Every month, Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc.’s (“SALA”) Volunteer Lawyers Program (“VLP”) recognizes a legal professional for their legal volunteerism. The award is a distinct honor and highlights the dedication and commitment of 12 individuals each year who give their valuable time and expertise to their community. Attorney Ronda Lustman is the October 2022 Outstanding Volunteer of the Month Award Recipient.
Ms. Lustman was born and raised in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. She moved to New York for her undergraduate work and attended law school at New York Law School. After law school, she was an Assistant District Attorney at The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and then worked in the New York City Department of Investigation. For a short period of time, she and her husband moved to New Orleans where she worked for a criminal defense firm. Ultimately, she and her husband decided to return to New York. She worked for the New York State Attorney General’s Office, focusing primarily on prosecuting white collar crime. Ms. Lustman really enjoyed the work as well as the balance she was able to maintain for her growing family. Ms. Lustman worked at the AG’s office for nearly 25 years.
After retiring as a prosecutor in 2007, having visited family in the Tucson area for years, Ms. Lustman and her husband decided to relocate to Tucson. When Ms. Lustman arrived, she began volunteering with the Attorney General’s office in Pima County. By 2010, Ms. Lustman was volunteering with the Volunteer Lawyers Program at SALA. In order to meet the needs of the program, Ms. Lustman committed to learn an entirely new area of law – domestic relations. For over 12 years, Ms. Lustman has been a dedicated volunteer assisting those in need in our community with divorce, paternity and custody issues. She has hosted nearly 450 clinics and served well over 1,200 client hours. Ms. Lustman is also a member of the Advisory Committee for VLP and teaches the informative divorce classes to VLP clients. Ms. Lustman’s direct work with clients fills an incredible need in the community. Ms. Lustman’s wisdom, legal knowledge, and practicality make her an asset to VLP’s leadership as well!
Ms. Lustman enjoys the flexibility that volunteering for clinics allows her so she can continue to stay busy and give to the community while staying involved with her family and traveling (and enjoying retirement). In addition to volunteering with VLP/SALA, Ms. Lustman is the chair of the Board of Directors for the Rogue Theater. She is also active in a hiking club and generally enjoys the outdoors in Tucson.
Ms. Lustman previously received this honor in August of 2015 and October of 2020 and was also named as one of VLP’s “Frontline Heroes” during the most challenging parts of the COVID-19 pandemic. VLP’s staff and clients are immensely grateful to Ms. Ronda Lustman for her continued and steadfast support and dedication. Later this year, Ms. Lustman will also be awarded a “Sustaining Partner” award from VLP to honor her and two other volunteers for their commitment through COVID-19 and the ever changing transitions our community has weathered in the past few years. Ms. Lustman is one of the attorneys responsible for keeping the family law clinic open and effective through very challenging circumstances. Her flexibility and continued presence at VLP has been a true gift.
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