The Honorable Eileen S. Willett will receive the Ruth V. McGregor Award at the Reception. The Award is presented by the Maricopa Chapter to an individual who has contributed to the advancement of women in the legal profession. She is a loyal member of AWLA, and served as President from 1997 to 1998.
Judge Willett is a United States Magistrate Judge in Phoenix. She is a graduate of Rutgers School of Law and was general editor for the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal. She practiced civil litigation as a partner with the firms of Ely, Bettini & Ulman and Ober & Willett before government service.
In 1992, Judge Willett was appointed as an Administrative Law Judge with the Industrial Commission of Arizona, where she adjudicated workers’ compensation cases. She was a Board Certified Specialist in workers’ compensation law, past Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Arizona State Bar, and member of the Board of Legal Specialization of the Arizona State Bar. She served as the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Industrial Commission from 1994 until her appointment in 1998 as a Superior Court Commissioner. Judge Willett was appointed by Governor Hull as a Superior Court Judge in 1999. She served for sixteen years on the Juvenile, Criminal, Civil, Probate, and Family Law divisions in Maricopa County. She was Juvenile Presiding Judge from 2006 through 2009 and Northwest Regional Presiding Judge from 2012 through 2014. Judge Willett retired from the Superior Court bench upon her appointment to the United States District Court. She was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Arizona on October 7, 2014.
Judge Willett remains active in civic and professional organizations. In 2002, she received the Distinguished Public Lawyer Award from the Maricopa County Bar Association. In 2007, she received an award from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in recognition of her efforts toward Restorative Justice and service to children and families. She is past president and a current member of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, supporting women in the legal profession through education, community connections, and mentorship. She is currently a member of the National Association of Women Judges and former Board member for the Western Region, encouraging the professional development and presence of women on the bench. She is a member of the St. Thomas More Society and former Vice President and Secretary. She is a former member of Soroptimists International of Phoenix, which strives to improve outcomes for women in the community. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. She is a member of the Desert Botanical Gardens.
Judge Willett has served on numerous Court and community-related committees, including the Maricopa County Judicial Executive Committee and the Arizona Supreme Court’s Juvenile Dependency Advisory Committee, Wendell Advisory Board, Publication Committee, Committee on Juvenile Courts, and Commission on Minorities in the Judiciary. She sat on the Citizens’ Advisory Board for construction of the Burton Barr library in Phoenix. She has served on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Human Services at Arizona State University and was appointed by the Governor as Chair of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections’ Advisory Board. She has lectured as an adjunct professor at Arizona State University’s School of Law and has served as faculty for the Arizona Supreme Court’s New Judge Orientation and Dependency curriculum. She was a teaching assistant for Civil Mediation at the National Judicial College. She has lectured nationally and locally on Court processes as well as issues involving children in the Court and has been an enthusiastic participant in the Maricopa County Courthouse Experience Program.