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Living in Phoenix
ASU Law is located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, in the state-of-the-art Beus Center for Law and Society. It’s an idyllic and unrivaled setting with opportunity, activity, culture and entertainment in every direction.
The largest state capital in the nation, Phoenix offers a unique confluence of city, county, state and federal courts, along with numerous law firms and nonprofit organizations – many within walking distance or a short light-rail ride from ASU Law’s campus. That provides an abundance and variety of opportunities for ASU Law’s thriving internship and externship programs.
With a strong economy, relatively low cost of living and beautiful weather, metro Phoenix is experiencing a population boom like no other area in the country. In April 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that Maricopa County had led the nation in growth for the third year in a row.
Arizona ranks among the best states in the nation for job growth, entrepreneurship, net migration and growth of its young population. And Phoenix is a top destination for young professionals, based on its low unemployment rate, affordability compared to other major cities, and competitive salaries for recent college graduates.
Law school students fare particularly well in the Grand Canyon State, which has one of the lowest ratios of lawyers to lawyer jobs, ranks among the top states for paying back law school debt, and offers generous student-loan forgiveness programs, awarding up to $20,000 per year for legal professionals in public service. With ASU Law’s tradition of high bar-passage and job-placement rates, graduates are prepared for immediate and long-term success.
Beus Center for Law and Society
In May 2020, the Beus Center for Law and Society, home to ASU Law, received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) GOLD certification, four years after building completion. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across the following metrics: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
GOLD certifications are given to buildings that score between 60-79 points, BCLS received a score of 61 due to the following sustainable and energy efficient features:
Metro Phoenix is a cross-section of environments, where the beauty of the Sonoran Desert intertwines with its urban oasis. It’s home to swaying palm trees, majestic saguaros and mountain preserves that offer breathtaking views of the aptly named Valley of the Sun. In fact, Arizona is the sunniest state in the U.S., ranking well ahead of Hawaii, Florida and California in both sunshine percentage and number of sunny days.
Trails beckon for hikers, runners and bikers alike, as Phoenix holds more than 40,000 acres of desert parks and mountain preserves. You can challenge yourself and take in the scenery at Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, Piestewa Peak or the 16,000-acre South Mountain Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country.
Golf.com has ranked Arizona as the second-best state for golf, citing its claim to seven of the nation’s top-rated courses, and its uniquely beautiful desertscape.
And the desert isn’t all dry. The Salt River is a popular tubing destination, and it feeds into Tempe Town Lake, where kayakers, rowers and triathletes test their limits on the edge of ASU’s main campus.
Staycation vs. Roadtrip
If you’re looking to get outside without breaking a sweat, natural wonders are all around. The world-famous Phoenix Zoo features playful animals of all types. And for a slice of nature in the middle of the city, there’s the Desert Botanical Garden, showcasing cactuses and other Sonoran wonders. And just east of the Valley, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park transports desert-dwellers to a more diverse and lush landscape.
For weekend getaways, popular destinations such as Sedona, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles and Mexico are all reachable in drives of three to six hours. And the centrally located Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, “America’s Friendliest Airport,” sits in between ASU’s Phoenix and Tempe campuses, just a few minutes away.
Although Arizona was the last of the 48 contiguous states to join the union, it is a diverse location with a culturally rich history.
Rich in history
The Hohokam Indians, ancient inhabitants of the Phoenix area, were prehistoric engineering masters, constructing more than 500 miles of canals to irrigate over 100,000 acres of land — and their legacy lives on with a network of reservoirs and canals that connect the desert to the Colorado River. Arizona has the highest percentage of Native American residents and is home to 21 federally recognized Indian tribes, providing strong relationships for ASU Law’s acclaimed Indian Legal Program.
Arizona became a state on Valentine’s Day in 1912, with a sparse population of just over 200,000, ranking 45th of the 48 states. In the century since, the Grand Canyon State has consistently ranked among the nation’s leaders in population growth, with residents throughout North America drawn to the area’s sunshine, economic promise and relative affordability. It’s now the 14th most populous state, and its more than 7 million residents include an eclectic mix of Arizona natives and transplants from California, Texas, the Midwest, Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.
Downtown with culture
In addition to the Phoenix Symphony and Arizona Opera, the metro area hosts a diverse collection of art galleries, theaters and museums, including the nationally acclaimed Heard Museum, which features American Indian art, and the Musical Instrument Museum, where more than 6,800 instruments from throughout the world are on display. Looking for architecture? Take a tour of Taliesin West, the winter home of one of Arizona’s most famous snowbirds, master architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who was inspired by the desert surroundings.
There’s no such thing as a dull night in metro Phoenix, with marquee sporting events, musicians, comedians and other performers filling the calendar year-round.
A sports paradise
Phoenix is one of only 13 metro areas in the U.S. that has professional teams in all four major sports — MLB, NBA, NFL and the NHL — with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Coyotes. The roster also includes the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, the Arizona Rattlers of arena football, and an up-and-coming professional soccer team, the Phoenix Rising.
But it’s a sports paradise that goes far beyond its hometown team. Every March, 15 Major League Baseball teams conduct spring training in Arizona’s Cactus League. And unlike Florida’s Grapefruit League, Arizona’s 15 teams are centrally located in the Phoenix area — and seldom have to worry about rainouts. Metro Phoenix has also hosted three Super Bowls, a Final Four, eight NCAA football national championship games. It hosts two major NASCAR events each year, and it’s home to the legendary Waste Management Phoenix Open. Nicknamed “The People’s Open,” the golf tournament is the highest-attended and most raucous event on the PGA Tour.
Food and nightlife
With a collection of large concert arenas and countless smaller venues, Phoenix is a top destination for music tours, and Arizona has cultivated a thriving local music scene that has given rise to stars from all genres., including Linda Ronstadt, Alice Cooper, The Gin Blossoms, Stevie Nicks, Chester Bennington, Dierks Bentley, Michelle Branch, Jimmy Eat World, Jordin Sparks, The Tubes and The Meat Puppets. Music festivals throughout the year — Phoenix Lights, Decadence, Goldrush and the Arizona Hip-Hop Festival, just to name a few — offer a wide-ranging mix of contemporary, high-energy music, including the latest in EDM and hip-hop.
Known for its Southwest culture and Mexican food, Phoenix, which features the world-famous Pizzeria Bianco, was also voted America’s best city for pizza by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. But there are dining options for all tastes and budgets throughout the Phoenix area: Michelin-rated restaurants, popular lunch and brunch destinations, and havens for late-night munchies, many within walking distance of ASU Law’s downtown campus.
And the Phoenix metro area, with a population of nearly 5 million, has plenty of nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a high-end cocktail or just a cheap beer, downtown Phoenix has the bar or restaurant to suit any mood. Roosevelt Row caters to the artistic scene, and its monthly First Friday art walks function as a funky, feel-good block party. But the party goes well beyond Phoenix. At ASU’s main campus in Tempe, Mill Avenue is a bustling party every weekend. As are the nightclubs of Old Town Scottsdale, where A-list celebrities and athletes are often spotted. Big crowds and good times can also be found in the restaurant districts of downtown Chandler and Gilbert, the Westgate area of Glendale or any of the several Indian casinos that line the Valley.