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The Class of 2018: Eric Liu

Eric LiuStudents from Washington’s three law schools recently celebrated the culmination of their studies and hard work. Though the classes of 2018 come from a multitude of backgrounds, what they have in common is optimism and passion to take their newly learned skills into the community.

Below is a transcript of the graduate class student speaker Eric Liu, an Australian Lawyer who came to the University of Washington School of Law to earn his masters of laws degree.

Keep an eye on NWSidebar for speeches from other graduates. Read more »


The Class of 2018: Theo Shaw

Theo ShawThree years ago, the world was a very different place. We had a different president, the U.K. was still a part of the EU, no one believed the Chicago Cubs could win the World Series again, and we were still spinning theories about the podcast Serial. At the same time, a new class of law students was settling into classes.

From 1L to 3L to now graduates, Washington’s three law schools recently unleashed a new wave of lawyers ready to put their training into practice. Many graduates are preparing for the bar and a career in law; others have already attended school and passed the bar, but went back to focus on new areas of the law. Though they come from a multitude of backgrounds, what they have in common is optimism and passion to take their newly learned skills into the community.

Below is a transcript of the speech given by Theo Shaw, a Gates Public Service Law scholar and the J.D. student speaker at the 2018 University of Washington School of Law Commencement Ceremony. Shaw was one of five student speakers who spoke at the graduation ceremonies of Washington’s three law schools, which we will publish here over the next few weeks. Read more »


Interested in Being a Young Lawyer Liaison to Sections? You Should Be

Group of people standing outside

A young lawyers shaking handsThe Young Lawyer Liaisons to Sections provide a vital link between new and young lawyers and WSBA’s sections, opening new leadership opportunities while also strengthening connections with WSBA sections.

Jordan Couch, a workers’ compensation attorney for Palace Law, is one such liaison. Couch’s term as the Solo and Small Practice section liaison is expiring this year. We asked him about his time as a liaison, what he’s learned from it, and why he thinks it’s valuable for new and young lawyers. Read more »


Confirming When Representation Begins Matters


handshakeA recent decision by Division III of the Washington Court of Appeals illustrates the importance of confirming whether or not you have taken on a client at an initial meeting.

Fechner v. Volyn, ___ Wn. App. ___, 418 P.3d 120, 2018 WL 2307703 (May 22, 2018), was painted against the backdrop of a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff was the personal representative of her late husband’s estate. She believed that her husband had died as a result of being prescribed inappropriate medications. The plaintiff contended she first consulted the defendant lawyer in October 2011 about pursuing a medical malpractice claim against the doctor involved and that the lawyer had agreed orally at that time to take on her case. The lawyer, by contrast, argued that he did not begin to represent the plaintiff until August 2012 when she signed a written authorization for him to investigate the claim. The significance of the two dates is that the statute of limitation on the medical malpractice claim ran in the meantime. Read more »


When Opposing Counsel Goes Dark—Can You Communicate Directly With the Adverse Party?

Frazzled woman attorney on the telephone

Frazzled businesswoman talking on telephoneI have taken multiple calls at the WSBA Ethics Line from attorneys who feel stymied because opposing counsel isn’t responding and hasn’t terminated their attorney-client relationship. In one instance, the caller said the opposing party wanted to work directly with him, but the caller could not get confirmation from opposing counsel that contact was permitted. Read more »