Public Lawyer Career Achievement Award
The Public Lawyers Section established the Public Lawyer Career Achievement Award in 1999 to recognize retired or retiring public attorneys who have had distinguished careers as public attorneys, have made many significant contributions to public service and are recognized as models of the dedication and commitment of public attorneys.
All retired or retiring public attorneys are eligible to receive this award, including elected public officials. A public attorney is a licensed attorney who: (1) works for a government agency (federal, state or local) or nonprofit legal aid office; or (2) provides legal services to a government agency or agencies where the legal services provided amount to at least 50% of the attorney's legal practice.
TOM PICKRELL serves as general counsel of Mesa Public Schools and has practiced public school law for 22 years.
Tom volunteered with the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education's "We the People" program for many years, and established a pro bono legal guardian clinic for Mesa parents of special needs students. He was honored as one of Arizona's "Top 50 Pro Bono Lawyers" in 2009 and has served on the Arizona Juvenile Justice Commission since 2011.
Previously, Tom served as legal counsel for the Arizona School Boards Association. For more than 20 years, he has helped organize and presented at the ASBA Annual School Law and the Arizona School Administrators Principal and the Law Conferences, the State’s preeminent law conferences for school boards and administrators. As an adjunct professor, Tom has taught school law at the ASU College of Education and written widely about current school law issues.
Tom's efforts to improve public schools are evident in many of the State's education statutes. This year he authored legislation that significantly reforms the State's teacher evaluation and dismissal laws.
Tom studied at the U of A and the University of Leeds, England, and received his J.D. from Duke University.
The award has been presented to:
||Hon. George Forster
||David G. Dingeldine
||Roderick G. McDougall
||Clinton T. Stinson
||Kerry G. Wangberg
||John W. "Bill" Dickinson
||Rodney B. Lewis
||Thomas E. Dugal