New Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law building unveiled during public tour

The public can finally view the new ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s building that will welcome students this fall. 

DPR Construction, the company creating the new buildings on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus, is offering tours allowing the public to see the construction process.

“The idea behind the building, one of the reasons, (the law school) moved downtown is really to interact with the public,” Lew Laws DPR Construction project manager said.

One of the features of the law school designed to draw the public in is an area that goes through the center of the law building that Laws referred to as “The Canyon.”

“It’s going be a very beautifully landscaped area,” Laws said. “It's going to obviously be shaded by the two buildings, and it’s kind of a much nicer place to walk than third street.”

A room called the Great Hall that sits just off “The Canyon” will merge the indoors and outdoors because its exterior wall is a glass door that retracts into the building just like a garage door.

Laws said that the new building will show the public everything that the law and law school does for them.

“(We’re) trying to get rid of this idea that lawyers are bad people and everybody hates lawyers,” Laws said.

Along with the architectural features of the building, the law school will encourage interaction with the public through its functioning law office run by recent ASU grads where the public can get discounted legal services.

Innovation literally starts at the door: the entrance to the building will feature a wall made entirely out of a video screen.

“This is right out there … kind of to grab everyone’s attention as they’re coming up to the door, really quite stunning and educational, too,” Laws said.

Laws said this forward thinking continues to fuel the construction process of the building.

The law school will feature a mock court room, offices for The McCain and Sandra Day O’Connor Institutes, a library located with staff offices to make professors more available, a study room decorated with glass bookshelves housing valuable law books, and an executive conference room.

“This is about as high-tech as a room can get,” Laws said of the executive conference room.

The room features an oval table that has projection technology in the center so that people sitting at the table can look at the central screen at any angle to see a presentation instead of everyone having to face in one direction towards a projection screen.

Prospective law student, 27-year-old Kenady Sorenson, said these features made the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law her top choice.

“The new facilities, they make it a new law school,” Sorenson said.

Sorenson, who currently works in the legal field, said that the school moving downtown from Tempe also has an appeal.

“This is a more professional level,” Sorenson said.

Other students on the Downtown Phoenix campus expressed excitement about the opening of the law school.

“I’m really excited,” exercise and wellness freshman Ines Janjic said. “It’s an unbelievably amazing building.”

Janjic said she is excited for her friends that attend the law school, and she is looking forward to having more majors and students downtown.

The law schools grand opening is set for Aug. 15, but finished portions of the building will host B session classes this summer.

“Downtown (Phoenix) is expanding a lot,” Janjic said.

Related links:

ASU law school prepares to break ground on downtown location

ASU law grads claim top rank of bar passage and highest scores


Reach the reporter at lmarsha6@asu.edu or follow @lmarsh2014 on Twitter.

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