Aaron D. Ford is a former educator, an experienced attorney, and a dedicated public servant.
Aaron’s Personal Story. Aaron was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, the oldest of three sons. His father, Larry, was a produce worker at a Safeway Grocery Store until the chain withdrew from Texas in the mid-1980s. His mother, Denise, worked various jobs during Aaron’s youth. Though his parents worked hard, Aaron and his family spent many nights wondering if the gas, electricity and water would turn on the next day. This humble beginning instilled in Aaron early on the drive and commitment to create a brighter future for himself and to give back to his community.
After Aaron’s parents divorced, his mom told him that he would have to be “the man of the house,” requiring him to look after his siblings while his mom worked nights. His mom also insisted, however, that he study hard and be the best student he could be. So, in 1987, Aaron’s mom signed him up for “Project Upward Bound,” a Saturday-school and summer program dedicated to helping students who could be the first in their family to graduate from college. With encouragement and guidance, Aaron put his head in the books (as his mom and stepdad like to say) and ultimately received a scholarship to Texas A&M University.
Aaron graduated from Texas A&M and moved to Austin, Texas, to begin providing for his family as a middle school math teacher while his wife Berna finished her law degree and their son, Avery, began preschool. A year later, Aaron and his family moved to Washington, D.C., so that he could continue his education at George Washington University, where he earned a master’s degree in international education while teaching at a local high school. The family then moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Aaron pursued and received a master’s degree in educational administration, his law degree and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from The Ohio State University.
Aaron and Berna relocated to Henderson, Nevada, in 2000, after Berna received an offer to serve as a federal law clerk to Ninth Circuit Judge Johnnie Rawlinson. Today, Aaron lives in Las Vegas with his family. He and Berna have now been happily married for over 20 years, and together they are raising three sons – Avery, Aaron II, and Alexander – and their nephew, Devin.
Aaron’s Professional Story. Aaron has legal experience before our courts and administrative tribunals, as a law clerk, in private practice, and as an elected official. His first legal job was a federal clerkship with Judge Denise Page Hood, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, in Detroit. Then, following in his wife’s footsteps, he was hired as a law clerk to Judge Johnnie B. Rawlinson on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
After his clerkships, Aaron joined Bracewell & Patterson, in Dallas, Texas, where he utilized his unique educational and legal background to represent school districts, universities and municipalities in various areas of school and public law. He then joined Weil Gotshal & Manges as an associate practicing complex commercial litigation. When the Fords moved back to Las Vegas, Aaron joined Snell & Wilmer’s litigation group and was promoted to partner a few years later. He is now a partner at Eglet Prince, in Las Vegas, where he focuses on consumer protection.
In addition to having represented small and large businesses, municipalities, and individuals, Aaron has also litigated international child abduction cases under the Hague Convention. He has also volunteered countless hours of pro bono legal services over the course of his career.
In 2010, Aaron embarked upon his first race for Nevada State Senate. Though he was not successful in his bid, he became more resolute in his determination to make a difference. In 2012, Aaron again ran for Senate; this time, he prevailed.
During his first legislative session, Aaron served as Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, Vice Chair of the Education Committee, and as a member of the Judiciary Committee. After his first legislative session, Aaron was named “Rookie of the Year” by the Reno Gazette Journal and Freshman of the Year by the Las Vegas Review Journal. He was also named Senator of the Year by the Nevada Conservation League.
Aaron was elected by his colleagues to serve as the State Senate’s Minority Leader for the 2015 legislative session, where he led the fight against extreme policies that harmed working families. After leading the effort to reclaim control of the State Senate during the 2016 elections, Aaron became Majority Leader.
As the Majority Leader, Aaron led the effort to keep Nevadans safe and strengthen our communities by passing legislation aimed at combating elder abuse, increasing transparency for big pharmaceutical companies, reducing recidivism and criminal-justice costs through improved educational, mental-health and substance-abuse programs, and increasing penalties for criminals who target our brave first responders.
Through it all, Aaron has always made time to give back and serve his community. He has served as a Board Member of the I Have a Dream Foundation, Olive Crest of Nevada, Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada, and the Public Education Foundation. He is also active and has served in several capacities at his church, Victory Missionary Baptist Church, located in Las Vegas.