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June 14, 2013

Celebrating Father’s Day with WSBA’s Lawyer Fathers

by WSBA
father's day
Second- and third-generation lawyers share stories of their lawyer fathers.

father's dayFather’s Day is Sunday, June 16, and we’d like to wish a happy holiday to all the fathers out there! We talked to some of our second- and third-generation WSBA members about the influence their lawyer fathers have had on their lives and careers, and we’d like to share a few of their stories here. If you’re part of a multigenerational lawyer family, we invite you to share your own thoughts in the comments. Happy Father’s Day!

Father: Jeff Pratt | Children: Trevor, Danielle, and Benjamin Pratt

Trevor and Jeff Pratt

Trevor, left, and Jeff Pratt, right, at May swearing-in ceremony.

Jeff Pratt is president and shareholder of March Mundorf Pratt Sullivan + McKenzie, P.S.C. His career has spanned over 25 years of representing entrepreneurs with business formations, mergers and acquisitions, real estate acquisitions, sales, and leasing and financing, with particular emphasis on representing business owners and franchisees in the quick service industry. Jeff is a charter member and past president of the Mill Creek Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, and current member of the Sno-Isle Skill Center Foundation.

Despite Jeff’s lifelong dedication to his profession, he has always put family first, supporting his kids in school, sports, and life in general. Jeff has three children, who have all become lawyers: sons Trevor and Ben, and daughter Danielle. As all of his children are University of Washington alumni, they love teasing Jeff for his “naïve” love of Cougar athletics.

“The mere fact that my siblings and I are all licensed attorneys is a testament to the kind of parent my father is, but mentioning his professional successes alone doesn’t do him justice,” says Trevor. “My father is simply a kind, generous, and dedicated man whom I admire immensely. Unlike my siblings, I never envisioned myself in the legal profession. However, when presented with an opportunity to make a career change, my relationship with my dad made law an easy choice. Growing up, my dad always expressed a love for his work; he described the legal profession as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others while challenging himself and satisfying his appetite for knowledge. This passion has made my Dad not only a model WSBA member, but the kind of man I aspire to be. Thanks, Dad.”

Father: Scott M. Donaldson | Daughter: Liz Donaldson

Scott and Liz Donaldson

Scott M. Donaldson has practiced for 30 years, currently with Scott M. Donaldson, P.S., where his practice focuses on personal injury. Scott was inspired to become a lawyer by his sister, Sue. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and Willamette University College of Law. Although he has spent most of his career as a solo practitioner, Scott says he enjoys working on big cases with co-counsel to learn from them and share the workload and the experience. He has three children: Elizabeth, Andrew and Blake. Scott is an avid boater, skier (water and snow), and snowboarder; he also enjoys riding motorcycles, both street and dirt bikes.

His daughter, Elizabeth Donaldson, earned her undergraduate degree from Western Washington University and her law degree from Seattle University School of Law, where she received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award® in Forensics. She passed the bar in 2012 and has practiced for about seven months. She works at the Law Offices of James S. Rogers, practicing in the areas of personal injury, product liability and sexual abuse.

Liz says she first got acquainted with the legal profession by working at her father’s office before starting law school. “I saw many seriously injured people come to my dad for help,” she recalls. “The appreciation they had for my dad and the work he did for them to get them the compensation they deserved was probably my biggest inspiration. I saw that the legal field allowed my dad to make a difference in the lives of many people, and I wanted to do the same. I also knew that I liked helping the underdog, and being a plaintiff’s personal injury lawyer would suit me well.”

Father: Daniel Farr | Children: Megan and Ross Farr

Daniel FarrMegan Farr Ross Farr

Daniel A. Farr Sr. had a 40-year legal career at the time of his retirement in 2011. He has practiced in family law, criminal (as defense and city prosecutor), real estate, and corporate, although his practice focused on trusts and estates. He also served as a municipal judge for four years. Over the course of his legal career, Daniel performed dozens of adoptions, wrote hundreds of estate plans, and took many families through probate proceedings. He takes great pride in having guided these families through some of the most difficult times in their lives with compassion. Daniel enjoys biking, playing music with his band, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Daughter Megan Farr has been in practice for over nine years, focusing on trusts and estates. She worked in Sen. Patty Murray’s office in Washington D.C. before attending law school at the University of Washington. After law school, she joined her father’s practice; Megan and her husband, M. Owen Gabrielson, have taken over Farr Law Group and are proud to continue the legacy established by Daniel.

Son E. Ross Farr has been in practice for over 11 years in the area of employment law. He clerked for the Hon. Elaine Houghton (Ret.) at Division II and the Hon. Charles W. Johnson at the Washington State Supreme Court after law school.  Ross worked as an associate at Larson Hart & Shepherd, PLLC, and also worked as an associate and became a partner at Ogden Murphy Wallace, PLLC.  Ross recently joined Nordstrom as in-house employment counsel.

“[Dad] would take us out of school to go to court with him,” recalls Megan. “I would get dressed up and he always introduced me to the Judge or Commissioner. Also, when we were in grade school, he would arrange to take our entire classes to the King County Superior Court house in Seattle for a field trip.  I was always so proud!”

“Dad practiced in Enumclaw, a rural community,” says Ross. “He sometimes received firewood, farm equipment, and once a young calf, in exchange for legal work when clients could not afford to pay a fee.  I will always remember bringing that calf home from his client’s farm with the entire family in our VW van.”

“It never even occurred to me to do anything other than go to law school,” says Megan. “It was what my dad did and it was what I was going to do. He has always talked about the law as an opportunity to help people, and he is right — it is very rewarding to be able to make one’s living while helping individuals and families through life transitions. It is an honor to be a trusted advisor. My father and brother and I are similar in many ways, but it is a gift to share our profession and passion.”

“After years of resisting the inevitable, I followed Dad into the law,” says Ross. “Growing up, I saw how personally taxing, but also how emotionally and intellectually rewarding it could be to practice law.  Dad truly lives by the Golden Rule. Even though my law practice is different than Dad’s, I try to follow his example every day to treat clients and other lawyers with compassion and integrity. Sharing a profession with my father, sister, and brother-in-law means we understand aspects of each other’s lives without having to explain.”

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