Attorney of the Month Award for Pima County
By Michele Mirto
Patrick Lacroix has been selected as the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney of the Month for April. Patrick began volunteering with the VLP as a law student in 2005 when he participated in a VLP family law project. Patrick joined the VLP as an attorney in 2008. Over the course of the last several years Patrick has participated in the VLP’s Self-Service Center Project, the Minor Guardianship Project and the KARE Legal Clinic. He has also provided direct representation to several clients in need of assistance with family law matters. In all, Patrick has lead 30 clinics, assisted 218 clients and donated more than 170 hours to assist VLP clients.
Q & A WITH Patrick Lacroix
Where are you from? Washington, DC
Where did you go to college? Georgetown University
Where did you go to law school? UA
How long have you lived in Tucson? 11 years
What is the history of your practice of law? During my second year of law school I took a family law class taught by Barbara Atwood. Because of that class I decided to practice family law. I also began volunteering with the VLP Family Law Clinic. At the suggestion of a friend, I sought out the Honorable Sarah Simmons, who was presiding family law judge, and applied to clerk/bailiff with her. She took me on as a law clerk in 2008. After my clerkship, I began to practice with Len Karp, Laura Belleau, and Lisa Abrams at Karp & Weiss. My practice at Karp & Weiss was primarily divorce and custody matters. While there I began to represent parents and foster parents in juvenile court cases. My juvenile court practice became my primary interest, and in 2011 I left Karp & Weiss to work for the Pima County Office of Children’s Counsel. Working for the Office of Children’s Counsel was rewarding but also heartbreaking, and after a year I returned to Karp & Weiss with the plan to build a less emotionally demanding practice. Although I tried to leave my child advocacy work behind, I found it very difficult because it is my passion. While at Karp & Weiss I continued to take on adoption, severance, dependency, guardianship and custody cases. In early 2014, I left Karp & Weiss, and started Arizona Children’s Law, LLC, a solo practice dedicated to cases focused on children.
What are your current practice areas? I have a very broad family law practice, including adoption, custody, dependency, grandparent rights, guardianship, and severance cases.
What drives you to volunteer with VLP? I feel that it is the right thing to do. It is also a lot of fun working with students.
Anyone you would like to acknowledge for contributing to your legal career / pro bono service? I have been lucky to mentor with a number of incredible attorneys. Here is a short list:
- Barbara Atwood
- The Hon. Sarah Simmons
- Len Karp
- Scott Myers
There have been many others.
One reason you would encourage attorneys to volunteer with VLP? The clinics are fast paced and fun. You do the best you can with 30 minutes. It’s like speed dating clients.
Favorite Tucson restaurant? It changes a lot. Kimchi Time is my current favorite.
Things you do when not working or volunteering your legal services?
- Spend time with my family.
- Watch science fiction shows and movies
- Work on my 58 MGA
- Play guitar
- Bow Hunt
Best thing about being an attorney in Tucson? The legal community.
Worst thing about being an attorney in Tucson? Wearing a suit in the summer.
If you ever retire from private practice, it will be to start a new career as a ____? A teacher.
Things that you wish were closer to your office? The gym (or is it that I just wish I could get there?).
Are you a dog or a cat person? Dog. No question about it.
What do you do to unwind after work? I play with my kids.
Favorite song? Blue Skies
Person you most admire? My wife’s parents
Food you can't live without? Coffee
Any bad habits? Coffee
Best vacation destination? Blue River, Arizona.