Yakima Attorney Daniel D. Clark Sworn-in as President of the Washington State Bar Association | Sept. 23, 2022
SEATTLE — Yakima Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Daniel D. Clark has been sworn-in as president of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA). Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven González administered the oath of office at the September Board of Governors meeting.
Clark cites the shortage of attorneys, the lack of meaningful access to justice, and the erosion of public trust and confidence in the legal system as some of the most important issues of concern to the public. “In Central and Eastern Washington, lack of access to justice – unmet civil legal needs, exacerbated by ‘legal deserts’ in parts of the state – is the biggest problem experienced by the public. As more Bar members retire, it is of critical importance for us to look at ways to attract new and young attorneys to rural parts of our state to replace them.”
Since early childhood, Clark has had a major speech impediment and is believed to be the first WSBA and state bar president in the country to serve with a speech disability. “Stuttering doesn’t define you. It’s something you are forced to learn to deal with. Like any individual, how you appear on the outside is not the only reflection of value you bring to an organization or in serving your clients as their attorney,” he said.
Clark was first elected to the Board of Governors in July 2017 to serve a vacancy in District 4 and was subsequently elected for a full term in 2018. The Board of Governors twice elected him to serve as treasurer for 2019-2021 and president-elect in 2021. It is believed that Clark is the WSBA’s longest-serving governor.
Since 2002, he has served the taxpayers of Yakima County. Clark is a senior deputy prosecuting attorney with the Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Corporate Counsel Division. His legal practice includes providing legal representation to various Yakima County department heads and elected officials in various civil and ad valorem taxation litigation matters. He also assists deputy prosecutors and law enforcement in various criminal prosecutions and civil real and personal property forfeiture matters. He is also the legal counsel for the Southeast Aging and Long-Term Care Council of Governments, an entity comprised of eight counties that provides important services under the Older Americans Act for the elderly and those in need of long-term care. Previously, he worked for Yakima County Superior Court where he served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable James Hutton, Michael E. Schwab, Robert N. Hackett, and C. James Lust.
Born and raised in Yakima, Clark received his undergraduate Bachelor of Art degree in political science from Central Washington University, graduating magna cum laude, and was honored as a Dean’s Scholar in the College of the Sciences. He earned his J.D. from Gonzaga School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. He is a proud Gonzaga law alum, and an avid Zags basketball and Seahawks sports fan.
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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.