John Bouma

John J. Bouma Philanthropy Award

Acknowledging the lifelong contribution of John Bouma, this award is given to an individual, group, or organization that has demonstrated an understanding of the importance and commitment to raising support for justice in Arizona

Nominations are due March 1st and are to include the individual's name; firm if applicable; address & other contact information; the award for which they are being nominated and contact information of the nominators; a summary of their characteristics, experiences, and service that qualifies them for the award; and support letters from others may be included. The nomination packets should be sent to The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education, ATTN: Kevin S. Ruegg, 4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 210, Phoenix, AZ 85016 or email to [email protected].

Awards Acknowledged in conjunction with the Foundation participation in the annual Arizona State Bar Convention.

Submit Nomination
Learn more about the luncheon where our awardees will be recongized!

2024 Awardee


Eliot Spalding Foundation

The Eliot Spaulding Foundation, a Tucson based organization offering small grants to Tucson and Phoenix non-profits has been a funder of Southern Arizona Legal Aid for many years.  Since 2000, the Eliot Spaulding Foundation has been giving their maximum grant amount of $10,000 to Southern Arizona Legal Aid for a total of almost $225,000.  In recent years, they have also begun supporting other legal aid agencies including Arizona Justice Project out of ASU and Step Up to Justice from Tucson, Az.  Their continual support of legal aid and branching out to other legal service entities exemplifies the work that John Bouma championed in his life.

2023 Awardee


Prof. Andrew Silverman

Volunteer fundraisers provide a lifeline to the nonprofits they support and bring like­minded donors along. No one better exemplifies this vital role than Andy Silverman.

Andy's generosity extends beyond the gifts of time and talent he dedicates as a member of many nonprofit boards. His financial support, coupled with his educating others about the organizations he cares about, is truly admirable.

From the start of his career in 1970 at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law through present day, Andy's had tremendous impact on hundreds of students and legal scholars here and around the country. He possesses one of the keenest legal minds and is regularly sought out for his opinions. Even with a demanding teaching schedule, law clinics and pro bono legal representation, he leads by example and devotes time as a volunteer fund raiser.

For decades, his nonprofit service, including giving and fundraising, has been a mainstay for many organizations making a difference in our state. His philanthropy and board service includes the Arizona Capital Representation Project, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, Asylum Project of Arizona, Barrios Unidos Land Trust, Bootstraps to Share, Casa Maria Soup Kitchen and Catholic Worker House, Community Legal Services, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, Judicial College of Arizona, William E. Morris Institute for Justice, Primavera Foundation, Sanctity of Life; People Against Executions, Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc., Southern Arizona People's Law Center, and United Way of Tucson.

2022 Awardee


Dr. Pearl & Hon. Thomas Tang

Hon. Thomas Tang was known across the nation as a champion of individual rights.  He worked to promote minorities into legal services and advocated for their advancement.  In 1977, Thomas Tang was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to sit on the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.  In 1978, he worked with others to create the Arizona Bar Foundation.  After he passed in 1995, his wife, Dr. Pearl Tang continued to support access to legal services and the justice system.

Dr. Pearl Mao Tang was the first Asian female doctor licensed in Arizona and started prenatal clinics in the 1950s that were credited with stanching a high rate of infant deaths in the Phoenix area. She continued being actively involved in several of the causes named after her husband including the South Texas College of Law's Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition and the State Bar of Arizona's Thomas Tang Writing Competition. 

2021 Awardee


City of Phoenix

The City of Phoenix, in partnership with Community Legal Services, stepped up to help its residents maintain safe housing during the COVID-19 pandemic through the establishment of CLS’ Tenants Eviction Assistance Project (TEAP). TEAP placed attorneys and paralegals in nine Justice of the Peace courts to assist tenants in virtual eviction proceedings. Phoenix recognized the need to not only provide rental and mortgage assistance during this pandemic but that legal services are a vital component to keep individuals in their homes. Phoenix designated CARES Act funding to go to CLS for this endeavor.

Through City of Phoenix efforts, in 2020, almost $300,000 was used to assist tenants through legal representation, advice and education. CLS assisted in approximately 350 cases representing 650 individuals living in the city. CLS provided legal information and education to many others. CLS was also partnered with Wildfire, which received funds through the City of Phoenix to provide financial assistance to tenants. This partnership enabled CLS to assist tenants in a holistic manner. Phoenix’s commitment continues into 2021 by appropriating $465,000 to assist tenants facing eviction.  This partnership between legal aid and the City helps build a stronger community for all Phoenicians.  

2020 Awardee


Perkins Coie

Perkins Coie has a long history of supporting legal aid in Arizona and across our nation.  Since 2010 they have donated nearly 3.3 million to legal aid!  A huge supporter of immigrant services, Perkins Coie has supported Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (who nominated Perkins for this award) and always has a firm member on their board if possible. 

Their support goes beyond the strictly financial as the law firm has an active pro bono practice.  In 2019, the firm donated the equivalent of $38 million in free legal services.  Perkins Coie’s pro bono department provides support for criminal and Constitutional law challenges, Immigration and Asylum, Military and Veterans Rights, Domestic Violence Survivors, and Community Economic Development to just name a few.

Perkins Coie is also a Life Time Fellow of the Foundation having donated over $25,000 to legal services.  Thank you for your years of support!


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