Patricia Ann Green, Esq.

Areas of Achievement: 
Public Service

Honored By

Honored by: Friends & Colleagues
Date submitted: May 14, 2008
Gift: Arch with Seating

Women Lawyers ~ Women Leaders Arch

In 2006, the Arizona State Bar presented Patricia Ann Green with an award from the Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law for 'furthering diversity and opportunity goals.' In 2004, the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law honored Patricia with its Distinguished Alumni Convocation Award. A pioneer in her own right, Patricia triumphed over personal adversities to become one of the pre-eminent practitioners of family law in Arizona. In 2000, just four years after graduating from the College of Law, Patricia was the first female African-American from Pima County to be elected as a member of the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors.

Patricia was born January 4, 1956, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Patricia's maternal grandmother, Sally Green, was both her guardian and inspiration to pursue higher education. Sally worked at a commercial laundry mending uniforms, and encouraged Patricia to attend college and become a teacher. However, Patricia knew early on in her childhood that she wanted to be a lawyer. Although there were no lawyers in her family, Patricia received inspiration from watching television, and she yearned to be an advocate for those in need of legal assistance. At a young age, she developed a desire to help individuals understand their legal rights and options by advocating on their behalf.

Despite her impoverished circumstances, Patricia endeavored to fulfill her grandmother's wish for her to attend college and her own dream of becoming a lawyer. As a high school student, Patricia took the initiative to act as Ombudsman, working with teachers and peers to resolve their disputes. In 1972, Patricia enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in African-American History. Following graduation, Patricia moved to Los Angeles, California, and acquired legal experience by working as a legal secretary at Latham & Watkins, LLP. Shortly after her grandmother's death in 1978, Patricia assumed responsibility for support of a younger sister, Mary, with whom she maintains a close personal relationship. In 1981, Patricia married and later moved to the east coast, living in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., for several years, and subsequently returning to Los Angeles. During that time, Patricia continued to work as a legal secretary at various law firms. She also became a mother of three children: Lauren, born in 1982, Lorenzo, born in 1984, and Christienne, born in 1986.
Patricia enjoyed her commitments to her family and profession, but a series of transformative events made her realize the time had arrived to fulfill her goal of becoming a lawyer. After being informed by her employer that she had reached her professional peak as a legal secretary, Patricia recognized the need to move forward. The years that Patricia spent working in family law firms established her desire to practice in that area. Patricia's divorce from her husband in 1990 affirmed that commitment, as her inability to afford an attorney impacted her ability to obtain support for her children. As a consequence, Patricia resolved not only to empower herself through the legal profession, but also to help others in her similarly disadvantaged position.

In 1993, Patricia entered the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. Undaunted by the challenges of being a single parent of three children, Patricia excelled in her studies, achieving Dean's List and graduating in the top one-third of her class. As a student, Patricia was active in the law school and community, holding a variety of positions including: Managing Editor of the Arizona Law Review; Treasurer of the Black Law Students Association; Moot Court Competition participant; and Teaching Assistant. Patricia also garnered a number of awards and scholarships, including: first place in the Judge Thomas Tang Writing Competition; Law College Association Scholarship recipient; Richard R. Fish Memorial Scholarship recipient; and Snell & Wilmer/Bilby & Shoenhair Scholarship recipient.

Following her 1996 law school graduation, Patricia accepted a two-year judicial clerkship with the Honorable William E. Druke (retired) and Honorable M. Jan Florez (retired), Division Two of the State of Arizona Court of Appeals. Afterwards, Patricia joined the Tucson law firm of Waterfall, Economidis, Caldwell, Hanshaw & Villamana, P.C. Working at that firm enabled Patricia to practice family law and achieve her goal of helping people work through their problems to reach an equitable solution. In 2004, Patricia became the first African American shareholder in that firm's history. Presently, Patricia continues to specialize in family law and appeals. Her clients receive guidance on a variety of legal issues, including: paternity proceedings; spousal maintenance; property division; child custody and support; grandparent and step-parent rights; and interstate and international family law issues.

In addition to her professional achievements, Patricia has made great contributions to the Tucson community. In fulfilling her promise to help those unable to afford legal assistance, Patricia performs pro bono work for and is a volunteer member of a variety of organizations, including: Pima County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers' Program; Considering Divorce Program (Conciliation Court); Lawyer Referral Service; Tucson Southern Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce; Governor's African-American Advisory Council; and Blanche Johnson Homes. Patricia also serves as a court-appointed advocate or attorney for children for the Pima County Superior Court, and as Judge Pro Tem for the Pima County Superior Court, assisting with mandatory family law settlement conferences. Notably, Patricia was awarded 'Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney of the Month' (June 2004) for devoting sixty-three hours to an indigent client involved in a dissolution action and negotiated a favorable settlement for the client.

While Patricia is passionate about her private practice and public service, she also finds great solace and joy in her family life. Patricia is a member of the Sunsations Bowling Club of Tucson, and she regularly bowls for sport and relaxation. She enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband, Leroy Hunter, Jr., her children, and three granddaughters, Jurnee, Lailah and Lael.