Updated: Dec. 21, 2021

Small Town and Rural Practice Committee

The WSBA Small Town and Rural Practice (STAR) Committee is committed to strengthen and support the practice of law in the rural communities throughout Washington state. Members of the STAR Committee will work to ensure that the practice of law in rural communities is present, growing, and thriving.

Practitioners in rural communities are few and far between. Additionally, many of these practitioners are nearing retirement without a clear plan of succession for their clients, leaving a void of access to legal representation and counsel. The STAR Committee members will guide policy and program development, serve as ambassadors between the WSBA and these communities, explore and advocate for creative and innovative solutions, and regularly assess the legal landscape in rural communities to determine if WSBA policy, advocacy, and program development require further resource for sustainability and improvements. To learn more about the STAR Committee's purpose, composition, scope of work, and roles, review the STAR Committee Charter.

The formation of the STAR Committee is the result of work conducted by the Rural Practice Project.

Meet the STAR Committee Members


Members serve terms Oct. 1, 2021–Sept. 30, 2024 unless all otherwise noted.

Hunter Abell, Chair

Peter Grabicki, Board of Governors Member

Sunitha Anjilvel, Board of Governors Member

Allison Foreman, At-large Member
Term: Oct. 1, 2021–Sept. 30, 2023

Rusty McGuire, Rural Member

Kathryn Burke, Rural Member
Term: Oct. 1, 2021–Sept. 30, 2022

Sarah Cuellar, Rural Member
Term: Oct. 1, 2021–Sept. 30, 2023

Elizabeth Penoyar, Rural Member

Merf Ehman, Qualified Legal Service Provider Member

Zachary Bryant, Young Lawyer Member

Laurie Powers, Gonzaga Law School Member
Term: Oct. 1, 2021–Sept. 30, 2022

TBD, University of Washington Law School Member
Term: Oct. 1, 2021Sept. 30, 2024

Cindy Yeung, University Law School Member
Term: Oct. 1, 2021Sept. 30, 2023

TBD, Board of Governors Liaison
Term: Oct. 1, 2021–Sept. 30, 2022

Julianne Unite, Staff Liaison

For questions, please email Committee Chair Hunter Abell or staff liaison Julianne Unite.

STAR Committee Meetings

Next Meeting

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Washington State Bar Association, that a Small Town and Rural Committee meeting will be held on:

Date: Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022│ Time: Noon–2 p.m.

Location: Zoom  Meeting ID: 884 6080 9037  Meeting Passcode: 047632

The purpose of the meeting is for the committee to discuss, deliberate, and take potential final action regarding the following agenda items (no final disposition regarding any matter will occur at the meeting except as indicated on this notice:

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities will be provided upon request. Please email julianneu@wsba.org.

Note: Discussion and action may be taken on any item on the agenda. The time and order of agenda items are subject to change at the discretion of the committee chair.

FY 2022 Past Meeting Materials 

November 2021

October 2021