Cara Dames

Meet Cara Dames, Criminal Defense Attorney.

Cara Dames is a licensed Arizona and California* attorney. She began her legal career as an attorney at the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona. She has significant experience representing clients facing felony charges in Maricopa County Superior Court proceedings, such as initial appearances, status conferences, oral arguments, motion hearings, and sentencings. She focuses her practice on tenacious negotiations and strong advocacy, with an emphasis on client communications.

Cara graduated cum laude from Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and completed the law school’s Trial Advocacy Certification. While in law school, she completed multiple externships, internships, and clinics in criminal defense, trial advocacy, and family law. Notably, she worked as a Summer Fellow at Harvard Law School in the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. During the Fellowship, she directly represented indigent clients in family law cases and successfully won a contested guardianship removal trial that reunited a single mother with her child.

Cara received numerous awards for her academic achievements including CALI Awards in Legal Advocacy and the Public Defender Clinic, William H. Pedrick Scholar Awards, the Maricopa County Bar Foundation Justice Michael D. Ryan Diversity Award, the Sun Devil Giving Day Scholar Award, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Alumni Association Scholarship Award, the State Bar Criminal Justice Section Future Practitioner Award, and the Paul Holloway Trial Advocacy Graduation Award. She also served as the Vice Chair of Internal Affairs for the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and as the Director of Victory Place for the Homeless Legal Assistance Project. Through all of these organizations, she volunteered more than 580 hours of pro bono service and received the Highest Pro Bono Distinction.

Prior to law school, Cara obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, with a concentration in Crime, Justice, Law, and Society, from the University of San Diego, graduating with Departmental Honors. She also previously worked as a legal secretary and law clerk for multiple years in both California and Arizona. She is a first-generation college student, who was born and raised on the Island of Guam.

*CA Bar Admission Currently Pending

 

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