Arizona State University
The BCLS takes up 75 percent of the block bordered by Taylor and Polk streets on the north and south, and First and Second streets on the west and east. The 280,000 gross square foot, six-story building includes spaces that enhance student opportunities, foster collaboration among different groups, and help the public understand the role of justice in society. The Law School Grand Atrium creates the main circulatory structure of the building.
We broke ground in early July 2014, and held a groundbreaking ceremony on November 13, 2014.
No. ASU Law has not raised its tuition in the past few years and tuition rates remain competitively low. The building was funded through bonds issued by ASU and generous gifts from ASU Law alumni and other supporters in the legal and business communities.
Students are steps away from the legal, political, and economic heart of Arizona in the nation’s sixth-largest city, making it easier for them to network with alumni and other experts, as well as prospective employers. Law school students can more easily connect with ASU students on the downtown campus in complementary programs such as health, communications, and public service. This reinforces ASU’s interdisciplinary approach to education.
Faculty are able to use the latest technology and classrooms designed for different modes of learning, pursue interdisciplinary research in dedicated think tank space, more conveniently connect with community partners, and enjoy the beautiful spaces and amenities that the building and downtown Phoenix have to offer.
The BCLS is also home to the Arizona Legal Center, Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, The McCain Institute for International Leadership, Sandra Day O’Connor Institute, Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, and the Arizona Justice Project.
What will truly cement its role as a good neighbor to the downtown community are the legal resources offered through the Arizona Legal Center, ASU Law pro bono clinics, and community partners. Resources and rates will vary depending on the type and scope of the matter.
The building was designed to serve as both a law school and as a place to for the general public to learn more about the role of justice in society. Unlike many traditional law schools that are cut-off from other units and the public, ASU designed an open and engaging space for the public to engage in the law and how it affects our everyday lives.
Every classroom (lecture halls and specialized rooms, not seminar rooms) is set up to do lecture capture as well as video streaming. They are further equipped with laser projectors to increase picture quality and reduce the cost of maintenance and repair. All features are integrated into a single control panel that professors will use to lower lights, blinds, etc.
There is also technology throughout the BCLS to help people navigate the building and nearby areas, learn more about the law school and other occupants, keep a pulse on trending legal topics and events, and engage in trivia and games to connect the law and why it matters in our everyday lives.
There is a Nano Display facing Taylor and First Streets, a Media Mesh in the breezeway between the West and East wings of the building, Touch Screens including a large display in the 1st floor lobby, and other Digital Screens that share information passively (i.e. you can’t touch and interact with the content).
Further, there is a new mobile app that is powered by Bluetooth and enables people to do the following:
- Learn about the building and its occupants, including the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law (ASU Law)
- View and join public law school groups
- View and RSVP to public events and add events to your phone calendar
- Form and manage groups, invite those groups to meet, and request to be added to groups
- Take a deeper dive on information seen on select digital displays throughout the building, for instance the ability to get audio for videos
- Get real-time news and see what’s trending, aligned with your interest areas
- ASU Law students and alumni get notified of job postings
- Access maps and receive point-to-point directions to any building location
- Opt-in to see who’s in the same room and in the building in order to connect
Up to 1,000, including 750 JD students total (class sizes are about 250 students each year and the JD is a 3-year program), as well as 250 total Master of Laws (LLM), Master of Legal Studies (MLS), and Master of Sports Law & Business (MSLB) students. ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus has about 13,000 students.
BCLS gives the law school the kind of space and location it needs to enhance students’ opportunities, including interacting with other ASU students in complementary programs on the downtown Phoenix campus.
The project’s lead architects are Ennead Architects and Jones Studio, with DPR Construction as the lead builder.
- The facade of the building is made out of sandstone and double or triple paned low energy windows to reduce solar heat gain.
- High-tech teaching stations and cameras in every lecture-style and specialized classroom (not in seminar rooms).
- Retractable seating system and bi-folding door in the great hall that can be opened up to the breezeway, allowing for natural ventilation when the climate is suitable.
- Several places for the public to enjoy, including two courtyards, a bookstore, and Engrained restaurant.
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:
- Configuration of the main building facade designed to change in response to solar orientation;
- High-efficiency HVAC system that includes chilled beams and airfloor heating/cooling;
- Lighting system is 100 percent LED, with daylighting and occupancy controls contributing to a low-energy lighting design;
- Desert-adaptive plants in the building landscaping;
- More than 75 percent of the construction waste was diverted from landfills; among many other features.
The building was designed to be inviting, engaging, and accessible to everyone who is interested in learning about the law, its effect on our daily lives, and the many services and resources available through ASU and other building occupants. The building’s breezeway in between the West and East wings creates an inviting, engaging and accessible pathway for people to connect with the law, as well as the law school. It also brings more daylight into the building.
- Law School Grand Atrium starting on the 3rd floor, which is home to the Ross-Blakley Library and its 60,000 volumes for legal research
- P. Carey Foundation Armstrong Great Hall on the 1st floor that blurs the line between indoor/outdoor space for lectures and events
- Law Meets Society Square where people can learn about the law on the Nano Display
Arizona State University and the ASU Police Department are committed to the safety, security, and health of its students, faculty, and staff, and offer many resources to support this commitment. Emergency phones are located outside the BCLS on Taylor Street, and provide a direct line to ASU campus police 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Outside of normal operating hours, the BCLS will only be accessible to building occupants including law school students, faculty, and staff with Sun Cards. There are parts of the building that will be accessible via Sun Cards at all times.
The parking garage under the Beus Center for Law & Society is open to law school faculty and staff. There are a few visitor spots that can be reserved by building occupants. Students can park in the Reserved Law Lot at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus Garage in downtown. They also have several other options for parking downtown or they may utilize the Valley Metro system, including the light rail, which stops just two blocks from the building.