Gold 'n Gavel 2015
Justice Rebecca White Berch (ret.)
Justice Berch practiced law in Phoenix from 1979 to 1986, following graduation from law school, she joined the faculty at Arizona State University College of Law. During her years at the law school, Justice Berch earned a master’s degree in English. She has authored more than a dozen law review articles, two books, and two chapters for books, many newspaper and magazine articles, and, of course, many opinions. The law school textbook she co-authored, Introduction to Legal Method and Process, is now in preparation for its sixth edition and is used in law schools throughout the nation.
John J. Bouma
John J. Bouma has served as president of the Phoenix Association of Defense Counsel, the Maricopa County Bar, the State Bar of Arizona, the Arizona Bar Foundation, the Western States Bar, and the National Conference of Bar Presidents. He has served the American Bar Association as a member of the Board of Governors and as a member of the ABA House of Delegates since 1989.
Racheal White Hawk
Racheal White Hawk
For Racheal White Hawk, law school would have been nearly impossible without scholarships.
“My mom was born on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She raised me as a single mom working two jobs—one at a meatpacking plant and one as a janitor at a church. My dad was a butcher,” she said. “Neither of them went to college or professional school and they couldn’t help pay for my expenses at college or law school.”
Mario Vasta, one of this year’s Gold ’n Gavel Scholars, finds himself in a very fortunate position—great job prospects and manageable student debt.
“I think scholarships like these allow students to participate or be employed in things that they are more passionate about,” he said. “The case for me is that I will be doing something that I like. I won’t have to be pigeonholed into a job I’m not enthusiastic about in order to pay that student debt off as fast as I can.”