Since graduating from Phoenix College in 1974, Rebecca White Berch has had a successful career as an attorney, judge, professor, and author. In March 2002, she became the third woman to be appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court and to serve as its Chief Justice.
A Distinguished Career in Public Service
Justice Berch graduated from law school in 1979 and began practicing law in Phoenix. She became a named partner in her law firm in 1984. In 1986, she joined the faculty at Arizona State University College of Law as the Director of the Legal Writing Program, a position she held until 1995. During her years at the law school, Justice Berch earned a Masters degree in English and took three years off to serve as the Solicitor General for the State of Arizona. She also authored several law review articles, magazine articles, books, and chapters for books. The textbook she co-authored, “Introduction to Legal Method and Process,” is in its fifth edition and has been used in law schools throughout the country.
Before her appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Berch served the State of Arizona as Solicitor General, Special Counsel to the Attorney General, First Assistant (Chief Deputy) Attorney General, and as a Court of Appeals Judge.
Accolades & Honors
As an active participant in the legal and social communities of the State of Arizona, Justice Berch has received several awards, including ASU’s Alumni Service Award, ASU Law School’s Distinguished Alumni Award, an honorary JD degree from Arizona Summit School of Law, the James A. Walsh Distinguished Jurist Award, the Arizona Women’s Walk of Fame, and Maricopa County Bar Association Hall of Fame Award, among others. For service, she has served on several national boards, including serving as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Chair of the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ Board of Trustees, and on the Arizona State University Trustees, among other boards and civic groups. She has worked to advance causes relating to education, improving the plight of the poor, and working for animal welfare. She maintains several other legal and community involvements and continues to be a frequent speaker on legal topics.
Justice Berch is an active member of the Phoenix College Alumni Association and serves on the Alumni Advisory Council as the Administration of Justice Chair, currently in her third term.
Phoenix College will honor Justice Berch at the "Women Making History" ceremony on Thursday, March 28, 2019 in celebration of Women's History Month.
Phoenix College is proud and honored that Justice Berch commits her time and talents to the success of students at PC.
PCAA Advisory Council
The Phoenix College Alumni Advisory Council are appointed by the Phoenix College President, in collaboration with the Office of Alumni & Development. Alumni who wish to be considered for the Advisory Council can contact the Development Director at firstname.lastname@example.org showcasing their experience in the academic or occupational programs. As of March 2019, the Council has an open position for a Nursing Chair.