Raising Arizona

The status quo is not good enough for Amy Gittler  

Published in 2008 Southwest Super Lawyers — June 2008

As a young Arizona public interest attorney in the 1980s, Amy Gittler took her fight for equal treatment of individuals in the workplace all the way to the Supreme Court. A decade later, she started devoting her practice to helping corporations stay out of trouble. One thing never changed for Gittler: her desire to change the world.

A good way to do that, she decided as a student at Northwestern University School of Law in the mid-1970s, was to specialize in employment law. "Employment law was about solving human problems," she says. "The human element really appealed to me from the very beginning."

She started her career at Lewis and Roca in Phoenix, but soon moved to the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest and became its executive director in 1982. She won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that it was unlawful for an employer to pay women lower retirement benefits than men. Gittler also prevailed in a state court case that established the rights of the seriously mentally ill to community mental health services.

She moved on to Brown & Bain in Phoenix, where she spent 10 years establishing herself as one of the top employment law specialists in the state. For the next decade, Gittler maintained her own practice, including five years at Frazer, Ryan, Goldberg, Arnold & Gittler. She left to head Jackson Lewis' new Phoenix office last December. She is an expert in wrongful termination, sexual harassment, race discrimination, wage-and-hour claims and labor law disputes.

So how has Gittler adjusted to life on the corporate side? "I see it as a natural transition," she says. "I have a very good perspective, having done both sides, and it allows me to give the best advice I can to my clients."

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