Daily Point of Light # 1806 Jan 4, 2001

Judge Robert Pickrell was born in Arizona and has spent most of his life serving the state in a professional manner and in the capacity of a volunteer. He was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 1949, and his busy professional career would fill the lives of most people; but not Judge Pickrell. He realizes the tremendous outcry for help and answers the call daily.

Judge Pickrell took and active role in setting up a free legal services program at The Salvation Army for clients involved in two drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and individuals in a family homeless shelter. He takes a personal interest in each individual and follows each case through until he is satisfied that all issues have been addressed. Many of the clients in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs have been caught up in the legal system and cannot afford the necessary legal assistance that would aid then in navigating the system. Limited resources prevent them from having the necessary assistance. In addition to that, lack of knowledge or fear of setting appointments stands in their way. The clients are working so hard to survive that seeking legal advice cannot be a priority – paying utility bills and keeping their families fed is more important.

Judge Pickrell has worked diligently on custody issues, DUI charges, and repeated offenses for driving on suspended license. Many clients who utilize the legal services and have substance abuse problems have their licenses revoked. Because they need to continue to work and get to the store, they continue to drive. The Judge answers questions and gives advise. He has even assisted an attorney that was disbarred with his legal issues and helped to have him reinstated into the bar.

The Judge began the program alone, but has recruited five other volunteers. He still continues to volunteer two days a week. During the eight years that he has been involved with the Salvation Army, Judge Pickrell has assisted more than 3,100 clients. He has given over 2,900 hours of service and as a volunteer; he has saved over $41,470. His value as an attorney is quite a bit more, estimated at $435,000.

Though the Judge is retired, he continues to share his knowledge and experience whenever he can. He is an outstanding volunteer that serves a part of the population many people choose to turn away from. It appears to be no end to his commitment and willingness to help those in need.