Legal Community Unites to Establish Scholarship at University of Arizona Law in Remembrance of Alumnus Brian Pollock
“His passing left a void in the many lives he touched and thus his colleagues and friends felt that a lasting way to honor him was by establishing a student scholarship at the college he loved, and which gave him his start in the law.”
“From the beginning I had a great admiration for him,” recalled University of Arizona Law alumna Jennie Pollock (‘98) of her late husband Brian Pollock (‘98). “He was very bright but at the same time he was humble. He seemed to just get it right away. He had a mind for law, but he never had a big ego and that drew me to him.”
The two met as first-year law students at University of Arizona Law. They were in the same small section, shared all the same classes, and quickly became friends. During their time in law school, she was involved in public interest student groups and internships, while he competed in moot court competitions and was an editor for the Arizona Law Review.
“He was first in our class, until we started dating, then he dropped to third,” explained Jennie with laughter.
Following law school, Brian clerked for the Honorable Robert C. Broomfield (’61) of the United States District Court in Phoenix before practicing as a commercial litigator for nearly two decades at the Phoenix office of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, where he remained for the remainder of his legal career.
“He enjoyed the practice. He found it interesting and enjoyed the challenge of it. He had amazing colleagues who became good friends, and they are the ones who came together to establish a scholarship in Brian’s honor,” said Jennie.
On September 27, 2020, at the age of 47, following a more than five-year battle with ALS, Brian Pollock passed away.
The Brian Pollock Endowed Scholarship
In 2020, shortly before Brian’s passing, and with his blessing, a group of his colleagues, friends and family created the Brian J. Pollock Scholarship Endowment benefiting JD law students that demonstrate potential for success in the study of law. The scholarship description reads: Brian was a natural leader, and embodied the qualities of integrity, humility, and selflessness. He was always looking out for the public good and was a great representative of what a lawyer should be. He was so proud of this scholarship opportunity and knowing it would help out deserving students.
“The genesis of the Brian Pollock Scholarship was a recognition by Brian’s many University of Arizona Law classmates, professional colleagues, and friends that he was both an extraordinary lawyer and a person who embodied great character,” said Dale Danneman (‘74), Brian Pollock’s friend and former colleague, who Jennie called the impetus behind establishing the scholarship. “He had an outstanding professional career in the Arizona legal community by virtue of his considerable intellect, unwavering integrity, and commitment to justice. His passing left a void in the many lives he touched and thus his colleagues and friends felt that a lasting way to honor him was by establishing a student scholarship in his honor at the college he loved, and which gave him his start in the law.”
Known to be very independent, Brian was hesitant to ask anyone for assistance, but when his colleagues and friends came to him with the idea for the scholarship, he agreed. Helping to send students through school was meaningful to him, and the scholarship exemplified things he valued including education, his law degree and doing something for others.
“He was a special person and elite lawyer, who cared very much about fairness and opportunity. He also loved Arizona Law,” said Randy Papetti, friend and former colleague of Brian. “This scholarship was one of the very few things Brian would allow his friends to do to honor his memory.”
The inaugural Pollock Scholarship was awarded in the Fall of 2021 to Ben Como, a JD candidate with an interest in family law. In a special coincidence, Ben’s father Greg Como worked at Lewis Roca with Brian Pollock, who he spoke very highly of as both an attorney and a peer.
“Brian simply embodied the best qualities of a lawyer and a human being and represented the values instilled in him at Arizona Law. Thus, a fitting tribute to Brian is found in the many generous contributions to the Brian Pollock Scholarship by those who knew him and worked with him and that will help future generations of aspiring lawyers gain the considerable benefits of the Arizona Law experience and education,” says Danneman.
“We look forward to growing the endowment and honoring his memory every year,” added Papetti.
First-year Arizona Law student Cooper Hilton has been awarded the Brian Pollock Scholar for the 2022-2023 academic year. To date, 107 gifts have been made to the Brian Pollock Endowed Scholarship totaling over $44,000.