Stephen Montoya

J.D. Yale University

As a child, Stephen Montoya thought about becoming a doctor or a priest. Ultimately, though, his passion for protecting hardworking families led him to the practice of law. As a civil rights litigator, Stephen’s skills and strategic thinking have protected numerous clients from diverse forms of discrimination, and his successful argument before the United States Supreme Court have protected the civil rights of millions in Arizona.

Clerking for a federal judge right out of law school gave Stephen Montoya an insider’s view of the highest levels of the judiciary. In the past two decades, Stephen has argued cases in the federal district court, the federal court of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States, making him one of the nation’s most experienced and successful civil rights attorneys.

In addition to winning a series of million-dollar jury verdicts that led to the construction of two multi-million dollar public high schools, Stephen has won groundbreaking appellate precedents in constitutional law, creating a legacy of justice that benefits the entire community.

He has received numerous accolades for his work, most recently from the NAACP for his "Outstanding Leadership in Civil Rights,” and from his fellow lawyers who selected him for inclusion in the 20th edition of "The Best Lawyers in America." In 2011, the Phoenix New Times gave Stephen its "Best Tribune of the People" award, noting that “if there were more lawyers like Montoya, we get the distinct feelin' there might be fewer dead lawyer jokes."

More than two decades at the forefront of the ongoing legal battle for civil rights have not dimmed Stephen’s passion for his work. He still comes to his offices early every morning, with a smile on his face.

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