By: Julie Madrid, MLS, Legal Intern, Volunteer Lawyers Program
Every month, Southern Arizona Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) recognizes a legal professional for their legal volunteerism. The award is a distinct honor. Of the over 480 attorneys and paralegals on panel with VLP, twelve are recognized annually for their dedication to access to justice.
Hon. James Conlogue (Ret.) is the January 2022 Outstanding Volunteer of the Month Award Recipient.
Judge Conlogue was born in Morenci, Arizona. He is a fourth generation Arizonan. He started his career with a Criminal Justice degree (cum laude) from Arizona State University in 1978. He then worked for the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADOC) from 1979-1983.
Judge Conlogue is one of the pioneers of the Southern Arizona Correctional Release Center. He felt that the ADOC was a great place to grow and learn so he served as a corrections officer, counselor, and then a classification/parole officer. He also served on the state-wide work furlough board in determining which inmates would be released on work furlough.
The ADOC offered a great educational program that provided employees with tuition assistance to obtain a higher education. That allowed Judge Conlogue to obtain an M.P.A. (cum laude) at the University of Arizona in May of 1983. He then decided to leave the Department of Corrections and dedicate his attention to pursuing a lifelong dream: law school. He earned his J.D. (with high distinction) in May of 1986 from the University of Arizona. During his time in law school he really enjoyed Law Review and the overall law school experience.
After earning his J.D, he worked for the Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C. for two years. There, he focused on the procurement of naval sea systems and provided legal advice to military personnel. He shared that this employment was very interesting and he enjoyed exploring the area.
Judge Conlogue then returned to Arizona and worked for the Cochise County Public Defender’s Office. Two years later, he went into private practice as an attorney in Bisbee. His greatest joy as an attorney was appellate advocacy.
He was appointed as a full time Superior Court judge pro tempore in Cochise County in 1994 and in 2007 he was appointed by Governor Napolitano as a judge of the newly created Division Five of the Cochise County Superior Court. During his 26 years on the Superior Court bench, he handled a wide variety of case types but enjoyed juvenile court the most. Judge Conlogue served as the Presiding Judge for Cochise County during the last eight years of his judicial career, retiring from full-time judicial work at the end of December of 2020.
Since “retiring,” he has been a tireless volunteer with the VLP, serving in family law clinics and classes as one of our most active volunteers. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of Southern Arizona Legal Aid (SALA) and just joined the Advisory Committee for the VLP. Now, he gives back to his community by volunteering his legal expertise with SALA.
Written by VLP Intern Julie Madrid, who interviewed Judge Conlogue for this article. Julie has a Masters in Legal Studies degree with a focus in Compliance Legal Risk Management from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. She also holds an M.L.I.S. from the School of Information Resources & Library Science, and a B.A. in Spanish and Portuguese, from the University of Arizona. Prior to SALA, she was a staff librarian at the Rogers College of Law and, previously, was a librarian at the Wilmot State Prison Tucson Complex. She plans to continue her career in the law.
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