John MacKinnon, February 2022 Outstanding Volunteer of the Month

By: Lela Garcia, Legal Intern, Volunteer Lawyers Program, SALA


Every month, Southern Arizona Legal Aid’s (“SALA”) Volunteer Lawyers Program (“VLP”) recognizes a legal professional for their legal volunteerism. The award is a distinct honor. Out of the 533 attorneys and paralegals who volunteer their time, twelve are recognized annually for their dedication to access to justice.


John MacKinnon is the February 2022 Outstanding Volunteer of the Month Award Recipient.


Originally from the Southeast, John moved to Texas when he was younger and completed both his undergraduate and Juris Doctor degrees at the University of Texas, in Austin. As an undergraduate, John majored in Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology. After he graduated from UT Austin, John enjoyed life in Austin in the early 1970s but found that he was drawn to the legal field as a means of public service. Highlights from John’s law school career included the summer of his 1L year where he was given the opportunity to work on the Navajo Nation. Cases related to inaccessibility of clean water, energy, and mineral and land usage, piqued John’s interest in equal access to justice and greatly influenced his work later on in life.


Following his graduation from law school, John continued his commitment of service to others, by working at DNA Legal Services on the Navajo Nation and the Navajo Department of Justice, where he worked on a case regarding the development of a ski resort on sacred Navajo land near  Flagstaff and several water, mineral, and natural resource issues.


Captivated by the Southwest, John eventually moved to Southeast Arizona and has resided in Bisbee for more than 34 years, first working for local governments and now conducting his own civil private practice. Simultaneously, he volunteers at Southern Arizona Legal Aid’s VLP where his contributions make a mark in the community and promote VLP’s values. A notable case of John’s here at the VLP is a garnishment case that resulted in a positive outcome for his client. John ensures that he always goes the extra mile, which makes him a valuable asset to the VLP.


The VLP at Southern Arizona Legal Aid is deeply gracious for John’s continued volunteerism and dedication to his clients.


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