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HomeAWLA SOAZ Truman Award

Southern Arizona Chapter of AWLA



The Alice Truman Leadership Award is given each year to that member of the Southern Arizona Chapter of AWLA who best demonstrates outstanding leadership in her career and community.


The recipient shall be a person who both has been a role model for women lawyers and demonstrated support and encouragement for the advancement of women in the legal profession.  The recipient shall not be a current member of the Steering Committee. This award is presented each year at the Holiday Luncheon for the Southern Arizona Chapter of the AWLA.

Alice Truman was born December 24, 1922 and died January 28, 2000. As the first woman judge of the Pima County Superior Court and the second State of Arizona woman judge, she began her distinguished career in Waggoner, Illinois, population 200.

In grade school she was inspired to be a lawyer by her brother, Beverly Williamson, who attended the University of Arizona School of Law in the early 1930's. Graduating Valedictorian from Girard Township, Illinois High School, she continued her education at Blackburn College in Carlinsville, IL. She graduated from the University of IL, Champaign/Urbana with a history degree in 1943 and a law degree in 1944.

As a single mother of two pre-school children, she arrived in Tucson in 1953 from Colorado, where she had acted as a justice of the peace, holding court in her living room. Admitted to practice law in Illinois and Colorado, she still had to pass the Arizona bar test. Prior to passing it, she worked as a legal secretary for Clarence Houston with whom she later practiced as a law partner.

In 1958 she defeated five male opponents in her run for Justice of the Peace. In 1962, as a candidate for the Pima County Superior Court, she defeated John Collins in the Democratic primary and Mary Anne Reiman Richey in the general election. Both later became her colleagues on the Superior Court bench. At the time of her retirement in 1992 she was the longest serving Superior Court Judge in Arizona.

Her honors and accomplishments include Woman of the Year award from the Tucson Business and Professional Women's Club, past President of the Arizona Judges Association, charter member of the National Association of Women Judges, and founding member of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association. In December 1999, the Southern Arizona chapter of Arizona Women Lawyers Association honored her by awarding her the first annual Alice Truman Award for Excellence in Leadership. She served as a long-time member of the Soroptimist Club, on the Board of Directors of the Tucson Community Foundation, on the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, and the Board of the Pima Council on Aging. She actively participated in a Spectra Dynamics Group. Alice was an amazing jurist and a trail-blazer for women.


 Hon. Alice Truman & Jan Wezelman (1999)
 Dee-Dee Samet (2000)
 Hon. Lillian Fisher (2001)
 Barbara LaWall (2002)
 Sally Simmons (2003)
 Hon. Nancy Fiora (2004)
 Hon. Margaret Houghton (2005)
 Alyce Pennington (2006)
 Hon. Leslie B. Miller (2007)
 Hon. Karen S. Adam (2008)
 Barbara Atwood (2009)
 Amelia Craig Cramer (2010)
 Hon. Nikki Chayet (2011)
 Kristine M. Fox (2012)
 Megan Miller (2013)
 Kathrine Pollard (2014)
 Ronna Fickbohm (2015)
 Jean Gage (2016)
 Kathleen McCarthy (2017)
 Lynne O. Wood (2018)
 Carrie Rednour (2019)
Anne Graham-Bergin (2021)
Denice Shepherd (2022)
Susie Salmon (2023)

Professor Susie Salmon is the Director of University of Arizona’s Legal Writing program (ranked # 8 in the country), Clinical Professor of Law, and Distinguished Public Service Scholar. She received her B.A. in English from UCLA and graduated magna cum laude from the University of California Law San Francisco. Prior to entering academia full-time, Prof. Salmon was trained as a commercial litigator. She began her career at O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles, where she spent five years representing entities in complex litigation. She then spent four years in the Tucson office of Quarles & Brady. She has also provided pro bono legal work for several organizations, including Public Counsel, the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, the Redondo Beach City Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Pima County Public Defender, and Volunteer Lawyers Project.

In addition to her supervisory and teaching duties at University of Arizona Law, Prof. Salmon also coaches the school's ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition teams and supervises the writing-fellow program. Professor Salmon's scholarship explores how longstanding practices and values in legal education affect access to justice, bias in the profession, and the legal profession as a whole; her work examines the role of rhetoric in the law-school curriculum and its potential impact on lawyer and law-student well-being. More recently, her scholarship has focused on the role dissenting opinions play in legal writing. A nationally recognized expert on moot court, Professor Salmon Moot Court Advisors Handbook; her latest book—the Short & Happy Guide to Moot Court—is slated for publication in early 2024. A leader in the legal writing field, Prof. Salmon currently serves as the President of The Legal Writing Institute (L
WI), a nonprofit organization with over a thousand members across the globe dedicated to improving legal communication, building the discipline of legal writing, and improving the status of legal writing faculty.

Prof. Salmon mentors and supports female law students. She has been a leader at the law school in thinking about non-binary students and how the language of legal writing adapts to be inclusive of these students. In 2020, she was awarded the University of Arizona's Edith Sayre Auslander Established Visionary Award, for cultivating diversity and advancing goals relating to campus climate, and career and professional development. She also co-created and teaches an upper-level seminar inspired by the Feminist Judgments Project; the class discusses judicial
opinions that have been rewritten from a feminist perspective, but it also encourages students to read judicial opinions critically, to identify absent voices and perspectives, and to reflect on how that absence affects legal outcomes and justice. She recently worked with a group of students in drafting and filing an amicus brief in a matter currently pending before the Arizona Supreme Court.

Despite her numerous responsibilities at University of Arizona Law, Prof. Salmon still finds time to give to Arizona's legal community. Since becoming a member of AWLA in 2006, she has served in numerous leadership positions including on the Steering Committee of the Southern Arizona Chapter (2012-2021), on the State Board (2017-2021), and as Southern Arizona Chapter President (2017). For a time, Prof. Salmon also wrote a popular monthly column on legal writing-"The Legal Word"-in Arizona Attorney, the magazine of the State Bar of Arizona, and
she frequently presents to local, national, and international audiences on issues related to legal writing and advocacy. She also devotes her time to animal welfare causes and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Humane Society of Southern Arizona from 2008-2017 and chaired that Board from 2014-2016.