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
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.