Penny Willrich — Dean and Professor of Law
Dean Penny L. Willrich joined Arizona Summit Law School as a faculty member in 2005. Prior to teaching at Summit, Dean Willrich served as the first African-American woman trial court judge in the history of the state of Arizona. Dean Willrich is licensed to practice law in Texas and Arizona. She serves on the following boards of director: The Commission on Minorities in the Judiciary, the Arizona Disciplinary Commission, the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual
Assault, the Arizona State Bar Board of Governors, the Maricopa County Bar Board of Directors, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, and the ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health.
Dean Willrich has received many educational, community, and professional awards for her professional work, both locally and nationally. In 2012 she received the prestigious Phi Alpha Delta Fraternity John J. MacAulay Legal Educator Award based on a lifetime of dedication to the principles and ideals of integrity, compassion, courage and professional service. In 2014, she received the Jurisprudence Living History Award from The Links, Inc., Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and the Gamma Mu Boule for her service to Arizona and the local legal community. In 2015, Professor Willrich was selected as the American Bar Association Family Law Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. In 2016, Professor Willrich was recognized as one of the top 50 pro bono lawyers in the State of Arizona by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education.
Joe Perez — Dean of Academic Programs
Joe Perez is the Dean of Academic Programs at Arizona Summit Law School in Phoenix. He previously served as Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning. He expands his responsibilities to include overseeing efforts to synchronize and reinforce the school's objective of graduating practice-ready professionals. He will lead and collaborate with faculty and program directors to further develop learning opportunities, which involves developing curricula with more comprehensive incorporation of experiential teaching. Additionally, he will oversee ongoing development of the teaching law office/law school law firm, assist with furthering the clinical ventures and legal pro bono opportunities and grow the externship program. Perez began his legal career as an associate at Vinson and Elkins in the corporate law practice, followed by a term with Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll in business and finance practice. He received his law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.