Top Trial Attorney Kevin R. Boyle Receives 2024 University of Arizona Alumni of the Year Award

March 19, 2024
Kevin R. Boyle ('97) receiving the 2024 University of Arizona Alumni of the Year Award

Kevin R. Boyle ('97) receiving the 2024 University of Arizona Alumni of the Year Award


Kevin R. Boyle (‘97) always fell naturally towards the plaintiff's side, the side of the injured party, when he was growing up and would get into debates at the table with his father, who practiced defense law, over who was right and should win the case. 

“I think those conversations really led me to always wanting to go to law school and become a plaintiff's lawyer” said Boyle, who has spent his career specializing in resolving large, high-profile plaintiff’s cases by trial or settlement. “I really liked the idea of helping people who have been wronged, it sounds like a cliché, but I always liked the idea.” 

On February 22, Boyle received the 2023-2024 Alumni of the Year Award on behalf of the James E. Rogers College of Law for his extraordinary accomplishments and continued dedication to the university. 

“In all of his work, he has been a voice for the voiceless, and his efforts for justice on their behalf provides a model to which all of our students can aspire,” wrote Dean Marc Miller in his nomination letter. 

Boyle, a lawyer in Los Angeles, seeks to not only hold wrongdoers financially accountable but also force them to change their ways. He has represented victims of the San Bruno gas explosion, caused by faulty gas pipes that were the responsibility of Pacific Gas & Electric – the resolution of which included both monetary and non-monetary components to prevent such a disaster from happening again. He has also represented survivors and families of the victims of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the eve of the third anniversary of the shooting, an $800 million settlement for the 4,000 victims and their families was reached. Boyle was later recognized by the Daily Journal as a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year for his work on behalf of these clients. 

“As he accumulates success and professional accolades, Kevin keeps his relationship with the University of Arizona close – never losing sight of where he launched,” wrote Dev K. Sethi (‘97) in his nomination letter. “The most recent example, of course, is his vision and leadership and financial generosity in support of Arizona Law’s “A New Day in Court” project, which is transforming advocacy through a new state-of-the-art facility designed to provide our students with class-leading instruction and training.” 

Boyle contributed a $1 million lead gift to "A New Day in Court”, establishing the Kevin R. Boyle Courtroom, currently under construction. When renovations are completed, the Courtroom will be a modernized space with room for 50 observers in the gallery and an area that can serve as a jury room or a conference room. 

“I really respect the school and the attitude here,” said Boyle. “To make everyone feel included. It is not competitive, even though everyone is working hard.” 

He remembers his time as a law student fondly and says his decision to attend the University of Arizona Law was solidified when a scholarship was offered. Boyle did not think law school would be a place where he would have a fun time and make lifelong friends, “but it really was,” he noted. “I am in touch almost daily with someone from my class and consider them to be some of my closest friends. My classmate Desireé [Reed-Francois] is now the Athletics Director, who I sat next to my entire first year.” 

During his time as a law student, Boyle served as the business editor of the Arizona Law Review, and published an article concerning manufacturers’ duties to retrofit defective products before they cause further injury.  

After graduating first in his class, Boyle served as law clerk to Judge Melvin T. Brunetti of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the United States Supreme Court. 

“I would advise, if you can do a judicial clerkship, do it. You learn so much and it sets you up with a lot of options for your next job,” said Boyle, who began practicing law after his clerkships on the defense side with the law firm Kirkland & Ellis before dedicating his career to helping plaintiffs.  

“Don’t stress out about where your first job is. Take the first job that interests you and then go from there. You’ll have no idea where you will end up. I had a long-term goal to do plaintiff's law, but I didn't take the normal path to get there and that ended up being helpful.”