With great fondness we reflect this week on the lives of two cherished College of Law alumni and double Wildcats who recently passed away. We mourn the loss of Steve Hirsch and Steven Phillips, but we also celebrate two great lawyers and human beings, and lives well lived.

Remembering Steven A. Hirsch -- 1955-2016
Steve, at right, enjoying the "best ever" Colorado River rafting trip with Bob and Lynda Shely, and others.

Steven A. Hirsch was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1955. He died of pancreatic cancer on December 1, 2016. 

Steve earned his BA in journalism from the University of Arizona in 1977. He received his J.D. with high distinction from the College of Law in 1980. 

He practiced in the areas of business law, utility law, commercial litigation, and real estate, for many years with Bryan Cave and most recently as a partner with Quarles & Brady.
Steve was devoted to the UA and the College of Law -- and we were devoted to him. He served the Law College Association as a board member for 18 years and its president from 1999-2000. He also served on the Board of Visitors.

Steve was larger than life. I looked forward to seeing him at college events, at State Bar meetings, and around Phoenix. One illustration of his counsel to our college comes in the weekly  Wildcat Wednesday -- Letter of the Law. That our community would want such regular, pithy, and informal contact was Steve's unique vision. What a mensch.

Dean Emerita Toni Massaro wrote this in a thank you note to Steve:

"You were an extraordinary LCA President for a new dean, because you are so connected to the profession at every level that matters -- public service outreach, the private firms, state bar activities, and close attention to young lawyers who need ethical and committed mentors. You embody professionalism in its highest dimensions. It was a privilege to work with you. But most of all, you are just such a marvelous person. Spending time with you in the planning of law school activities was pure joy. You bring  energy, humor, wisdom, and warmth to everything you do."

Steve, at left, always enjoyed 
the spectacle of Gutter Bowl
with College of Law alums 
from many class years.
Beyond the College of Law, Steve gave great service to the Arizona and legal communities, taking on leadership roles with the Arizona foundation Wildlife for Tomorrow, the Boy Scouts of America, the State Bar of Arizona/Arizona Bar Foundation (most recently as its second vice president), the American Bar Association, Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, the Maricopa County Bar Association, and the Arizona Commission for Access to Justice. He was founder and former president and director of the Morris Institute for Justice.

"We were friends since law school at the U of A and law partners for more than 30 years. It was never boring around Steve. He worked hard, he gave of himself, volunteered for (too) many causes, and was a dedicated family man and an avid hunter/fisherman. I will miss him, his endless energy and hearty laugh."  -- 
Lars Lagerman ('78), Bryan Cave

"Steve was a mentor to me even though we only worked together on a handful of matters. He was a regular contributor to the firm's charitable activities, requiring spirited recitation of Christmas carols while delivering gifts to needy families around a tree he personally donated to the cause. There are so many great memories of Steve making people happy -- that is what he always loved to do." -- Kyle Hirsch (no relation), Bryan Cave

Steve and Cher.
Quarles & Brady has created a memoriam page to share more about Steve and his life.  The family is gathering a compilation of stories which celebrates Steve's energetic, generous, and fun-loving character. If you would like to submit a "Steve Story," please send your remembrance to .

Remembering Steven W. Phillips -- 1946-2016

Steven W. Phillips was born in 1946 in Thatcher, Arizona, and later moved with his family to Yuma, Arizona. He died at home on November 25, 2016.
Steven received his B.S. degree (Finance) in 1968 at the University of Arizona, and continued on to earn his JD in 1971 from the College of Law. He graduated with high distinction, is a member of the Order of the Coif, and served as the Articles Editor of the Arizona Law Review
In 1975, he joined the faculty at the College of Law as a tenure-track tax and business law professor. Steven returned to law practice in 1977, and was a partner most recently with Phillips, Moeller, & Conway. While actively engaged in the practice of law, Steven also regularly taught as an adjunct professor at the UA College of Law from 1977-1991.

"Steve was an extraordinary alum and a wonderful friend. He gave back by teaching, advising, donating, and above all cheering for UA in all endeavors. He honored the past but welcomed the future. He was a trusted advisor to many deans and his countless clients because he was so smart, thorough, ethical, and wise. He also was just plain fun to be around. Full of life. He and Jenny are much loved." 
-- Dean Emerita Toni Massaro, College of Law

Steven was a dedicated tax and estate-planning attorney. His professional service was exemplary. He served in leadership roles with the Southern Arizona Estate Planning Council, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and numerous State Bar of Arizona committees, and was active in the American Bar Association and Pima County Bar Association.
Steven with his arm around friend and Arizona Law colleague, Art Andrews.
Yet he also made time to serve his alma mater with great distinction. Steven was treasurer of the Law College Association, and a trusted, wise counselor. He had a keen and rare sense of how to preserve core values while rising to meet the challenges of a changing legal profession. In recognition of his manifold professional achievements and contributions to the College of Law, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Convocation Award.

Steven's abundant life beyond the law included ardent support of the Arizona Wildcats teams, and of the wider community. A  personal highlight was seeing Lute Olsen's Men's Basketball team win the 1997 NCAA Championship in Indianapolis. 
Steven brought to all of his endeavors a brilliant and wide-ranging intellect, great curiosity about the world, infectious humor, elegance, and a remarkable gift for meaningful friendships. He loved the law, Arizona and world history, progressive politics, sports, his annual buddy trip to the World Series, rooting for the Yankees, wildlife in all forms, deep sea fishing in his beloved second home of Provincetown, the arts, a well-told joke and a prank well-played, performing the 'gator, superb wine, in-season oysters, and a perfectly prepared Boodles martini (straight up, with a twist) -- best served at sunset on his martini porch. 
Together, Steven and his wife Jenny graced every place they lived, every place they traveled, and every life they touched.
A private memorial will be held in celebration of Steven's life.  Steven's family has opted to honor his legacy by creating a scholarship in his name. If you would like to contribute, you can make a gift here .

Steven's  obituary was published in the Arizona Daily Star.

It is hard to lose anybody, much less close friends. And the term friend doesn't quite capture the loss here -- Steve Hirsch and Steven Phillips were Arizona Law family. But even in the midst of tears, it is hard not to smile when thinking about two people so full of life.


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