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Emily M. Gause on Being a Criminal Defense Lawyer

"There is never a dull moment in criminal defense. I love fighting the good fight."

Why did you go to law school?

I knew I was going to law school to become a criminal defense attorney after my first criminal justice class my freshman year at Washington State University.   I felt so compelled to help fix a broken system.  I remember hearing statistics of recidivism rates and thinking about how prison/jail does no good in preventing crime or rehabilitating those who desperately need support and services.  I never considered being a prosecutor.  For me, it was always defense.

Who is/are your mentor(s)?  What have you learned from them?

I spent my first three years after law school working for John Henry Browne and Emma Scanlan.  Emma is a brilliant attorney, and my most influential mentor.  She taught me to always consider every possible argument that opposing counsel could make and not get too caught up in the “defense attorney mindset.”  She also showed me that great attorneys are humble and always seeking to improve their knowledge and trial skills.

Tell us about a case you worked on that made you proud to be a defense lawyer:

I am proud to be a defense attorney on every case, but especially in non-violent drug cases.  I recently was able to navigate a client away from an eight-year sentence for a non-violent drug crime with deadly weapon enhancement (when the State found a hatchet in the car where drugs were found).  Instead, I argued that this father to seven young children should receive the Family and Offender Sentencing Alternative (FOSA) and spend 12 months in community custody.  The judge (Michael Schwartz) agreed.  Having seven children hugging you after a sentencing hearing makes me proud to be a defense attorney.

Why do you do criminal defense?

I love my clients (most days) and enjoy being on their team.  I enjoy writing feisty motions.  And I love being in trial.  There is never a dull moment in criminal defense.  I love fighting the good fight.

Briefly describe your practice.

I started my own practice, The Law Offices of Emily M. Gause PLLC, in November 2014.  My practice is solely devoted to defending serious felonies in state and federal courts.  I practice all over Washington, but most often am in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

What else would you like WACDL members to know about you/your practice?

I have a 7 pound Maltese named Izzy, am a hot yoga junkie, and sing in a jazz choir!

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