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ASU's Royal named to ‘Forty-Under-40’ list


April 21, 2008

K Royal, director of pro bono programs and student life at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, has received an award from a Phoenix newspaper for her contributions to the Valley’s business community.

Royal has been selected as one of the Phoenix Business Journal’s 2008 Class of Forty-Under-40, a program that salutes up-and-coming leaders in the community. She and 39 other young professionals, all under 40 years old, were chosen from among 228 nominees. They were honored at a reception April 17.

Rebecca Light, the journal’s events director, says this year’s class is noted for its community service.

“The candidates are always judged based on their character, community involvement and career accomplishments, but the big hit this year was community involvement,” Light says. “K was one whose application really stood out.”

Royal says she was proud to be chosen.

“This award isn’t just looking at a certain area,” she says. “This is taking all the business people in Phoenix who are under 40 years old and looking at their accomplishments. It’s very gratifying.”

This is the latest of several awards Royal has earned lately. The YWCA named her its Education Leader in its Tribute to Women 2007, and she also was selected by the State Bar of Arizona as one of the inaugural members of its Bar Leadership Institute. Another 2007 honor was bestowed by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education to Royal for being one of the top pro bono attorneys in the state.

Royal, a 2004 alumna of the College of Law, is active in the legal profession, especially in efforts to provide quality legal services to the underserved, to increase diversity in the legal field, and to partner with nonprofit agencies for the benefit of law students and the community.

As director of the college’s pro bono program, Royal works with students to coordinate and promote student activities, pro bono work, youth outreach, pipeline programs, fundraisers and seminars, and she serves as a resource to student leaders. Last year, law students contributed more than 73,000 hours of law-related public service to low-income and underserved populations – services that had a fair-market value of more than $7.3 million.

Royal says she enjoyed working with disadvantaged students at South Mountain High through the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, serving on the State Bar’s task force on minorities and women in the law, and mentoring with Arizona Quest for Kids, which prepares low-income students with high potential for success in college and beyond.

Royal also works with the students individually and in groups on many issues, including leadership skills and professional development.

In addition, she helps strengthen the relationships between the law students and the community to provide the students with quality opportunities, and to enable the students to pursue those opportunities.