From the Pima County perspective, diversity in the practice of law was minimal in 1976. Raner C. Collins had received
a J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1975. He was a law clerk
in the Pima County Attorney’s Office from
1975 to 1976, and then a trial attorney for
that office until 1981. At that time, there
were very few lawyers of color practicing
in Tucson. Judge Collins can name on one
hand all of the black attorneys practicing in
Tucson at the time he graduated law school.
For both black and Hispanic attorneys in
Tucson, they learned in law school that they
needed to rely on each other for support
and for career development. That mutual
reliance and partnership to promote diversi-
ty ultimately has continued and developed
into what is now the Arizona Minority Bar
Association in Tucson.
Judge Collins is now the Chief United
States District Judge of the United States
District Court for the District of Arizona.
Born in Malvern, Arkansas, he received a
B.A. from Arkansas Polytechnic College in
1973. He was a city magistrate for the City
Office as a county attorney until 1985.
He was a superior court judge pro tempore of the Pima County Superior Court
from 1985 to 1988, and a superior court
judge there from 1988 to 1998. On May
11, 1998, Judge Collins was nominated
by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the
United States District Court for the District of Arizona.