Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award

Established in February 1997, this award recognizes 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.

2024 Recipient

David J. Newstone is the Interim Executive Director and General Counsel of Defenders of Children, which has been providing free trauma-informed and healing-focused legal services to vulnerable low-income children and their families since 2007. Since moving to Arizona in 2012 to learn from and work with the faculty in the
Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona, David has demonstrated a tireless commitment to increasing access to justice within underserved and underrepresented communities throughout the state. Prior to joining Defenders of Children three years ago, David also practiced law in the public interest at Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc., and the William E. Morris Institute for Justice.

Throughout his legal career, David has successfully represented hundreds of low-income clients in counties and tribal nations across Arizona; contributed accessible legal content to numerous statewide programs and resources for self-represented litigants; and trained countless other attorneys, lay legal advocates, case managers, law enforcement officers, and others in crime victims’ rights and in family law, with a focus on child custody issues
and orders of protection.

David holds graduate degrees in law and political science from McGill University, the University of Chicago, and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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 
2021 Jamie Balson
2022 Nina Targovnik
2023 Habib A. Pierce-Byrd
2024 David J. Newstone
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