Ever wonder who helped establish the Arcadia neighborhood and the iconic citrus groves it is known for?
You need go no further than the great grandson of the man who was responsible for originating what is today one of the most popular neighborhoods in the Valley.
Micah Brierley’s great grandpa, Harry Cutler, moved to the Arcadia area in the 1940s, planted citrus groves and harvested oranges and grapefruit for a living. “Later, my grandfather came along and built homes on those orchards that today constitute Arcadia,” said Brierley.
Brierley and his older sister and brother grew up in Arcadia and attended Hopi Elementary School and Arcadia High School. As a fourth generation Phoenician, Brierley remembers fondly how he and his friends built tree forts and played in the very trees that his relatives planted. “If we weren’t climbing up in the trees, we were seeking shade under them in the summer while we sold snow cones to passersby.”
Brierley, 26, graduated from ASU summa cum laude with a degree in justice studies and then went on to earn his law degree at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 2019.
During his time in law school, the ambitious young man was a member of the Moot Court team, vice president of the Business Legal Assistance Project and an intern at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
Brierley recalls being eight years old and watching a mock court that had Goldilocks on trial for trespassing through the woods. He knew then that he wanted to be a lawyer. “I can’t remember if she got off or not, but I knew I’d eventually be going to law school.”
“I like helping people with their problems and seeing positive outcomes,” said Brierley. “Law really affects most everything we do and the more I practice it, the more I am learning.”
Brierley currently works for Vrana Law Firm and represents clients in areas ranging from diminished property value to complex personal injury disputes. He was drawn to the firm because of their focus on customer service and helping clients achieve positive outcomes. He said in the future he would like to become a civil judge.
When not working, the former Eagle Scout likes to volunteer and credits his mom for instilling in him a spirit of community service. “It feels good to make an impact in the community, no matter the project,” he said.
Another example of Brierley’s curiosity and desire to learn is his hobby of producing electronic music and creating original soundtracks. Some of the music features him on vocals and playing guitar. He also serves as a DJ at parties. “It’s all just a fun outlet and a way to release stress.”
Asked what he likes most about Arcadia, Brierley says its beauty. “It’s just gorgeous, and we are all so very fortunate to have this place to call our home.”
The next time you take a walk or ride your bike past a grapefruit tree in the neighborhood, give a nod to the legacy of Brierley’s ancestors.