John Bouma
58BA, 60JD

Service 2003

John Bouma

John Bouma, 58BA, 60JD, heads one of the nation's premier law firms, yet finds the time to lend his considerable leadership skills to the University of Iowa.

Chairman of Snell & Wilmer of Phoenix, Arizona, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, Bouma is a longtime member of the Iowa Law School Foundation Board of Directors, serving both as its vice president and chair of the fund-raising committee.

A native of Pocahontas, Iowa, Bouma received a B.A. in political science from the UI in 1958. He attended the College of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Iowa Law Review and graduated with highest honors, and then he served his country for two years in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps in Arizona.

In 1962, Bouma joined the law firm of Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix, where he advanced rapidly, making partner in four years. He was named to the executive committee at age 35, and by 1982, at age 45, he became chairman. With approximately 350 lawyers, the firm is one of the most respected and successful in the country.

Bouma holds a reputation as one of America's finest attorneys and has been included in annual editions of The Best Lawyers in America for nearly 20 years. He has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America." A Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, Bouma has served as president of both the Arizona Bar and the National Conference of Bar Presidents and as a member of the American Bar Association board of governors.

In 1998, Bouma received the prestigious Walter E. Craig Distinguished Service Award from the Arizona Bar Foundation, a distinction that recognizes an Arizona attorney "who has manifested adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and service to the public and the community."

Besides giving selflessly of his time and expertise as the chair and a member of the Iowa Law School Foundation board of directors, he is a member of the College of Law Dean's Club. He and his brother, Bob Bouma, 62JD, recently made a generous gift to create the Bouma Fellowship in Trial Law, the College of Law's first endowed faculty fellowship.

Bouma's Midwestern values have remained with him, and service to the community has been an important priority in his life. He has served as president of the Phoenix Art Museum and the Arizona Opera Company. In 1998, he received the Community Legal Services Decade of Dedication Award for more than 15 years of pro bono legal services for the poor on national, state, and local levels. Under his guidance, his firm encourages employees to contribute a minimum of 50 hours a year to community legal service.

Bouma's outstanding accomplishments place him in a premier group of Iowa graduates who have tirelessly dedicated their lives to service and leadership.

Bouma is a member of the UI Foundation's Presidents Club and a UIAA life member.