"These folks are like brothers to me. It's been fun supporting and tracking our respective careers and reflecting on our growth from Arizona Law to now."
As a law student, Crews interned with Snell & Wilmer in Tucson and spent a summer as a clerk in the legal department of ExxonMobile in Houston. He says that having this exposure to the real-life happenings of lawyers was instrumental in giving him a base of experience.
Crews also participated in Arizona Law's Domestic Violence Law Clinic and highly recommends clinics for anyone who aspires to be a litigator: "It gave me a tangible glimpse into the actual practice of law and experiences of lawyers."
|Judge Crews with new magistrate judges
from other judicial districts.
After graduation, Crews returned to his home state where he practiced law for over 17 years with a focus on labor and employment law and civil litigation before being appointed to the bench.
He started his career as an attorney with Region 27 of the U.S. National Labor Relations Board in Denver. He then entered private practice as an associate with a large Denver law firm where he became one of the youngest associates to make partner at the firm in 2008. He later left that firm to become a founding partner of a small law firm.
In August 2018, Crews was appointed as a U.S. Magistrate Judge with the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, becoming the first African American U.S. Magistrate Judge in the District.
Arizona Law friends were there to celebrate the milestone with him:
|Fellow Class of 2000 alumni Mike Canarick (l) and Rafael Gonzalez (r) attended Judge Crews's investiture.
Throughout his career, Judge Crews has worked hard to integrate community involvement into his life. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the University of Northern Colorado (his alma mater) from 2014 to 2018. He has also served on the board of directors of various charitable organizations throughout his career and mentored numerous young people (high school, undergraduate, and law students).
We asked Judge Crews if he had any words of wisdom for law students or alums who might aspire to be a judge someday. His reply:
"If you looked at my resume you'd assume I was an individual who decided early on that I wanted to be a judge, and then patterned my path to achieve that goal. I'm certain that my in-depth community involvement was a high point for the District Judges who voted unanimously to appoint me. But I did those things because giving back was an integral part of my identity, not because I aspired to the bench. As a result, I believe I was able to speak to these experiences in my interview from a place of authenticity. My recommendation to those aspiring to be judges is to follow your authentic path instead of a pre-determined formula."
We applaud Judge Crews's community involvement in Colorado and his enduring connections with fellow Wildcats.
Thanks for sharing your story, Judge Crews, and congratulations on your appointment to the bench, where you continue and extend your service to your community and the legal profession.
We look forward to seeing you and your classmates in Tucson next year for your 20 year law school reunion!