Attorney of the Month Award for Pima County
Jill Casson Owen
By Michele Mirto
Jill Casson Owen was selected as the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney of the Month for November. Jill has volunteered with the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) of Southern Arizona Legal Aid VLP since 1997. She recently completed work on a case involving a trustee sale for a VLP client. Jill was able to persuade the lender to postpone the trustee’s sale of residential home; obtain lender approval of a short sale of home under pending foreclosure; and assist with processing of the short sale. At the conclusion of the case the client sent the following email to the VLP, “I came to you with a situation which I was sure could not be fixed and yet . . . you all were able to find me an attorney thru Snell & Wilmer that CHANGED EVERYTHING. I am truly thankful for your services.” Jill dedicated 19.5 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 Jill Casson Owen
Where are you from? Topeka, KS
Where did you go to college? University of Arizona
Where did you go to law school? University of Arizona
How long have you lived in Tucson? 31 years – Came for undergrad, and stayed.
What is the history of your practice of law? A full circle – I started in private practice with Snell & Wilmer, left to go in-house with the Tucson Airport Authority, later became a sole practitioner, and ultimately back to Snell & Wilmer.
What are your current practice areas? Real Estate transactions
What drives you to volunteer with VLP? A desire to help others and contribute to my community and do my part to help untarnish popular negative opinions about lawyers.
Anyone you would like to acknowledge for contributing to your legal career / pro bono service? Support from my firm, Snell & Wilmer, LLP. Our firm supports community involvement; a portion of the firm credo is as follows: “For our community, we will continue our long tradition of service and leadership." Without that firm support, participation in VLP would be considerably more challenging, if not impossible, in private practice.
One reason you would encourage attorneys to volunteer with VLP? I strongly support the “pay it forward” concept. We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to pursue higher education, and to land in a field that highly rewards our efforts. Hopefully those that benefit form VLP services will pay it forward, in their own way, so that our individual efforts are multiplied throughout the community.
Are you a dog or a cat person? Cat
Best vacation destination? Anywhere with my family