ASU Law's New College of Law Building Beckons the Public

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on August 11, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Arizona State University's new Sanda Day O'Connor College of Law building is scheduled to be unveiled in just a few short days but if the pictures are any indication, it's going to be a cross between a law school and a community hangout.

The architects who designed the new glassy digs were going for something a little less ivy and brick and a little more modern and integrated. Tomas Rossant, one of the designers, proclaimed that the building is seen as a "mechanism to connect to the urban and social fabric of Phoenix."

Law School or Law Space?

Take a look at some of the pictures of the new building. Air, glass and openness all spring to mind. We like it. A lot.

Designers of the new building largely heeded the vision of Assistant Dean Tom Williams who said that "[ASU Law would] not ... create any more marble or ivy," but instead would shoot for a more progressive and open design. Rossant described it as being "one of the most permeable, open, and accessible university building[s] ever built."

And the effect is pretty impressive. Those involved with the project are right to proclaim that the vision moves away from the traditional stodgy, bricked law school that people normally associate with Harvard and Yale. This law school almost looks like a cathedral of glass and skyways.

"We're trying to create something more than a law school," says Williams, "a space that creates a more nuanced and open discussion."

Company Within

In actuality, not all of the building will be occupied by the law school. Approximately 30 percent will be occupied by other tenants, including the McCain Institute for International Leadership, the Sandra Day O'Connor Institute, and the ASU Alumni Law Group.

Big Ticket Item

The project was just a dream for a while one deferred even longer by the 2008 recession. Along the way, there were logistical problems, technical problems, and of course, legal problems. But $129 million later, downtown Phoenix will get a new social hub to enjoy.

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