Our attorneys clerked for Judges and Congressmen before founding their law firm in 2004. This is a recent letter written by one of our attorneys to federal Judge Edward F. Shea upon his transfer to senior status after serving on the bench for 15 years in Federal District Court (EDWA).
Today is the day. The Judge wrote a letter to Barack Obama announcing his transition to senior status. He copied the Chief Justice. This is a big day.
It was the very first year of the court after many years of vacancy in Richland. President Clinton made the appointment. We were excited. We were scared. Ms. Angel Rains and I figured it out one day at a time. Our system was simple: stop everything to edit (and re-edit) a finished product for the Judge. Amazingly, our system worked. We tried, learned, and talked about stashing sleeping bags under our desks. It was all so new; construction of the court wasn’t even close to completed when we began writing memos and drafting opinions. Once we had an internet connection, we got to work.
Over the past 13 years since leaving for private practice, I have grown, evolved and matured as a lawyer, and person, doing what I love most: practicing law. Over the years, I was blessed with a husband, two children, and a practice all my own. But all I really needed to know was what I learned in clerkship: be kind, be professional, be respectful, and honor the profession by honoring yourself.
The Judge gave this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to two recent graduates from Gonzaga. We took the challenge. And ran. We had no idea what the Judge meant when he said we were lucky to have no billable hours. We had no way of knowing how insightful he was about so many things.
Judge, I hope your memories of the 14 years you have dedicated are as fond as ours.
With admiration for all you have accomplished, lived and given.