Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid
Attorney of the Year Award

Established in 1997, the Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award presented by the Baord of Governors recognizes the 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 impacts advocacy designed to address systemic issues affecting significant numbers of low-income people.

2019 Recipient

Special Merit

Deonissa Cañez-Anderson is a Tucson native and graduate of the University of Arizona, the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, and Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming. With over fifteen years as a staff attorney at Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc., Deonissa currently works in the Tucson domestic relations unit. She is bilingual and represents victims of domestic violence in both Pima and Santa Cruz counties, including Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court, in matters ranging from dissolution, paternity, legal decision making, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, and qualified domestic relations orders. As a former Maricopa County public defender assigned to a felony trial group, she zealously represented the indigent in Phoenix. Prior to law school, she studied voice performance and piano. Her work experiences range from teaching Independent Living Skills to juvenile probationers/parolees at Tucson Urban League's 2nd Chance Program to service advising at Maricopa County's Self-Service Center. For over three years, she coordinated community projects on behalf of southside residents, including grant writing, for funding to improve the Sunland Gardens/Las Vistas neighborhood in Tucson. She and her husband are actively involved in music ministry releasing Shel Zahav (of Gold), a CD collection of Jewish and Messianic songs. 


Prior 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

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