Community Legal Services Mourns Loss of Managing Attorney, J. Ward Sturm

May 01, 2012
Contact: Nancy Guadagno
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For Immediate Release: May 1, 2012




For More Information, contact:


Nancy Guadagno, Director, Resource Development at [email protected] or 602-258-3434 x 2150, or


Emily Dietz, CLS Media Relations at [email protected] or 602-421-3797.




Advocate for Low-Income Dies in Prescott




Prescott, AZ - Community Legal Services Mourns Loss of Managing Attorney, J. Ward Sturm




Managing Attorney of Community Legal Services’ Yavapai County office since 1997, J. Ward Sturm, died Saturday, April 28th in Prescott’s Yavapai Regional Medical Center. Ward, as he was known to all, was the ‘heart’ of the CLS office in Prescott, where he managed Yavapai County’s only civil legal aid office for low-income residents with critical legal problems. 




Prior to his position as manager of the Yavapai County office, Ward was an attorney in the CLS Central Phoenix Office Benefits Unit. During his more than twenty years with CLS, Ward helped thousands of clients and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits and/or income for low income families. Prior to coming to CLS in 1991, Ward was an attorney with the EEOC in Phoenix. 




Throughout his legal career, Ward always fought what he called “the good fight” to ensure that one’s income did not create a barrier to accessing the civil justice system. Ward was acknowledged and recognized as a true fighter for equal justice by the legal community throughout Yavapai County.




Ward was involved in many organizations and volunteered his time and talent throughout the community. He served on the Board of United Way of Yavapai County, was active with Stand Down!  benefitting veterans and taught the legal component of the Parent Education Program (PEP) to parents with legal cases involving children.




Lillian Johnson, Executive Director of Community Legal Services stated that “the CLS staff, board and client community will remember and celebrate Ward’s life and his generosity of spirit with those who were fortunate to know him. Ward will be missed dearly by his Community Legal Services’ family and those whose lives he touched personally and professionally.




Ward will be remembered as one with a kind word, a smile, and one who always made everyone he met feel important and cared for. When asked years ago what three words he would hope others would  use to describe him, he said, “compassionate, intelligent and loyal”.




Ward was compassionate, intelligent and loyal…and so much more.