Attorney Ruby Torres
I have always known that I wanted to go to law school and become an attorney from a very early age. Being born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, I didn’t necessarily see the most positive interactions, so initially, I decided I wanted to go to law school to defend juveniles that were brought into the system. But life tends to surprise us, and I fell into family law instead.
I attended South Mountain High School, where they offered a law-related studies program. I had to apply to join the program, and when I was accepted, they combined many of my English classes with their specific law classes. I learned as much as I could about the judicial system that high school had to offer.
We even had mock trials and had a little courthouse with everything we needed set up. We had a jury box, jury room to sequester them, and even a gallery for people to observe us.
From there, I set off to Arizona State University, where I received my bachelor’s degree in justice studies and minors in Spanish and communications. I also have a master’s degree in elementary education — I actually still sit on the board for the Murphy school district — and am a Juris Doctor, so I’ve had different career paths here and there, but I knew being an attorney was the path I wanted to take.
I come from a rather large family — I am the only daughter of four children, and I have a total of eight nieces and nephews from my brothers. I have three rescue fur babies of my own, and when I’m not working at the firm, you can usually find me at the Margin Theater, which, by the way, has the best popcorn in the state, hands down. I worked there during my undergrad, so I’m a Margin Theater girl all the way through!
Along with being part of a big family, one of the other reasons I fell into the family law practice is because I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in 2014, and during that process, before I started chemotherapy, my doctor gave me about a month to try to protect my ability to have a child since there was no guarantee that I would be able to in the future.
I decided to go to an IVF program with my then-partner, and he agreed to be my donor, but we eventually separated, and he requested the embryos be destroyed. My divorce attorney was actually Debbie Levine, and we did some research and found a case that was similar to mine. At the time, Arizona didn’t have any law regarding embryos, other than they were considered property.
The court ultimately decided that neither one of us would get them and that they would be donated to a third party for the purpose of having a child. Though I did lose them, with the support from the board, I was able to speak to the legislature and a bill was passed — which the governor signed — so that the individual or party that wants to bring the embryos to life gets to keep them.
These experiences of mine have shaped how I want to treat people and how I want to help them.