Following in His Father’s Footsteps

June 09, 2009
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Following in His Father’s Footsteps
This month, families across America will celebrate the gifts they received from their fathers. Dads across the country will have a day where they are told, “I want to be just like you when I grow up.” One of the Founding Fellows of the Foundation, Doug Dunipace, continues to find inspiration from his father, who also used his legal expertise to serve the community.
Mr. Dunipace’s father, Bill Dunipace, was an attorney in Tucson. He was a founder of Pima County Legal Aid Society (known now as Southern Arizona Legal Aid), handled the documentation of its incorporation, served as an early president, and devoted many years as a board member. He provided legal services at no charge for many community organizations. Additionally, in a volunteer capacity, he represented the NAACP in negotiating the end of racial segregation in Tucson’s grade schools.
Witnessing his father’s dedication to the law and commitment to equal justice, Mr. Dunipace received his J.D. from the University of Arizona in 1966. While his successful career has largely focused on corporate and business law, he used his expertise and time to counsel and provide leadership for a wide variety of non-profit organizations including churches, foundations, social service agencies, civic groups, youth sports leagues, university alumni associations and even homeowners associations.
The original impetus for Mr. Dunipace’s involvement with the Foundation as a young attorney came out of his concern, along with other attorneys some thirty years ago, that the State Bar of Arizona needed to secure a new location for offices. His early involvement with statewide concerns of Arizona’s legal community didn’t stop with securing a bricks and mortar center. He also served as a program volunteer, board member and President of the Foundation and continues to support the Foundation’s important services with his ongoing annual contributions. He holds a strong belief, like his father, that lawyers should maintain a balanced life. He learned early that a balanced life includes maintaining personal health, caring for family, providing quality professional work and supporting the larger community. As part of his service to the community, Mr. Dunipace has invested in the Foundation to help assure that equal access to justice is available to all communities across the state.
The light Mr. Dunipace’s father lit through his example of caring for the community has been kept burning through the life of Doug Dunipace. That light will now be carried onto the next generation by those who continue to be guided by the dedication they have witnessed.
A recent event illustrates the ongoing impact that each of us can have on those we help. Mr. Dunipace ran into a man he had coached in Little League. Now a member of the State Bar, he recalls Mr. Dunipace’s volunteering his time to work with those youngsters and now understands what it took to make such a commitment. Because of his appreciation of that experience as part of his growing up, he too has made a commitment to give back to the community. 
The current economic times have placed new and different burdens on nearly everyone in Arizona. In a recent conversation, Mr. Dunipace acknowledged these challenges while sharing his belief that the current economic situation may also bring opportunities. There are many needs in our community that would benefit from the insights and resources that members of the bar are uniquely equipped to provide. Each of us should be looking for ways in which we can help meet these needs, both through the Foundation’s programs and with other worthwhile community-serving organizations.  It is a perfect time for each of us to reach out to the community and make a meaningful contribution of time, talent, energy and resources.
Even in these uncertain economic times, we can all benefit from the light that Mr. Dunipace carries forward from the lessons he learned from his father. For more than three decades, this Founding Fellow has lifted the torch illuminating a balanced life that includes a responsibility to the community. He kindled that flame through a spark from his father’s example.
The Foundation not only expresses appreciation for the light that Mr. Dunipace has kept burning but we extend the invitation to all- ‘Don’t let that flame go out.” Our Founding Fellows guided us well through this last generation; we now need others to pick up the torch for the next.