Attorney of the Month Award for Pima County
By Michele Mirto
David West was selected as the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney of the Month in December 2014. David West has been a VLP volunteer for nearly 20 years. He participates in the VLP’s Minor Guardianship Court Project where he supervises law students as they meet with prospective guardians in probate court. Over the years Mr. West has also provided direct representation to more than 30 VLP clients in the areas of wills, probate and minor guardianship. Recently, Mr. West assisted a grandmother who had obtained minor guardianship of all of her grandchildren. After obtaining the guardianship, the client cared for and provided for her grandchildren. Unfortunately, she had some trouble navigating the legal system on her own and as a result failed to file the annual reports required by the court. David West helped the client quash the fiduciary bench warrants. The court files were closed as a result of Mr. West’s efforts. Mr. West dedicated 7 hours to the case.
The VLP’s monthly award is a distinct honor: of the 1,100 attorneys who volunteer their time with VLP, only 12 receive the VLP’s Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney award each year.
Q & A with David West
Where are you from? I was born in Muncie Indiana
Where did you go to college? I am a University of Arizona graduate
Where did you go to law school? University of Arizona law college
How long have you lived in Tucson? I was eight years old when my family moved to Tucson in 1951
What are your current practice areas? My primary focus is in estate planning
What drives you to volunteer with VLP? Volunteering is not only my ethical obligation, it is also my moral and religious desire and obligation to be in service to others who have not experienced the many blessings I have.
Anyone you would like to acknowledge for contributing to your legal career / pro bono service? My wife of 49+ years was employed as an elementary school teacher and supported both of us while I attended law school from 1967 – 1970. Without her support, I wouldn’t be an attorney today.
Things you do when not working or volunteering your legal services? I play with the guitar and enjoy bicycle riding.
What do you do to unwind after work? Have a (one) drink with my wife as we mutually share our experiences of the day.
Favorite song? “It Makes Me Giggle” by John Denver
Person you most admire? Abraham Lincoln for his thoughtful, considered decisions in the most difficult time of our nation and willingness to listen to the opinions of those who opposed him. Mother Teresa for her unselfish and total commitment to the poor and oppressed.