Walter Craig Award

Walter E. Craig Distinguished Services Award

Awarded to the attorney who has manifested adherence to the highest principles and tradition of the legal profession and service to the public in the community in which he/she lives.

Nominations are due March 1st and are to include the individual's name; firm if applicable; address & other contact information; the award for which they are being nominated and contact information of the nominators; a summary of their characteristics, experiences, and service that qualifies them for the award; and support letters from others may be included. The nomination packets should be sent to The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education, ATTN: Kevin S. Ruegg, 4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 210, Phoenix, AZ 85016 or email to [email protected].

Awards Acknowledged in conjunction with the Foundation participation in the annual Arizona State Bar Convention.

Email Nomination

2020 Awardee


Prof. Andrew Silverman

Andy’s commitment to justice and to low-income Arizonans is unparalleled. Since becoming a lawyer in 1969, he has never charged a client for his work. The list of wrongfully imprisoned men and women freed through Andy’s work is long.

His time spent assisting other access to justice institutions is also long.  In In 1976, Andy took a leave of absence from his U of A professorship to be Executive Director of Community Legal Services in Phoenix for three years. He has been on Southern Arizona Legal Aid’s board since 1978 and served as its President from 1983-1988. Andy has been a leader in the Arizona Capital Representation Project, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, the Asylum Project of Arizona, Barrios Unidos Land Trust, Coalition of Arizonans to Abolish the Death Penalty, the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, the Arizona Justice Project, William E. Morris Institute for Justice, No More Deaths, Sanctity of Life, People Against Executions, Primavera Foundation, Southern Arizona People’s Law Center, Tucson Housing Trust Fund, and the United Way.

 Andy served the University of Arizona in many capacities, including: President of the University Chapter of American Association of University Professors, Chair of the University of Arizona Committee of Eleven, member of the Executive Board of the University’s Faculty Association, served in the Faculty Senate including being a member of the Senate’s Executive Committee, and member of the Presidential Search Committee.

Andy’s commitment has changed thousands of lives for the better.

2019 Awardee


Hon. Lawrence Winthrop

“His humble and quiet disposition lays the stable foundation for a tenacious resolve to genuinely improve access to justice.”

        – Kevin Groman.

 The quote above from Mr. Groman’s support letter for Judge Winthrop’s nomination truly embodies the character of Larry’s work as an attorney and judge.  His leadership, professionalism and problem solving abilities made him the perfect choice for the first and current chair of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission. 

 A former partner of Snell & Wilmer, Judge Winthrop has accumulated many accolades and served in many leadership roles in his still prominent career.  He was the past president of the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Vice-Chair of the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct,  Chair of the Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee, and Chair of the Attorney Discipline and Probable Cause Committee .  He has served as chair on the Arizona Bar Foundation’s board and has been chair of the Valley of the Sun School’s board.  He was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2002 and has served as the Chief Judge there for two terms.  In 2012, the Arizona Supreme Court honored Judge Winthrop as its Judge of the year.  Three years later, the State Bar of Arizona presented him with the James A. Walsh Outstanding Jurist Award.

As an attorney and later judge, many young lawyers have looked to Judge Winthrop for mentorship.  Because of his patience, sense of fairness, integrity and professionalism, he brings out the best in those around him inspiring them to become better lawyers and judges and volunteers.


2018 Awardee


Patrick McGroder

Serving as a trial lawyer for the last 45 years, Patrick has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to his clients as well as the profession of law. His Gallagher & Kennedy colleagues speak highly of his caring nature, immense creativity, and incomparable work ethic. He has expressed a focus in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation, though he has taken on a variety of cases, from murder to malpractice.

He has served as a Prosecutor for the Attorney General Organized Crime Strike Force, completed an eight-year term on the Maricopa County Commission on Trial Court Appointments, worked as Chairman of the Arizona State Boxing Commission, and served as Fundraising Chair for the Maricopa County Homeless Shelter. As an integral piece of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Patrick has served as President and even established a partner program in Ireland. He has mentored a variety of attorneys, including a former Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court as well as the Federal District Judge Rayes, and has also funded numerous scholarships to law colleges.

He has received several honors and awards, including being the first recipient of the ABOTA Kenneth Clancy Memorial Award. Patrick played a key role in planting the seed that created what is now the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He has shown great initiative in addressing ‘access to justice’ issues by striving to end homelessness as well as racial inequity. Patrick has gone above and beyond to serve not only our Arizonan population but also our global population, and his compassion and ingenuity are evident in all his work.


2017 Awardee


Don Bivens

Distinguished Services so aptly defines the work of Don Bivens.  He has led, partnered and formed some of the most distinguished organizations and committees in Arizona and nationally.  Founding President of the Thurgood Marshall Jr. Inn of Court; President of the State Bar of Arizona; President of the Western State Bar Association; Co-Chair of the Equal Justice Campaign; Arizona delegate in the ABA House of Delegates; Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame inductee; Chair of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Committee on Civil Justice Reform, President of the Maricopa County Bar Association and the list goes on with over 30 years of leadership.

Don’s leadership is not just in the legal world, as he, alongside wife Patricia Refo, have made significant contributions to the Arizona community.  As Co-Chair of the Equal Justice Campaign, the agency has raised $5 million dollars to help legal aid in Arizona.  He was elected twice to serve as State Chair of the Arizona Democratic Party.  Don Bivens and Patricia Refo have served as Senior Warden and Chancellor of their church, and Don also serves as the church attorney for the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona.   They often open their home for charitable and political functions such as the Arizona Theater Company, Phoenix Symphony, Salvation Army and Arizona for Children.

Don’s career is a long list of service both to the legal community and the Arizona community as a whole.

2016 Awardee


Hon. Peter Cahill

Over 40 years ago Peter was serving on the front lines of the War on Poverty in rural Arizona first as a VISTA volunteer and then staff attorney with the Pinal and Gila County Legal Society. He treated his clients with compassion and respect as he provided representation to hundreds of low income residents from Casa Grande to the San Carlos Reservation.

Peter’s contributions continued when he transitioned from legal aid to private practice in the Globe/Miami area. He not only provided pro bono representation to numerous individuals  but also took a leadership role in the statewide effort to increase overall access to legal services by his role first as board member and ultimately as President of the Arizona Bar Foundation.

When Peter joined the Foundation Board it was beginning its initial discussions of how the newly realized IOLTA funds were going to be distributed. There was not uniform support for the proposition that the majority of the funding should go to the existing Legal Services programs  to provide direct delivery of legal services to low income individuals . Peter was a strong and important voice in insuring that the funding went where it was most needed and could be most effective.

Peter’s support for the delivery of the state’s legal services programs and their clients continued after he left the Foundation when he helped create and joined the board of the Arizona Justice Institute (now the William E. Morris Institute for Justice).

Peter’s entire legal career has been characterized by his devotion to community service and assistance for those in need.




William Hardin


Neal Kurn


Barbara Dawson

Justice Michael Ryan

Robert Schmitt

Prof. Robert Bartels

Bill Jones

Michael Flood

William Haug

Ted Schmidt

Daniel J. McAuliffe (Snell & Wilmer, LLP., Phoenix)

Paul Eckstein (Brown & Bain, P.A., Phoenix)

Peter D. Baird (Lewis & Roca LLP, Phoenix)

Mark Harrison (Osborn Maledon PA, Phoenix)

Larry Hammond (Osborn Maledon PA, Phoenix)

Grace McIlvain (Haralson, Miller, Pitt & McAnally)

Kenneth J. Sherk (Fennemore Craig)

John J. Bouma (Snell & Wilmer)

D. Burr Udall (Chandler, Tullar, Udall & Redhair)

Hon. Thomas Tang

Edward Jacobson (Snell & Wilmer)

Ashby I. Lohse

Calvin H. Udall (Fennemore Craig)

John P. Frank (Lewis & Roca)

Elias M. Romley (Sole Practitioner)

Charles E. Ares

H. Karl Mangum

Philip E. Von Ammon

Mark Wilmer



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