media Fellow during the Summer of 2015. Symon now blogs for Law Street, focusing mostly on politics. Contact Symon at



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