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The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University is hosting its seventh annual Gold ‘n Gavel event on Nov. 15, with the help of some of its top supporters. Chief among them is the Phoenix law firm Beus Gilbert McGroder, a longtime supporter of ASU and the law school.
Founded in 1982 by longtime friends Leo Beus and Paul Gilbert, the firm has risen to international acclaim and recently added a third named partner, Pat McGroder. The strong relationship with both ASU Law and ASU in general was borne out of Beus Gilbert McGroder’s commitment to character, which is reflected in both the firm’s personnel and clientele.
“We're a firm that originally broke off from a larger firm, and we made a commitment early on to give very high-quality service and good bang for the buck,” Gilbert said. “We have a policy of only hiring the very best lawyers, and we're very careful about not only who we hire but also who we represent. We are thrilled with the recent addition of Pat, who is the premier personal-injury lawyer in probably all of the United States.”
McGroder says he is honored to join a firm whose “reputation is unmatched” and has set “the standard of care” in commercial litigation, along with Beus and Gilbert’s expertise in zoning, real estate transactions and development, and now catastrophic injury and wrongful death.
“And those aren’t just buzzwords,” McGroder said. “The historic results achieved by Paul and Leo speak to a practice of law that is highly respected. Other lawyers seek to emulate the type of quality, integrity, character and competence that Paul and Leo have exemplified for over four decades.”
Gilbert describes the firm’s relationship with ASU as extremely close and says it extends to all facets of the university.
“We have tremendous respect for both ASU in general, the law school and for President Crow in particular,” Gilbert said. “We are thrilled with his leadership and consider him to be the most dynamic, resourceful and creative college president in the United States.”
A deep relationship with ASU Law involves support for a wide range of activities, serving on various panels, and working closely with Dean Douglas Sylvester. And in 2016, the law school moved from its longtime home on the Tempe campus to a new, state-of-the-art facility in downtown Phoenix, which is named the Beus Center for Law and Society in honor of a generous donation from Leo Beus and his wife, Annette.
The firm hosts a meeting of the ASU deans every six weeks called the ASU Leaders Lunch and is actively involved in supporting the university with everything from fundraising to athletics. McGroder, who has been with the firm for just over a year, says the affinity and affection for ASU is evident throughout the firm.
“Between Paul, Leo and myself, what adorns our walls are diplomas from BYU, Michigan, California, Notre Dame — none of us attended ASU,” he said. “But what has struck me is the enormity of respect and commitment that Paul, Leo and the firm have shown to ASU. And why? Because they believe that education, quality education, is really the key to the future of our country. So what has impressed me has been their commitment to ASU, which is not just philanthropic nor just hosting meetings, but their genuine commitment to this fabulous institution.”
Gilbert says ASU is a major component of the metro Phoenix community and has played a significant role in the revitalization of downtown Phoenix.
“And an integral part of that is, of course, the law school,” he said. “The law school provides a great deal of stability, resources and credibility to the legal community. Having a first-rate law school helps in a myriad of ways. It helps attract first-rate law students from all over the nation, as well as ASU. Having the strong ASU faculty to provide leadership and guidance in the legal community is a significant asset. And ASU Law does a tremendous job of reaching out and working with the bar and the legal community. There's a very symbiotic relationship between the legal community and the law school. So the law school contributes in a significant and major way to the quality of the legal community in Arizona.”
With a notable record of success, the firm receives many solicitations for financial support. But support for ASU remains a top priority.
“There are many good causes out there,” Gilbert said. “We get bombarded with them every day. But our firm has decided to prioritize ASU. That's a cause we deeply believe in and champion, and we make it our first priority as far as doing work outside the technical practicing of law.”
The partners at Beus Gilbert McGroder have enjoyed gratifying careers, helping clients achieve justice and bring visions to life. But the legal world is not without its challenges, and they see opportunity for improvements throughout the industry and judicial system.
Gilbert notes the imbalances in the scales of justice, both in terms of access and the criminal justice system as a whole.
“I think a real challenge is making legal services affordable and making legal services available to the population in general, and not just those that are wealthy and can afford to hire lawyers,” he said. “Another challenge is that we don't have a criminal system that works. Right now, the whole system is broken, and I think the legal profession needs to help lead the way in mending the many problems that exist.”
And the ability to bring about change, to help people, has made their careers so rewarding. McGroder says achieving justice for clients goes beyond financial compensation — it restores dignity. And individual victories can play a role in strengthening the social architecture.
“We have the ability to make sure that there are changes, remedial changes, that these types of things don't happen again,” he said. “And we're able to do that in a way that reflects the best of us as human beings, but equally important, have a tremendous impact on our fellow citizens to ensure that safety, health and dignity are all in the forefront of what we do. We have the ability to do the right thing, and in doing the right thing, we change lives and ensure that lives are better moving forward. And to me, I couldn't ask for a better calling.”
McGroder says the impact of the firm, “the footprint of Paul and Leo,” is evident throughout the Valley and state, whether it be through the practice of law, philanthropy or volunteer work.
“In any of those facets, the volunteer commitment of Paul, Leo, and hopefully myself is unmatched in the legal community, whether it be sitting on boards, philanthropy, pro bono work, whatever the case may be,” he said. “I think that this firm stands for all the best that can be said about our profession.”
Tickets for the seventh annual Gold ’n Gavel Auction and Reception are available here. All proceeds support ASU Law student programs and scholarships.