Law student brings ultimate people skills to ASU

Editor's note: This is part of a series of profiles of fall 2017 incoming ASU students.

Leah Tsinajinnie’s travels as a club member of the USA Ultimate Frisbee team has allowed her to see the world and make friends around the globe.

“Ultimate Frisbee is unique because if you play the sport or are part of the community, you can have an instant connection with someone else across the world,” said Tsinajinnie, who graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology in business administration in 2013.

“Everybody has a similar mind-set when they play the sport, so they feel connected.”

The 27-year-old Oakland native is hoping to make those same connections while at ASU.

In fact, she’s already off to a good start. A few months ago when Tsinajinnie visited ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus for the first time, she was given a personalized tour by Kate Rosier, director of ASU’s Indian Legal Program in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

“Walking around campus and getting to talk to a few people, everyone seemed so genuine,” Tsinajinnie said. “I could tell that I was going to fit in.”

Tsinajinnie brings a diverse range of perspectives — she’s half Navajo and half Filipino. She also lived the Middle East for 10 months as part of an Ultimate Peace fellowship program that uses the frisbee to bring youth from different cultures together.

Before Tsinajinnie hits the law books, we spoke to her about her new journey.

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: When I visited the campus I was very impressed by how welcoming Kate Rosier was. She’s the director of the Indian Legal Program and offered me and my sister a personalized tour of the campus. The facilities are amazing.

Q: What drew you to your major?

A: I’ve always been interested in helping people. Understanding the legal system and knowing how it works is the most concrete way I can help people.

Q: What are you most excited to experience in your first semester?

A: I’m most excited about meeting the professors. I visited one class, and the professor was very interesting and made the subject fun.

Q: What do you like to brag about to your friends about ASU?

A: I like to brag on the law school because people don’t really understand how good it is. I’ve been telling everyone it’s a top 25-ranked school, eighth among public schools. I don’t have to go to an Ivy League school to get an equivalent education. I’ll get that at ASU Law.  

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: I have a lot of leadership skills. I’ve spoken in front of many large groups, been captains of teams before, and I’m very comfortable leading a group of people. I have a unique viewpoint given that I’m Navajo and Filipino. I’m able to give a unique perspective while understanding at the same time there are other perspectives, bringing people in and making them feel as if they are included.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show right now?

A: One hundred percent “Broad City.”

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your college years?

A: I hope to have a variety of experiences regarding the law, and particularly get experience in Native American Indian law.

Q: What’s a fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: I might have to get back to you on that …

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve a problem in our world, what would you choose?

A: Well, $40 million is not a lot of money, but if I had that much I’d probably use it towards a literacy programs for kids and adults.

Q: What’s your prediction for this year’s Territorial Cup?

A: Let’s say 38-31, ASU. 

 

Top photo: Incoming ASU Law student Leah Tsinajinnie (photographed at the Beus Center for Law and Society on the Downtown Phoenix campus Wednesday) has competed as a club member of the USA Ultimate Frisbee team. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now