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Why I'm a WACDL Member - Thomas W. Cox

"The guidance that I have received from my association with WACDL has kept me in good standing in my legal community."

As a young aspiring criminal defense attorney, I began wondering who to look to as a mentor that I could model myself after and/or ask advice from.  There were several such older, more experienced attorneys in my area that I ran into in the courtroom and became acquainted with through watching them engage in motions and trials.  These attorneys were reputed to be some of the most respected and accomplished lawyers in the county and state.

As it turns out, every single one of them was a member of WACDL.  Through them I learned the value of associating with my/your criminal defense peers, especially the sharing of information and strategies that enabled me to not only better represent my clients, but to develop deep and lasting friendships with earnest attorneys dedicated to being the best attorneys they could be.  They were there to celebrate your victories, and commiserate with you when you lost.  They let you know that you were not alone in this fight, and would support you no matter what.

As I progressed in my career, my WACDL mentors showed me how to use the list serves to gather information and share strategies, how to use the brief bank to not have to reinvent the wheel, and the sharing of forms and templates was absolutely priceless.

I have co-counseled on cases now with several of my colleagues and mentors, and the guidance that I have received from my association with WACDL has kept me in good standing in my legal community.

As an older attorney now and a mentor, whenever a young attorney, who is interested in becoming a criminal defense attorney, asks me what is the first thing to do, I simply and honestly tell him to join the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  To date, no one has ever told me that I was wrong.

Thomas W. Cox is in private practice in Everett.

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