I have struggled to write this post for Sher Kung. Like so many of us, I was privileged to know Sher. But I did not know her as well as other lawyers and worry that my words will be insufficient to acknowledge the loss to our legal community or to celebrate and honor her life and all the gifts Sher brought to the legal profession. The words that Sher lived by remind me, “Stop overanalyzing, life is simple.”
I can’t adequately express the loss to our legal community by Sher’s tragic death. I can’t adequately celebrate and honor Sher’s life, either. I need your help. I can share my experience and invite you to share yours in the comments. Collectively, we can do this for us and for Sher and her family.
I first met Sher at a QLaw Board meeting. I had been serving on the board for a couple of years when she joined. Like many of you, I spend a lot of my free time serving on boards for organizations that I care about. Board service can be drudgery, or it can be fun and inspiring. Sher stood out as one of the people who made serving on the QLaw board fun and inspiring. Sher’s smile was contagious, and no matter what the task was at hand, Sher had a way of finding some joy in the work and sharing it. I remember Sher’s laugh and how she made me laugh.
Sher’s passion for equality and helping others was palpable. It came through when she talked about her work at the ACLU for Margaret Witt. And Sher put it into action in so many ways beyond the courtroom, including organizing social events that always included service to others, like the annual AIDS Walk. “Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating.” I remember Sher bringing people together in service of others and having a great time doing it.
Sher Kung was more than just a brilliant and inspiring attorney. She was a new mom and a fiancée. I feel like I got to know Sher better in the last couple of years, even though I had not seen her. I looked forward to Sher’s Facebook posts sharing the joy and excitement of having a baby with her fiancée, and then the birth of their daughter, who had just started walking this week. It is clear that Sher lived life fully and did not do things in half-measures. “Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.” Sher’s love for Christine and Bryn was undeniable. I remember the example Sher set for placing family first.
It has been two months since Sher died far too early at age 31. We don’t know what amazing contributions she personally would have made to our profession if she had lived longer. But I am confident that her contributions to the legal profession did not end with her death. As we remember and honor Sher Kung, her contributions continue.
As a community, we can also help take care of those Sher loved most – Christine and Bryn. Sher’s firm set up the Sher Kung Memorial Fund as a way for the legal community to give support to her family in the wake of her tragic death. If you are able and inclined, I invite you to honor Sher Kung’s contributions to the legal profession by making a contribution to the Sher Kung Memorial Fund to support Sher’s daughter and fiancée. Make checks payable to Perkins Coie Trust Company with “Sher Kung Memorial Fund” on the memo line and send to David Howland, Chief Trust Officer, Perkins Coie Trust Company LLC, 1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA 98101-3099. Or donate to the YouCaring online fundraiser.