Panels, Papers, Power, and Praise

Attend Friday’s Panel! The Death Penalty in Washington State. 

King County Bar Association is sponsoring a special, free CLE program on the death penalty at UW Law this Friday, November 30, 2012, 12:45-5:00pm. (Photo: legal community is often asked to explain how and why the death penalty is applied in Washington State. How is prosecutorial discretion exercised in these cases? What are the financial costs to society? Is it a deterrent to other potential criminals? Does it unfairly impact some races more than others? Are convicted persons executed but later found to be innocent? Why have sixteen states abolished use of the death penalty in favor of life without parole sentences?

Legislators in Olympia will soon be called on to consider these questions and legislation aimed at abolishing the death penalty in Washington State. To better understand the issues surrounding the death penalty, KCBA’s Public Policy Committee has organized a half-day forum. This program is free, and will include 4 CLE/CJE credits for attorneys and judges. Advance registration is requested. Limited seating. Please visit for more information.

Welcome New Lawyers
Congratulations to all of the new admittees who recently passed the July bar exam. The King County Bar Association held three Swearing-In Ceremonies October 30th and 31st. Presiding Judge Richard McDermott officiated over all three ceremonies and addressed the new admittees with words of inspiration and sincerity. View more photos of the Swearing-In Ceremonies here. (Photo: I CANDI Studios.)
Earth: Too Big to Fail! Call for Papers

The Western Environmental Law Update (WELU) would like to invite environmental law students to submit articles for publication in its upcoming issue, which will be released at the 2013 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference happening February 8–March 3. Paper topics must confront issues in environmental law developing in or affecting the western United States. Word count for all submissions is 1500 to 2000 words. Editors reserve the right to shorten the piece for publication. Visit WELU online for more information. (Photo:

Spend a Summer in Cambodia!

The summer course, “Global Health, Human Rights, and the Rights of the Child in Cambodia,” offers a unique, multidisciplinary graduate-level study opportunity in Cambodia. Focusing on health and human rights of children, particularly those who have a disability, the course provides a classroom experience and an applied, skills-building practicum that explores the theoretical underpinnings and the practical applications of the rights of the child in the context of Cambodia’s health system. Child rights are studied from legal and health services perspectives, combining methodologies of research and analysis required for quality field work.

The six-week course is approved for a total of 10 credits. Five of the credits are received through the practicum experience. The practicum experience will enable the student to work with NGOs and other health and legal professionals in the investigation and analysis of a faculty-guided and approved practicum project.

For more information, please view the program brochure. After opening the web link, select “UW Programs: Summer 2013 and Cambodia:  Global Health, Law and Education” for details. Contact Sherrie Brown ( or Beth Rivin ( for more information.

Save the Date! 

The King County Bar Association’s Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon is featuring Keynote Speaker Michelle Alexander on January 18, 2013. The luncheon will be held downtown at the Seattle Sheraton  (1400 Sixth Avenue). Registration starts at 11:30am. The hour-and-fifteen-minute program begins at 12:00 noon. (Photo New Jim Crow.)

Tickets for Students & Law Clerks cost $25.00. If you would like to register at the $25.00 price point, please call 206.267.7057. Registrations must be received by January 9, 2013.

Michelle Alexander is the New York Times best-selling author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The book challenges the conventional wisdom that with the election of Barack Obama as president, our nation has “triumphed over race.” Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an astounding percentage of the African American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a permanent, second-class status, much like their grandparents before them who lived under an explicit system of racial control. Alexander argues that the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African American men, primarily through the War on Drugs, has created a new racial under caste – a group of people defined largely by race that is subject to legalized discrimination, scorn, and social exclusion.

Professor Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the United States Supreme Court, and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

For additional information about the Annual Luncheon, please visit KCBA Annual Luncheon online.

This Week: Write for Rights

The Center for Human Rights and Justice (CHRJ) at UW Law will be participating in Amnesty International’s annual Write for Rights event, whose aim is to ensure through letters and cards that the rights of all people around the world are respected, and to show solidarity with those who suffer human rights abuses. CHRJ is gathering signatures during lunch this week—November 27th–30th. Stop by and express yourself. Your words have power. Your words can save lives. (Photo.)

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” -The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1.

If you have further questions or would like to volunteer to table for signatures, please contact Maggie Riley at .

Nominate Your Mentor for 2012 Outstanding Mentor Award

The Board of Trustees for the KCBA Young Lawyers Division (YLD) seeks nominees for the 2012 Outstanding Mentor Award.  Nominees shall have made a demonstrable contribution to the teaching, training, or professional development of one or more young lawyers.  All nominations must be submitted by a young lawyer, defined as an attorney who, as of December 31 of the current year, has been in practice for five or fewer years or is age 36 or younger.  Nominators must be current KCBA members.  The winning nominee will be announced at the YLD Winter Blitz on February 7, 2013, @ the Hard Rock Café. (Photo Timothy Wildey.)

Nominations must be submitted by December 21, 2012, to Cate Humpage, Membership Services Assistant, at KCBA, 1200 Fifth Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, WA  98101, or via e-mail at