University of Denver

Scott Bales

Executive Director

Executive Assistant: Cynthia Bowling

Scott Bales joined the Arizona Supreme Court in 2005 and served as Chief Justice from 2014–2019. He stepped down from the Court in 2019 to become Executive Director at IAALS. He has regularly taught as an adjunct professor at the law schools of Arizona State and the University of Arizona. Justice Bales is also a member of the Council of the American Law Institute and the Vice Chair of the Council of the ABA’s Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. He previously served as the Chair of the Appellate Judges Conference of the ABA’s Judicial Division.

Justice Bales was named by the American Judges Association as the 2018 recipient of the Chief Justice Richard W. Holmes Award of Merit, which recognizes “outstanding contributions to the judiciary.” He also received the 2018 Ernest C. Friesen Award of Excellence, presented annually by the Justice Management Institute to an individual who has demonstrated vision, leadership, and sustained commitment to the achievement of excellence in the administration of justice.

Before his appointment to the Court, he had practiced law in Arizona for nearly 20 years as both a private and public lawyer. From 2001–2005, he worked at Lewis and Roca LLP, where his practice focused on appellate and complex litigation. He served as Arizona’s Solicitor General from 1999–2001. Justice Bales also was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Policy Development, a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, and a Special Investigative Counsel for the Justice Department’s Inspector General. He clerked for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Joseph T. Sneed III on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

After graduating from Michigan State University with degrees in history and economics, he received a master’s degree in economics and his law degree from Harvard.