UArizona Recognizes Stacy Butler for Research, Innovation with Inaugural Women of Impact Award

June 27, 2022

University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law Professor of Practice and Director of Innovation for Justice (i4J) Program Stacy Butler has been included as part of the inaugural class of Women of Impact by the University of Arizona’s Office of Research, Innovation and Impact.  

“It’s thrilling to see the University of Arizona prioritize recognition of female faculty and I’m deeply honored to be one of the inaugural awardees,” said Butler. “I'm grateful to my entire team - all of whom are women - for the creativity, energy and steadfast commitment to equal justice that drives the work of Innovation for Justice.” 

The Women of Impact Awards are the university’s effort to embrace and empower women researchers, innovators, and community organizers, who through their work at the university, are laying the groundwork for a brighter future. 

“These women are an outstanding example of the many on campus who forge innovative pathways, powerful collaborations and remarkable discoveries that contribute to our identity as a world-class institution," said Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell, senior vice president for research and innovation, in the Women of Impact announcement.  

Butler leads the i4J social justice innovation lab, housed at both University of Arizona Law and the University of Utah Eccles School of Business. i4J applies design- and systems-thinking methodologies to expose inequalities in the justice system and create new, replicable, and scalable strategies for legal empowerment. 

Last month, i4J released an innovative Medical Debt Policy Scorecard that ranks states based on their current medical debt policies. The online scorecard was developed as a resource for policymakers when addressing a mounting medical debt crisis.  

This spring, i4J received an honorable mention for their Licensed Legal Advocate pilot from the World Justice Project 2022 World Justice Challenge, global competition to identify, recognize and promote good practices and high-impact projects and policies that protect and advance the rule of law. 

Butler has two decades of experience in community advocacy and expanding the reach of civil legal services for under-represented populations. Her research focuses on the application of human-centered design and innovation to social justice issues including eviction, debt collection, domestic violence, regulatory reform, and online dispute resolution.  

Prior to launching i4J, she worked in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona and served as an adjunct professor at University of Arizona Law. Butler was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission in 2021. She received the Association of American Law Schools' Deborah L. Rhode Award in 2022, which honors the contributions, service, and leadership of Deborah Rhode by recognizing new trailblazers in legal education and the legal profession. She received the Arizona State Bar Award of Special Merit in 2020 for her contributions to the furtherance of public understanding of the legal system, the administration of justice, and confidence in the legal profession. Butler earned a B.A. from Trinity University and a J.D. from the University of Arizona. 

The Women of Impact Awardees will be recognized with a celebration on August 24, 3 p.m. at the Health Sciences & Innovation Building. Funds raised throughout will be used to support, recognize, and advance research and scholarship among faculty, staff, and students.