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What Our Members Have to Say

WACDL members on why they join ... and renew year after year.

Edwin Aralica, Kent

I have been a WACDL member for eight years. WACDL has been very important in daily practice as a public defender. I have been able to consult with other attorneys around the state about issues through the listserv. This has helped me craft and argue issues in my courts. The ability to brainstorm with others is for me the most valuable thing about WACDL. Finally, I am happy to be part of an organization that supports the issues that I believe are in important in Olympia.

Geoffrey Burg, Seattle

WACDL provides unsurpassed support to our community and our efforts for justice.  Without  WACDL working for us, our jobs would be significantly more difficult.

Bob Butler, Bellingham

WACDL has proved time and time again to be an invaluable resource for improving the representation of those accused of crimes in our state.  From robust use of the listserves for brainstorming legal theories to outstanding CLEs,  ethics hotline support, and strike force assistance.

Jonathan Dichter, Mill Creek

Being a part of WACDL (since being in law school) has helped me immeasurably in my defense practice. Having such a group of mentors, CLEs, and list serves are things I'm grateful for - and I use the material I've learned every day in my practice!

Robyn Friedman, Mill Creek

I was fortunate enough to intern with a couple of attorneys who were members of WACDL, and they encouraged me to join before I had even passed the Bar.  Joining WACDL was the best decision I could have made as a newly minted attorney. The most valuable membership perk has to be the email lists.  I have told my clients that they are lucky enough to be paying my fees for advice from some of the most respected attorneys in the state!

Catlin Gibson, Seattle Paralegal & Investigator

As an associate member, I cannot say enough about what WACDL has done for me and my career in criminal defense as a paralegal and an investigator. There simply are not enough places for paralegals and investigators to learn about criminal defense in order to keep current with laws, explore new topics, and network with like-minded professionals.  The local associations for paralegals and investigators are aimed primarily at private practice in civil law, and as such, the activities are not usually relevant to criminal law, especially not public defense.  Meeting people through WACDL is probably much of the reason I have been able to find such interesting work over the years.  Networking through WACDL does not feel like work, it feels like fun as we are always mixing in great social activities and it is very relaxed and natural.  One of the proudest moments in my career was being asked to chair the 2014 Support Staff CLE, knowing that I could be a part of helping others to discover the potential benefits available to WACDL associate members.

Lee Grochmal, Bellingham

I have been a WACDL member for over 20 years, first as a public defender and now as a private attorney. The list serve, the CLEs, and the case law updates keep me on top of current changes in the law so that I am less likely to miss an issue that might help a client’s case. WACDL has been an invaluable resource for me over the years.

Erik M. Kupka, Aberdeen

WACDL is the only resource to rely and depend on for answers to emerging issues impacting our clients.

Robert Leen, Everett

WACDL is a remarkable organization and resource for those practitioners who handle a lot of criminal cases as well as those who only handle a few.  Anyone who is serious about improving their skills and providing more effective representation to their clients should join this organization.

Brit Mercer, Seattle

I joined WACDL as a law student, not knowing at the time what a tremendous resource and critical part of my practice this organization would end up to be. Over ten years later, WACDL is an integral part of my practice and my identity as a criminal defense attorney. WACDL membership provides invaluable access to other defense attorneys for everything from brainstorming on novel legal issues to strike force support when needed. Being a WACDL member makes you part of a team and gives you the knowledge you need to fight for your clients, and the comfort and camaraderie of knowing you’re not in it alone.

Amy Muth, Seattle

I was a member of WACDL before I was a member of the bar.  I have learned much from other members in this organization and have relied on them for support and camaraderie.  It's also been great for my professional development, as I've been able to chair committees and task forces, participate in the legislative process, write amicus briefs and articles, and speak at CLE programs.  I benefit from being a WACDL member, but most important — my clients benefit. I recommend WACDL membership to all criminal defense lawyers.

Jonathan Rands, Bellingham

I have been a member of WACDL since 2000 first as a third year law student, then as a general member and serving as a board member since 2006.  WACDL is the single most important criminal defense organization a defense lawyer can, and should belong to.  If you are not a member, you are neglecting valuable support and resource.

Jeffrey Steinborn, Seattle

WACDL from its birth has been the go-to resource for lawyers wanting to consider themselves state of the art defense lawyers.  From a handful of useful interactive listservs to seminars with the latest defense tips, WACDL is the way to stay on that leading edge. Experienced lawyers generously share their tips and wisdom with all who want the input.  I don't see how I could claim to be up to the standards of an effective defense lawyer without the education and network WACDL affords.

Christopher Swaby, Normandy Park

I joined WACDL in 2001 and I have never regretted it. From the work it does on behalf of our clients in Olympia to the discussions taking place daily on its listserves, WACDL is of immeasurable assistance to criminal defense attorneys in WA State.   Every year it is money well spent.

Kent Underwood, Tacoma

My WACDL membership is invaluable.  The CLEs are timely, affordable and informative.  The list serves provide a great forum to ask and answer questions on all aspects of criminal defense practice.  There is a wealth of other resources that frequently supplement my research and trial preparation.  The access to the experience and expertise of other members and the overall contribution of each member to the community as a whole makes for a more effective and satisfying practice.