April 2020 Outstanding Volunteer of the Month
Steven J. Itkin is the April 2020 Outstanding Volunteer of the Month Award recipient.
Steven is originally from upstate New York. He moved to Tucson in 1973 and attended the University of Arizona for undergraduate studies, meaning to do criminal justice counseling. He created his undergraduate decree for this by majoring in sociology with split minors in public administration and political science. He ended up working in real estate after graduating and this led to an interest in combining a legal practice with real estate. Steven attend the law school at the University of Arizona in 1985, continuing to sell real estate throughout.
Post-graduation, Steven spent time focusing on real estate law, foreclosures, vehicle loan cases, and creditor’s rights cases at Richards and Eisenstein. Steven developed his experience in these areas of law into a collections, lien enforcement, and creditor’s rights specialty. The firm turned into Richards & Pennington while Steven worked there, and then he went to Monroe & Associates for another ten years. Subsequently, he worked at Waterfall Economidis Caldwell Hanshaw & Villmna PC and then DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy PC. He has been there going on seven years and is a Shareholder in the firm.
Throughout his career, Steven has also been licensed in six tribal jurisdictions and worked as outside counsel for Pascua Yaqui Housing Authority. He helped write the landlord-tenant code, worked with establishing subdivisions and multifamily residences, and a project to build new homes on 15 non-continuous lots owed by tribal members in Guadalupe, AZ. The qualities Steven likes most in a lawyer are both preparedness and candor.
Steven volunteered before joining DeConcini McDonald but has been encouraged further by the firm’s culture for doing pro bono work. He has volunteered for VLP since 1999, taking ten pro bono cases. Recently, he has helped a Spanish speaking client enforce a wage judgment obtained by the University of Arizona’s Worker’s Rights Clinic. This case took over a year and a half and the client was able to pick up his check in December.
Mr. Itkin is also helping a non-English, non-Spanish speaking client enforce another judgement which the client has tried to enforce since 2018. This work takes specialty experience and it takes an attorney a lot of effort so the clients would not have any recourse without Mr. Itkin’s specialized knowledge. He volunteers precisely because of the rarity of these services for low-income people. Being an attorney, he has certain skills that most people do not have and cannot afford. He believes it is part of our responsibility as part of the community and legal profession to help out when we can to make the community a better place to be.
Although he is not currently on any Boards, he has supported several community-based nonprofits over the years with pro bono services, nonprofits including Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Tucson, The Tucson Organic Gardeners, Foundation for Creative Broadcasting (KXCI), and United Cerebral Palsy of Southern Arizona. He is also active in Creditor Bar Associations and professional groups.
Steven has an older sister who will soon to retire from her job as a professor of maths in Pennsylvania and her daughter is about to become a curator of a museum in Arkansas. Steven and his wife raised his nephew from when he was eight and continue to support him. Steven enjoys gardening vegetables and herbs, and he and his wife swim and walk a lot. Both have also scuba dived for years in beautiful places all around the world. They have always had animals and currently share their home with a dog. Nothing cheers him up more than being greeted by his family when he comes home.