• Arizona Legal Legacies
  • Meet the legends behind the law – Interviews with Arizona attorneys

University of Michigan Law,
class of 1931

State Bar of Arizona
member since 1931

Thomas Leavitt Hall was born in 1907 in Kansas City, Missouri. When Thomas was 12 his family moved to Nogales. Hall attended Nogales High School, graduating in 1925, and then the University of Arizona, graduating in 1929, having studied literature and Spanish. He then began law school at the University of Michigan. When he finished law school in 1931, he returned to Nogales and entered the law practice of his step-father, Duane Bird. He was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 1932.

At the start of World War II,  Hall went into the army. He served in the Judge Advocate General's Department, leaving the service with the rank of Colonel. Hall then became the Administrative Assistant to Senator Ernest W. Mcfarland. After two years, he returned to Nogales and private practice with Duane Bird, where he worked primarily as a trial lawyer.

In 1957 Hall joined the faculty of the University of Arizona College of Law where he taught and was, for a time, the lawyer of the Board of Regents. Hall retired from the U of A College of Law in 1979.

Continue Reading

University of Arizona Law,
class of 1963

State Bar of Arizona
member since 1963

(b. 1921)Lillian S. Fisher was born in 1919 in New York. She received her degree from Brooklyn College majoring both in Physicology and Education Cycle. She worked for Bell Labs and in the export business, married, and had three children before deciding to become a lawyer. She moved to Arizona with her husband and children after her husband finished his military service.  They first lived in Benson and then moved to Tucson. With her children in school, Lillian decided to enroll in law school. 

She graduated from University of Arizona in 1963 and opened her own office.  In 1974, she ran to be elected as a Pima County Superior Court Judge. She won in what turned out to be the last election of judges before the transition to merit selection for Pima County. She served as a Pima County Superior Court Judge for seventeen years. 


Continue Reading

University of Arizona Law,
class of 1934

State Bar of Arizona
member since 1934

Featured Case
Hordyk v. Farley
94 Ariz. 189 (1963) 382 P. 2d 668

Gordon Farley was born in 1908 in Michigan and came to Patagonia, Arizona, with his family in 1918. After graduation from Patagonia High School in 1928, he attended the University of Arizona, receiving his law degree in 1934. He began his law practice in Nogales and married Virginia Sayre in the fall of 1934. Farley expanded his activities into the political realm, serving as Nogales city attorney, and later as a state representative. Resuming his law practice in Nogales briefly, he then ran for the judgeship of the Santa Cruz Superior Court. He was elected in 1938 and served in that capacity for the next forty years. 

Continue Reading

University of Arizona Law,
class of 1947

State Bar of Arizona
member since 1937

Clarence Duncan was born in Globe, Arizona in 1915. He attended the University of Arizona to obtain an LLB degree. His last year of law school was at George Washington. He took the bar exam early and finished his degree after coming back from the war in 1946. He was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 1937, but his degree was listed in 1947.  He worked as staff for Senator Hayden, was a county attorney, was in private practice, and a partner with Jennings & Strouss.

Continue Reading

University of Arizona,
class of 1930

Featured Case:
Walker v. DeConcini
86 Ariz. 143 (1959) 341 P.2d 933

The child of a pioneer Arizona family, Ora Webster DeConcini was born near Thatcher, in Graham County. She attended Mormon schools, and Woodbury Business College in Los Angeles, and taught business courses at Gila Academy while still a student herself.  Upon completlon of a degree in Accounting and Business from the Unlversity of Arizona in 1930, she taught school in Tucson.

In 1932 Ora Webster met and married Evo DeConcini, who was just completing a degree in law.  In the years after their marriage, Evo's career and land development projects prospered. The family, which eventually included four children (Dino, Dennis, David and Danielle), moved From Tucson to Phoenix, and back again, as Evo served as Pima County Superior Court judge, State Attorney General, and Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court.  During this time,  Ora was active in political  and civic organizations, including the Tucson Fine Arts Board, the Symphony Women's Association, the Newman Foundation, and St. Joseph’s  Hospital. She served as a precinct committeewoman for the Democratic Party for thirty years, and was on the Democratic National Committee for eight years.  In 1978, she was named Arizona’s Mother of the Year.

Continue Reading

More Articles ...