Michael C. Ormsby Receives Washington State Bar Association Local Hero Award │ April 16, 2021
SPOKANE, WA (April 16, 2021) — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) named Spokane City Attorney Michael C. Ormsby as the winner of the Local Hero Award in recognition of his decades of public service.
The Local Hero Award is given to those who have made noteworthy contributions to their communities. WSBA President Kyle Sciuchetti presented the award during the mixed in-person/virtual Board of Governors meeting in Spokane on April 16.
“Mike prides himself in being a great communicator,” said the district’s acting U.S. attorney, Joseph H. Harrington. He noted that Ormsby had a reputation for planning his frequent trips around Eastern Washington to make sure he was within cellphone coverage when he needed to be. “Mike deftly planned his cellphone conversation around his local knowledge, sometimes pulling over his car to finish a call.”
Appointed by former-President Barack Obama at the recommendation of Washington Sen. Patty Murray, Ormsby served as United States attorney for the Eastern District of Washington from 2010 to 2017. Over the course of his tenure—during which he represented the federal government in all civil and criminal cases within the district—he served as the co-chair of the Marijuana Working Group as well as a member of the Native American Issues Criminal Practice Committee and the Criminal Practice and Northern Border Security and Strategies Subcommittees of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee. In 2017, Ormsby was appointed to serve as city attorney for Spokane, where he received bipartisan praise, according to an article in the Inlander.
Prior to his roles in public service, Ormsby worked in private practice for three decades. Beginning as a clerk and intern with the Eastern Washington firm Lukins & Annis, Ormsby continued there as an associate through the 80s. He went on to spend the next 20 years as a partner at K&L Gates, where his practice specialties included municipal finance and providing legal advice to public entities and governmental institutions.
Ormsby has been prolific across numerous professional and civic organizations, serving roles ranging from president to chair of such organizations as: the Spokane County Bar Association, Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce, Spokane Public Schools Board of Directors, Spokane Planning Commission, Eastern Washington University Board of Trustees, Board of Joint Center for Higher Education in Spokane, United Way of Spokane County Board of Directors, State Advisory Committee for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Inland Northwest Foundation, Sunrise Valley Rotary Club, Spokane Valley Center, and Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Ormsby is a Spokane native. He graduated from North Central High School before pursuing his undergrad and J.D. from Gonzaga University. He is also a self-described baseball fan and, in fact, was a partial owner of the Yakima Bears minor league team.
About the Washington State Bar Association
The WSBA operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court and exercises a governmental function authorized by the Court to license and regulate the state’s nearly 40,000 legal professionals, including lawyers, limited practice officers, and limited license legal technicians. The WSBA both regulates legal professionals under the authority of the Court and serves its members as a professional association — all without public funding. The WSBA administers the Bar admission process, including the bar exam; provides record-keeping and licensing functions; administers the lawyer discipline system; and provides continuing legal education for legal professionals, in addition to numerous other educational and member-service activities. The Bar’s mission is to serve the public and its members, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.