2015 WSBA Annual Awards 

2015 WSBA Annual Awards Leading the WayEach year, the WSBA honors the achievements of the state-wide legal community through its annual awards program. Nominations are submitted outlining the marvelous work being done across Washington to serve the legal needs of the public and the local community. The WSBA awards committee carefully reviews each nomination, and recipients are selected. It is a humbling task to choose only one winner in each award category.

On Sept. 17, more than 400 WSBA members and guests gathered to celebrate the accomplishments and service of some of the best and brightest legal professionals in Washington.
Thank you for joining us at the Sheraton Metropolitan Ballroom to honor these inspiring individuals and their amazing accomplishments!

And now... introducing the 2015 Award Winners:

Click the icon in the upper-left corner of the player to select videos from the playlist.

Enjoy a photo slideshow of this year's honorees on NWSidebar.

2015 Award Recipients, Categories and Descriptions

Award of Merit - 2015 recipients: Deborah M. Niedermeyer & Manuel F. Rios III, Seattle
This award is the WSBA's highest honor and is given for a recent, singular achievement. It is awarded to individuals only — both lawyers and non-lawyers.

Lifetime Service Award - 2015 recipient: Hon. Susan K. Cook, Mount Vernon
This award is a special award given for a lifetime of service to the legal community and the public.

Professionalism Award – 2015 recipient: Matthew L. Clucas, Poulsbo
This honor is awarded to a WSBA member who exemplifies the spirit of professionalism in the practice of law, as defined in the WSBA's Creed of Professionalism.

Angelo Petruss Award for Lawyers in Government Service – 2015 recipient: Robert K. Costello, Olympia
Named in honor of Angelo R. Petruss, a senior assistant attorney general who passed away during his term of service on the WSBA Board of Governors, this award is given to a lawyer in government service who has made a significant contribution to the legal profession, the justice system, and the public.

Outstanding Judge Award - 2015 recipient: Hon. James P. Hutton, Yakima
This award is presented for outstanding service to the bench and for special contribution to the legal profession at any level of the court.

Pro Bono Award - 2015 recipient: SGB/LBAW Legal Clinic at El Centro de la Raza, Seattle
This award is presented to a lawyer, non-lawyer, law firm, or bar association for outstanding cumulative efforts in providing pro bono services.

Public Service Award - 2015 recipient: Kenneth G. Kieffer, Tacoma
This award recognizes a WSBA member who exemplifies the WSBA's culture of service: one who gives back in meaningful ways to others, to his/her community, or to the profession.

Courageous Award - 2015 recipient: Hunter M. Abell, Seattle
This award is presented to an individual who has displayed exceptional courage in the face of adversity, thus bringing credit to the legal profession.

Excellence in Diversity Award - 2015 recipient: The Judicial Institute
This award is made to a lawyer, law firm, or law-related group that has made a significant contribution to diversity in the legal profession.

Outstanding Young Lawyer Award - 2015 recipient: Vincent D. Humphrey II, Bellevue
This award recognizes one attorney who has made significant contributions to the professional community, especially the community of young lawyers, within their initial years of practice. Recipients must be active WSBA members within five years of admission to any bar association or under 36 years of age.

Norm Maleng Leadership Award - 2015 recipient: Breean L. Beggs, Spokane
This award is presented jointly by the WSBA and the Access to Justice Board, in honor of Norm Maleng's legacy as a leader. He was an innovative and optimistic leader committed to justice and access to justice in both civil and criminal settings. Within the profession, his leadership was characterized by his love of the law and commitment to diversity and mentorship. This award recognized those who embody those qualities.

President's Award - 2015 recipient: Center for Children & Youth Justice
The President’s Award may be given annually by the president in recognition of a person’s or entity’s contribution to the WSBA and/or profession which the president deems worthy of acknowledgement during his/her term.

Past WSBA Annual Award Recipients

Access to Justice Board Awards

Nominate people and organizations who make access to the justice system a reality for people in need.


If you have questions, email Sue Strachan or call 206-733-5903.