Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award

Recognizing that legal services lawyer in Arizona whose service to low-income people encompasses both aggressive advocacy on behalf of individuals in extreme need as well as impact advocacy designed to address systemic issues affecting significant numbers of low-income people. (Award established in 1997)

2020 Recipients

January F. E. Contreras: A champion for women and children, January Contreras is an attorney and legal aid CEO who has dedicated her career to serving others.

January is a former Deputy County Attorney, Assistant Attorney General, and Advisor to Governor Janet Napolitano. In 2009, she joined the Obama Administration where she was a designee to the White House Council on Women and Girls, and she led efforts to strengthen protections for immigrant victims of crime, especially battered immigrant women.

She returned home inspired to represent people left behind in the justice system. January launched and leads Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services (ALWAYS) to provide lifesaving and life changing legal services to kids and young adults facing homelessness, abuse, human trafficking, and the foster care system. She has seen the transformational power of putting a lawyer at the side of someone in need.

January has been recognized with honors including the YWCA Tribute to Leadership Award, Mujer Luminaria Award, Outstanding Women in Business, and the Arizona American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Public Service Award.

She is grateful for the family who raised her, and for the family she and her partner of 26 years have raised together. January is a proud Wildcat.

Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project

Mission: The mission of the Florence Project is to provide free legal and social services to detained adults and unaccompanied children facing immigration removal proceedings in Arizona.

Vision: The vision of the Florence Project is to ensure that all immigrants facing removal have access to counsel, understand their rights under the law, and are treated fairly and humanely.

Previous Recipients

The award has been presented to:

1997     Sharon A. Fullmer (posthumously)
1998 Lois T. Kermott (posthumously)
1999 William E. Morris
2000 Dolores H. Milkie
2001 Thomas J. Berning
Edwad E. Coghlan
2002 Sylvia J. Struss
2003 Veronika Fabian
Denise I. Young
2004 Lydia A. Glasson
2005 George H. McKay
2006 Patricia J. Gerrich
2007 Anthony L. Young
2008 Valerie C. Hink
2009 Rachel Wilson
2010 Prof. Andrew Silverman
2011 Pamela M. Bridge
2012 Mary V. Day
2013 Beverly B. Parker
2014 Ellen Sue Katz
2015 Laura Belous
2016 Stanley Silas
2017 Golden E. McCarthy
2018 Anne M. Ryan
2019 Deonissa Cañez-Anderson
2020 January F. E. Contreras
Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project 
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