Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award

Established in 2015, the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award is  presented by the Board of Governors to an attorney, judge, employer, organization, or bar association that significantly advances diversity and inclusion in the Arizona legal community through creative, strategic, or innovative efforts.

2020 Recipients

Hon. David B. Gass grew up in Pennsylvania and spent a year studying in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. He has a bachelor's in business administration and a master's in communications studies. He graduated magna cum laude from the Arizona State University College of Law.

He clerked for the Honorable Ruth V. McGregor before joining Lewis and Roca, LLP. He served as Counsel to the Democratic Caucus at the Arizona House of Representatives before serving as Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard’s Director of Legislative Affairs.

In 2009, he joined the Arizona Superior Court in Maricopa County. In 2019, he joined the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One.

He works with Arizona Town Hall. He recently served as the Arizona Judges Association’s president. He serves on the Arizona Supreme Court Commission on Minorities in the Judiciary. He is completing a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate program at Cornell University.

He received the 2014 State Bar of Arizona Michael D. Ryan Award for Judicial Excellence, the 2018 Maricopa County Superior Court Judicial Officer of the Year Award from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and the 2018 Pete Dunn Above and Beyond Award-Outstanding Ambassador of the Judges of Arizona from the Arizona Judges Association.

Ashley Villaverde Halvorson practices in the area of bad faith and professional liability, as well as personal injury and wrongful death litigation. Ashley is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and serves on her firm’s Diversity Committee, Recruiting Committee, and formerly chaired its Diversity Legal Writing Program. Since 2010, Ashley has been an active member of Los Abogados, Arizona’s Hispanic Bar Association, previously serving as President (2018), and on several committees focused on mentorship and fundraising for scholarships for Latino law students. Ashley is currently serving as the Los Abogados Latina Committee co-chair, and is involved in other groups centered on the advancement of women in the profession, such as the Latina Mentoring Project, Arizona Women’s Lawyers Association, and Ladder Down. Prior to joining JSH, Ashley interned for Representative Ed Pastor, U.S. House of Representatives; former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano; Hon. Mary Murguia, formerly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, now serving on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; and Hon. Jon W. Thompson, Arizona Court of Appeals.

Previous Recipients

The award has been presented to:

2016 Indian Legal Program at Arizona State University, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
2017 Arizona Collaborative Bar
2018 Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
2019 Hon. Randall M. Howe
James P. O'Sullivan
2020 Hon. David B. Gass
Ashley Villaverde Halvorson
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