|2013 Hall of Fame Inductees|
2013 Maricopa County Bar Hall of Fame - Pioneers
Louis H. Chalmers - 1861-1934
With a rise to success and greatness from humble beginnings, it’s poetically fitting that Louis Henry Chalmers chose Phoenix as the place where he would ascend from the ashes fate dealt him as a child.
One-half of the founding duo that launched the venerable 128-year-old firm that today is Fennemore Craig overcame a rough start that hurled other youths into oblivion before finding his passion and niche in law.
Chalmers was just 4 when his father died. This initiated his mother’s decision to move away from his hometown of Jamestown, Ohio, to Albion, Iowa. Chalmers was sent to what was called the Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home in Cedar Falls, where he attended public schools. At the age of 16, he returned to Jamestown, where he graduated from high school.
Chalmers’ ambition and business acumen was evidenced early on when, starting at around the age of 20, he edited and ran the Waverly, a newspaper in Pike County, Ohio. During this time, he developed an interest in law. In 1883, he enrolled at what is known today as the University of Cincinnati College of Law and graduated with his law degree in 1884.
Chalmers quickly set his sights west, specifically Phoenix, where he joined his friend Richard E. Sloan, who would later hold positions as a territorial justice and governor. Together they established Sloan & Chalmers in 1885, at what is now the intersection of Washington Street and First Avenue in downtown Phoenix.
One of the firm’s first clients was the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, which set its precedence for representing many of the then-territory’s railroad companies. Fennemore Craig still represents the successor railroad company today, which is the second largest in the nation.
When Arizona achieved statehood in 1912, Chalmers was joined by former Arizona Territorial Supreme Court Chief Justice Edward Kent and became the senior member of firm Chalmers & Kent.
Chalmers was the attorney for several mining, banking and other commercial enterprises such as the Cobre Grande Copper Company and Phoenix National Bank, of which he later became president. Chalmers also served as Phoenix City Attorney and representative of Maricopa County in the 16th Legislature, during which he served as chairman of the judiciary committee and member of several other committees.
Known as being very social with many friends gained through professional and personal interactions, Chalmers’ wife Laura was the first president of the Arizona Women’s Golf Association.
Hon. Edward Kent, Jr. - 1862-1916
Edward Kent Jr.’s name likely doesn’t ring any bells with those outside of the legal community or not engrossed in state history. However, the impact of his most influential decision continues to have great significance to Arizonans today, ultimately setting the foundation for growth, particularly in Maricopa County.
As Arizona Territorial Supreme Court Chief Justice, Kent’s 1910 decision authored during Hurley v. Abbott, the Arizona Territorial Court determined that nearly 240,000 irrigable acres in the Salt River Valley had a right to water diverted from the Salt and Verde rivers for agricultural purposes. What became the Kent Decree determined water rights for about 5,000 landowners in the Salt River Valley. It also determined which lands were entitled to receive water from Roosevelt Lake, increased and decreed Salt River Indian Reservation rights and recognized Fort McDowell Indian Reservation water users.
Additionally, the Kent Decree established the concept of normal flow rights, which granted first rights to the land on which the water’s normal river flow was first used, and that water that was stored and developed be shared equally among lands within a water users association.
Born in Lynn, Mass., Kent obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and his law degree from Columbia University. After his admission to the New York bar in 1887, Kent went into private practice for 10 years before moving to Denver when physicians diagnosed him with tuberculosis, recommending a climate change.
Kent made a successful bid for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives in 1900, and a year later became an Assistant United States Attorney. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Kent to the Arizona Territorial Supreme Court and Kent relocated to Phoenix.
While serving on the Arizona bench, Kent rendered an estimated 70 decisions. While the Kent Decree was his most significant, there were several that were noteworthy at the time. Among them, Sallady v. Old Dominion Copper Mining Company that concerned a girl who had drowned at one of the company’s mines and Hughes v. Territory of Arizona, which examined a criminal charge brought against Governor and newspaper editor Louis Cameron Hughes due to his published articles.
Kent left the bench when Arizona achieved statehood on Feb. 14, 1912, earning him the distinction of being the last Arizona territorial chief justice. Kent returned to private practice with Louis H. Chalmers in the Phoenix firm that is now Fennemore Craig. He became a director of the Phoenix Country Club, member of the St. Luke’s Hospital board of trustees and a vestryman at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
Calvin Udall - 1923-2004
Hailing from one of Arizona’s most historically venerated political families, Calvin Udall established his uniquely rightful place in the state’s legal community as well as leaving his fingerprint on measures that equalized the judiciary landscape.
Born in St. Johns, Ariz., Udall’s rise to earn a place among Arizona’s pre-eminent trial lawyers was launched in 1948, when he gradated from what is now the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. Udall returned to his hometown to enter private practice briefly before serving as Assistant Arizona Attorney General in 1949. Two years later, Udall would join the firm that at one point would bear his name, Fennemore, Craig, Von Ammon & Udall, where he would eventually become partner and senior director. That firm is known today as Fennemore Craig.
Perhaps Udall’s most noted case came in 1954, when he was part of the legal team that represented Arizona in the titanic battle in the United States Supreme Court between Arizona and California for control of the Colorado River water. This trial resulted in a 1963 court decision that allocated rights to Arizona. Without access to the water, growth of the state’s major cities, particularly Phoenix, would never have materialized.
Udall was a tireless supporter of diversity, chairing the American Bar Association Task Force on Minorities in the Legal Profession from 1984-1986. His service culminated in the task force’s published report that highlighted the lack of opportunities for minorities as lawyers and judges. Udall continued his fight for equality as a member on the Ad Hoc Committee for Minority Opportunities in the Arizona Judiciary, which later became the Commission on Minority Opportunities in the Arizona Judiciary in 1990. This commission sought to increase the racial and ethnic diversity within the state judiciary at all levels.
Udall served as president of the Maricopa County Bar Association, a State Bar of Arizona delegate, and a member of both the State Bar of Arizona’s Board of Governors and the American Bar Association Board of Governors.
Udall is a recipient of the University of Arizona Distinguished Citizen Award, Maricopa County Bar Association Distinguished Public Service Award and the Arizona Bar Foundation’s Walter E. Craig Distinguished Service Award.
Udall and his wife Doris were married for 61 years and have five children.
"Most don’t know that Cal was a great mentor to many young lawyers throughout our State,” writes Ernest Calderon, founder of Calderon Law Offices, in a tribute to Udall in the February 2005, issue of Arizona Attorney magazine. "He would always greet you with, ‘How’s it going?’ ‘What case are you involved in?’… exhibiting an interest in you as if you were special. Chance encounters with him along the street or in the federal courthouses were a pleasure.”
Philip E. Von Ammon - 1915-2000
As a gifted lawyer and civic-minded citizen who donated his time to many community endeavors, Philip E. Von Ammon easily won the respect and admiration of his colleagues and peers for his professional and personal contributions.
Considered extremely talented at his craft, retired United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor once called Von Ammon "the best trial lawyer in Arizona.” From 1951 to the late-1980’s, the attorney renowned for many aspects of legal expertise, particularly in antitrust matters, had evolved into the undisputed leader of the firm now known as Fennemore Craig, serving as its president and chairman since joining the firm in 1951, when it was Fennemore, Craig, Allen & Bledsoe.
Born in Evanston, Ill., Von Ammon earned both his undergraduate degree and law degree from Northwestern University. Upon graduating from law school in 1938, Von Ammon entered private practice and joined the firm Sidley & Austin, where he remained for four years before serving as Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy during World War II from 1942-1946.
After his military service, Von Ammon served as counsel to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway before joining the Phoenix firm he helped grow.
Over his exemplary career, Von Ammon continued to be an active participant and key force in the Arizona legal community. He served as president and on the board of directors for the Maricopa County Bar Association and was also president of the State Bar of Arizona, as well as a member of its board of governors. Von Ammon was a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and recipient of the Walter E. Craig Distinguished Service Award from the Arizona Bar Foundation.
Civically, Von Ammon, a devoted husband to wife Barbara and father of three daughters, was equally as active. He served on the Paradise Valley Town Council, Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission and the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. He also volunteered his time to a bevy of causes including the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona Zoological Society and Phoenix Symphony Advisory Board.
2013 Maricopa County Bar Hall of Fame - Modern Era
Currently a partner at Snell & Wilmer, Don Bivens has handled legal complexities of all types and corporate investigations, displaying his versatility and skill.
He has represented clients at trial in a wide variety of matters including securities fraud, patent infringement, lender liability, environmental liability, professional negligence, officer and director liability, products liability, employment discrimination, real estate and construction, business torts and class actions. His expertise also encompasses government relations and election law.
Bivens has served as president of the Maricopa County Bar, the State Bar of Arizona and the Western States Bar Conference. He was the founding president of the Thurgood Marshall, Jr. Inn of Court, chaired the Arizona Lawyer Representatives to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and co-chaired the Arizona Equal Justice Campaign. Bivens has been elected three times as Arizona’s state delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates and went on to serve on the American Bar Association Board of Governors as well as its Executive Committee.
From 2007-2011, Bivens served two terms as the elected State Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party. This summer, he was elected Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, the largest within the association with 55,000 members. Bivens has been a member of the American Law Institute since 2007, and is on the Phoenix School of Law Advisory Board.
About 10 years ago, Bivens and John J. Bouma, a fellow partner at Snell & Wilmer, established the Arizona Equal Justice Campaign to provide funding for the three umbrella legal services organizations in the state. Since then, the campaign has generated more than $4 million.
Bivens graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law.
Bivens is a council member for the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the church attorney for the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and a director of Arizonans for Children, a nonprofit charitable organization that facilitates opportunities, alleviates hardships and works to improve the lives of abused and neglected children in foster care.
Mentoring of young lawyers is of great value to Bevins, who said he has been fortunate to have several mentors, including fellow 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz and past inductee Ed Hendricks, Sr., who Bivens has known for nearly 30 years.
"Few become good lawyers, or good people, on their own,” Bivens believes. "The positive influence Ed has had on many lives, personally and professionally, motivates all of us to encourage younger colleagues to make the most of their talents as lawyers and as members of the Arizona community.”
Hon. Robert C. Broomfield
With a lengthy career that reflects forward thinking and the ability to make strides while remaining personable to those around him, United States District Court for the District of Arizona Judge Robert C. Broomfield has been at the forefront of many groundbreaking movements.
Judge Broomfield has the unique distinction of having served both as presiding judge of one of the nation’s largest state trial courts and chief judge of the U.S. District Court, District of Arizona. Judge Broomfield also supervised construction of the new federal courthouses in Phoenix and Tucson.
In 1978, as presiding judge, he brought together judges and lawyers to participate in the Civil Delay Reduction Project. Eventually known as a "fast track” court system used in civil and criminal cases, the project reduces the processing time of cases through regulations that emphasize arbitration as well as lawyers monitoring the progress of litigation. This effort changed the local legal culture and created a model for courts around the nation. It also required legal minds to put aside the way they did business and embrace procedures that were foreign to them.
Known for a rare charisma and talent for diplomacy, Judge Broomfield achieved advancements that eluded others.
"His ability to deal with the public, the politicians, the media and various groups and agencies doing business with the court was unsurpassed by any of those coming before or after him,” writes Judge James E. McDougall in his Hall of Fame nomination recommendation letter.
Born in Detroit, Judge Broomfield earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from The Pennsylvania State University. He went on to graduate from what is now known as the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.
Before attending law school, the Judge served in the United States Air Force, holding the rank of a First Lieutenant pilot.
Judge Broomfield started his career as a law clerk before going into private practice in 1962. In 1971, Judge Broomfield took the bench at the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County. Here, he served as presiding judge for the Juvenile Division and later the entire Superior Court.
In 1985, Judge Broomfield was appointed to his current seat, has held the position of chief judge and assumed senior judge status in 1999.
His involvement includes service on many professional boards committees and community organizations.
"More than having a stellar resume, however, Judge Broomfield should be recognized for his absolute integrity, total commitment to the law and willingness to serve in extraordinary ways,” writes former United States Senator and prior Hall of Fame inductee Jon Kyl.
When Patricia Gerrich became Director for the Volunteer Lawyers Program in 1994, she had already established a legal career advocating for those often forgotten by society.
Gerrich was a staff attorney for 3 ½ years for the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, where she advocated for children and adults with developmental disabilities. She assisted Center Executive Director Amy Gittler with a class action lawsuit on behalf of 4,500 indigent seriously mentally ill people in Maricopa County who were not receiving appropriate community mental health services. The four-week trial resulted in favorable decisions ordering improvements in community services.
In 1987, Gerrich joined The Arc of Arizona, a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As executive director, she did legislative advocacy work on behalf of children and adults and worked with 24 local groups that served people with disabilities and their families.
In 1994, Gerrich focused her energies on the Volunteer Lawyers Program, a nonprofit co-sponsored by Community Legal Services and the Maricopa County Bar Association that provides volunteer opportunities and support to more than 2,000 private lawyers who provide pro bono civil legal services to people with low incomes.
Gerrich earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Ripon College in Wisconsin and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin. She obtained her J.D. from Arizona State University College of Law, now the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where she also was awarded the inaugural Justice for All Award in 2010.
Gerrich was recognized by the National Association of Pro Bono Professionals as Pro Bono Coordinator of the Year in 1999. In 2001, she was honored as one of the 100 Women and Minority Lawyers in Arizona, which recognized those who paved the way for equal opportunity for all people regardless of race, origin or gender. In 2002, Gerrich received the Legal Access Award of the Arizona Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. In 2006, she was honored with the State Bar of Arizona Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award.
Pat and her husband, Stuart Gerrich, met during their first year of law school and married at spring break during their second year. Their son, Bryce, was born two months after they were admitted to practice law in Arizona. Gerrich credits her husband and son with providing essential encouragement and good humor. She also acknowledges her mother, who is still volunteering at age 90, for providing a role model of life-long commitment to service.
Hon. Andrew D. Hurwitz
A ringing endorsement from the one of the most powerful men in the world is a rare honor that has underscored the career of Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz.
Judge Hurwitz has held a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit since 2012, a position for which he was nominated by President Barack Obama.
In a press release issued by the White House announcing the nomination in 2011, the President said, "Justice Hurwitz has proven himself to be not only a first-rate legal mind but a faithful public servant. It is with full confidence in his ability, integrity, and independence that I nominate him to the bench of the United States Court of Appeals.”
Judge Hurwitz’s experience as both a lawyer and a judge has touched all areas of law and includes notable opinions on freedom of speech, product liability and separation of powers.
In private practice, Judge Hurwitz represented a diverse range of clients that included international conglomerates, Indian tribes, criminal defendants and government entities, earning the reputation of being one of the state’s most skilled appellate specialists. He argued twice before the United States Supreme Court, and one of those, Ring v. Arizona, would ultimately become his most notable.
In 2002, Judge Hurwitz successfully convinced the Court that Arizona’s former process of imposing the death penalty was unconstitutional and that juries, not judges, should determine whether aggravating circumstances exist to impose capital punishment. This decision dramatically altered capital sentencing in Arizona and other states.
Born in New York City, Judge Hurwitz obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University and went on to earn his law degree from Yale Law School. He was admitted to practice law in Connecticut in 1973, and in Arizona in 1974.
Judge Hurwitz served in the Connecticut Army National Guard and was honorably discharged at the rank of U.S. Army Reserve Specialist 5 in 1975. He was a longtime partner at Osborn Maledon and is a longtime faculty member at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
He was the chief of staff to Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt from 1980-1983, and filled the same position for Arizona Governor Rose Mofford in 1988. In 2003, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano appointed him to the Arizona Supreme Court.
Judge Hurwitz said he was fortunate to have Hall of Fame member Ed Hendricks Sr. as a mentor.
"We sometimes overlook the tremendous influence a senior lawyer can have on new admittees,” he asserts. "The results of Ed’s extraordinary example should serve to remind us of the longstanding benefits of mentorship.”
Lillian O. Johnson
While many spend much of their lives trying not to fall into the gap, Lillian O. Johnson, executive director for Community Legal Services, has spent her nearly 40-year career working to close it when it comes to justice equality.
When Johnson was honored as a White House Champion of Change award in 2011, as part of President Barack Obama’s Winning the Future Initiative, it punctuated her never-dying advocacy to enhance access to quality civil legal representation by those who cannot afford these services in the private sector.
The Tulsa, Okla., native earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and graduated from the University of Chicago Law School.
However, thoughts of a legal career were sparked by a television comedy that had little to do with attorneys or courtrooms.
In an interview with The Record Online, the University of Chicago Law School alumni magazine, published in spring 2012, Johnson recalls watching "The Beverly Hillbillies” as a child. Growing up surrounded by oil derricks, Johnson was puzzled as to why her family and everyone she knew were strangers to the life of luxury she saw on TV. As a seventh-grader, she asked an attorney speaking at her school’s career day about the discrepancy. He culminated his explanation about the difference between property rights and mineral rights with, "That is the power of the law.”
In the interview, Johnson says she was impressed by how easily the attorney could explain what had been a mystery. "And I wanted that power, the power of the law to be on the side of people like me, my family and others in my community.”
Johnson’s professional experience includes positions with the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago and the Chicago regional office of the Legal Services Corporation.
Johnson left Chicago in 1982, and moved to Phoenix to serve in the position she holds today. Community Legal Services is Arizona’s largest nonprofit civil legal aid program with offices in five counties as well as a migrant farm worker program and volunteer lawyers program.
Johnson is among the group of nonprofit leaders who founded of the Organization of Nonprofit Executives. She also currently serves as chairperson for the Board of the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association.
"Each year, more and more lawyers volunteer their time with us to help poor people obtain justice. And there’s also an increasing appreciation of the need for broader advocacy where the legal system is inadequate to a problem,” Johnson says to the Record. "This is the kind of change I’m proud to help bring about.”
With a focus on complex commercial litigation in the state and federal courts, David Rosenbaum’s career has been spent contributing his talents to the bar and the public with his pro bono work.
In the 30 years since graduating from law school, Rosenbaum has represented public companies and their officers and directors in numerous securities fraud class actions, and Fortune 50 companies in a wide range of complex commercial litigation matters, including matters involving intellectual property disputes. He has also represented national and local companies in employment controversies, including class-action discrimination lawsuits.
As past president of the Federal Bar Association and Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Rosenbaum has developed knowledge and experience in the finer points of prosecuting complex litigation in the federal courts. In 2009, he was appointed by the Supreme Court of Arizona to chair the Arizona Supreme Court Task Force for Development of Arizona Law Course and as a member on its Committee on Civil Rules of Procedure for Limited Jurisdiction Courts in 2011. He has been a member of the Judicial College of Arizona since 2010, and serves as an adjunct professor with the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
Presidential positions on the board of Community Legal Services and William E. Morris Institute for Justice, and membership on the advisory panel of the Volunteer Lawyers Program are on his list pro bono activities. Rosenbaum has also handled numerous high profile, controversial pro bono cases and was recently recognized by the Arizona Advocacy Network for his efforts in Arizona v. Intertribal Council of Arizona, a major voting rights case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in June.
After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree in history and environmental studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Rosenbaum earned his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, where his distinguished law school career included clerking for a federal judge. He was admitted to practice law in Arizona in 1984, and the District of Columbia in 1985.
Numerous recognitions that have highlighted Rosenbaum’s career include: Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; Phoenix Best Lawyers’ Bet-the-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year; and Lawdragon’s 100 Lawyers You Need to Know in Securities Litigation. Most recently, Best Lawyers named Rosenbaum its 2014 Litigation-Securities Litigation Lawyer of the Year for Phoenix.
Rosenbaum is also the recipient of the Arizona Chapter of the American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Award for Community Service and the Judicial Branch Distinguished Service Award by Arizona Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Berch for his outstanding service and contributions to the branch.
Hon. Michael D. Ryan - 1945-2012
Wounds obtained in combat that resulted in two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star with Valor and an early retirement from a gallant military career would be the professional culmination for many. For Arizona Supreme Court Justice Michael D. Ryan, however, it was the impressive prelude to a commendable career in law and service.
The number of lives he touched defined the consummate life he led and has cemented the legacy he leaves. Justice Ryan, whose injuries suffered in Vietnam left him reliant on a wheelchair, was an inspiration to many, particularly those with physical limitations.
"Without fanfare, he quietly paved the way for people with disabilities to participate in the judicial system with full equality,” states one of Justice Ryan’s many letters of support in his Hall of Fame nomination. "Understanding fully that he was a role model and because it was the right thing to do, Justice Ryan brought honor and humility to the jobs of being an exemplary judge, citizen and leader in the Bar.”
A Minnesota native, Justice Ryan graduated from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature and graduated from what is now the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
Before enrolling in law school, Justice Ryan joined the United States Marine Corps in 1967, where he retired as Second Lieutenant Infantry Platoon Leader in 1969.
After earning his Juris Doctor degree in 1977, Justice Ryan’s first job was as deputy county attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, a position he held until his appointment to the bench of the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1985, where he presided over numerous high-profile cases, including AzScam and Governor Evan Mecham’s criminal trial.
In 1996, Justice Ryan was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, and in 2002, Governor Jane Hull appointed him to the Arizona Supreme Court. This is where Justice Ryan served until his retirement in 2010.
Justice Ryan’s lengthy list of accolades include the James A. Walsh Outstanding Jurist Award and the Judicial Award of Excellence, renamed the Michael D. Ryan Award for Judicial Excellence in 2012, both from the State Bar of Arizona, and the Honorable Henry S. Stevens Judge of the Year Award from the Maricopa County Bar Association. Justice Ryan was posthumously awarded the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education’s Walter E. Craig Distinguished Service Award and the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel’s Special Recognition Award.
Over the years, Justice Ryan and his wife Karen provided foster care to more than 80 children, including several who were considered high-risk.
Hon. Roxanne Song Ong
Being a trailblazer is a quixotic dream that remains illusive to most. However, Phoenix Municipal Court Chief Presiding Judge Roxanne Song Ong has achieved this rare accomplishment.
The native Phoenician is the first Asian woman judge in Arizona and the first minority woman to be named as the city’s Chief Judge. Over a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Judge Song Ong has demonstrated dedication to justice as an attorney and judge.
Prior to her appointment by the Phoenix City Council in 2005, Judge Song Ong had served as a Phoenix Municipal Court judge since 1991. Her career as a judge began in 1986, when she served on the Scottsdale City Court.
A successful career as an attorney included specialization in the areas of criminal prosecution, defense and immigration law. Her diverse interests continue and are reflected in her professional and personal involvement with a variety of committees and organizations.
Currently, Judge Song Ong is the chair of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Commission on Minorities, and member of the court’s judicial council, commission on technology and publication committee. She serves as faculty member for the Arizona Supreme Court’s New Judge Orientation Program and for the Arizona Judicial College. The Judge is a State Bar of Arizona’s Leadership Institute board member and an officer with the Arizona Minority Judges’ Caucus.
Her involvement with several community-focused organizations include the Arizona Baptist Children’s Services, Valley Leadership, Asian Chamber of Commerce and the Phoenix Community Alliance.
Previously, Judge Song Ong served as chair of the Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Education and Training and formerly served on the court’s Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee. She is also the immediate past president of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education Board of Directors.
Judge Song Ong earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in education with a minor in psychology from Arizona State University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arizona College of Law.
This year, the Arizona Supreme Court awarded Judge Song Ong its Distinguished Service Award, naming her Judge of the Year for Arizona. She was also honored with the 2013 Asian Pacific Community in Action Award.
Judge Song Ong is the recipient of the Justice Michael Ryan Award for Judicial Excellence and the Mark Santana Award for Law Related Education from the Arizona Bar Foundation. Over the past 27 years, Judge Song Ong has volunteered her time to speak to more than 200 classes in grades K-12 on the subject of law and its impact on their lives.
Regarding her induction into the Hall of Fame, Judge Song Ong says she is "humbled and honored beyond words.”