Steve's start in the law
Steve Benedetto's legal career began with the promise and expectations of someone who had done "all the right things" educationally. He went to a prestigious university, double-majoring in Political Science and English while building his resume with internships in government. He graduated cum laude from the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, serving as a staff writer on the Law Journal and a member of the Moot Court honor society. He secured a competitive judicial clerkship with an Arizona Supreme Court Justice. And, as judicial clerks do, he received a litany of opportunities to work for prestigious national law firms at the expiration of that one-year term.
For five years, Steve followed the obvious path carved out for him. He worked at three of the largest corporate law firms in Arizona, learning the ins and outs of litigation from senior lawyers who were charged with defending large companies in million- and billion-dollar lawsuits. He defended railroads from debilitating injury claims brought by injured employees; healthcare companies from medical malpractice actions brought by injured patients; white-collar executives against fraud and embezzlement allegations; and multinational corporations against just about every type of wrongdoing one can imagine. In little time, he developed trust in the partners he worked for as a top-notch writer and legal analyst who could win difficult arguments. And he was paid very well for what he did. But the money wasn't enough.
Reimagining the modern law firm
In 2009, Steve left corporate practice to create a new kind of law firm. One that would represent real people against the powerful interests whose playbook he'd spent a half-decade learning. So Steve spent the next five years representing people against criminal charges, and prosecuting civil claims on behalf of people injured by others’ recklessness. Though he had more passion than business acumen, he worked tirelessly to help build a five lawyer, seven-figure law firm from scratch.
By 2014, though, it became clear that something was missing. The news cycle was being dominated by police officers shooting civilians. Social media birthed hashtags that spurned movements. Everyone was talking about police violence. But few lawyers were actually doing anything about it, including his own law partners. After a series of difficult conversations, Steve decided to start fresh: He left the law firm he had founded to construct an entirely new practice -- one that would be focused on representing people at ground zero of the new civil rights struggle.
Over the past 6 years, The People's Law Firm has provided substantial legal muscle to the movements for systemic change. The Firm has fought for accountability on behalf of countless survivors of police violence, and has stood in solidarity with the movements to reform our unjust and inequitable systems. We continue to do so today.
"The system isn't broken. It's operating exactly how it was designed. The goal isn't repair. It is reimagination."
Arizona (admitted in 2004)
California (admitted in 2004)
Colorado (admitted in 2016)
United States District Court for the District of Arizona
United States District Court for the Central District of California
9th Circuit Court of Appeals
The People's Law Firm, Founding Partner (2014-present)
Benedetto Torgenson Maurer, Founding Partner (2009-2014)
Quarles & Brady, Litigation Associate (2007-2009)
Fennemore Craig, Litigation Associate (2005-2007)
Polsinelli, Litigation Associate (2004-05)
Arizona Supreme Court, Judicial Clerk (2003-04)
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, J.D. (2003)
Villanova University, B.A (2000)