Updated: Feb. 10, 2020

Civil Rights Law Section

Approved by the WSBA Board of Governors in December 2008, the Civil Rights Law Section invites you to become a member. Section membership is open to any Active member of the WSBA, as well as specially admitted members such as emeritus, military, or foreign house counsel. Any other interested person may become a non-voting subscriber of the Section upon payment of annual dues.

The Civil Rights Law Section sponsors CLEs on civil rights law and provides a forum for activities with civil rights organizations throughout the state. The Section focuses on the practice and policy of civil rights law, which includes the rights of racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual-orientation minorities; immigrants; those with a mental or physical disability; and the impoverished; as well as issues regarding freedom of speech; freedom from state-promulgated religion; and privacy rights.

The Section developed out of the WSBA Civil Rights Committee, which had been a standing committee since the Bar was formed in 1933.

Annual Report  |  Budget  |  Bylaws  |  Year in Review

Honoring a Legacy

The WSBA Civil Rights Law Section Honors the Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The mission of the Civil Rights Law Section is to educate and advocate for civil liberties and equal rights in the context of the legal issues of Washington state residents. This year, the Civil Rights Law Section's statement honoring Dr. King's legacy was done in collaboration with WSBA President Bill Pickett and can be found in the January 2019 edition of the NWLawyer

Read the full statement here.

WSBA Civil Rights Law Section Annual Awards

Each year, the Civil Rights Law Section recognizes individuals or organizations who have made a notable contribution to the cause of civil rights. Recipients are persons or entities who have championed the cause of equality for impoverished, underserved, minority or disabled populations in Washington state. Examples of exemplary work in this area would include, but are not limited to, those who regularly fight on local or state government levels for expansion or defense of civil rights protections, or who represent or advocate on behalf of people or issues concerning civil rights or basic human rights.

Distinguished Service Award

Recipients are primarily attorneys who have demonstrated in their career regular work for the expansion or defense of civil rights protections at the local, state or national level.

Civic Leader Award

Recipients are attorneys, individuals or organizations that represent or advocate on behalf of people or legal issues regarding civil rights, civil liberties, or basic human rights such as freedom from discrimination, protection from abuse, or obtaining essential human services such as food, healthcare and shelter.

2016 Awards

Distinguished Service AwardAdam Moore
Civic Leader AwardLuis Moscoso

2015 Awards

Distinguished Service AwardProfessor Michelle Storms
Civic Leader AwardLarry Gossett & Bob Santos  (joint award)

2014 Awards

Distinguished Service Award: Lembhard "Lem" Howell, Esq.
Civic Leader Award: Kathleen Taylor, Executive Director of the ACLU of Washington
Civic Leader Award: Washington United for Marriage

Left to right: Tracy Flood, former WSBA Board of Governors member and founding Chair of the Civil Rights Law Section; Lem Howell, Esq., 2014 Distinguished Service Award recipient; Alec Stephens, Civil Rights Law Section Chair; Kathleen Taylor, 2014 Civic Leader Award recipient and Executive Director of the ACLU of Washington





June 2017  │  Winter 2015  │  Summer 2014

Archived issues are available to section members upon request. To request an issue, please email sections@wsba.org.

Executive Committee

ChairMolly Matter

Chair-ElectLeticia Hernandez

Secretary: Fred Diamondstone

Treasurer: Bridget Shaw

Immediate Past Chair: Sarah Derry

Young Lawyer Liaison: Talya Gonca West (2019-2021)

BOG Liaison: Alec Stephens*

At-Large Members:
Kathleen Kline (2017-2020)
Jaime Hawk (2018-2021)
Trena Berton (2019-2020)
Chalia Stallings-Ala'ilima (2019-2022)

*Non-voting member

The WSBA Civil Rights Law Section Executive Committee generally conducts meetings 12 noon - 1:30 pm on the third Tuesday of each month at the WSBA offices and via web conference. Please contact committee member for specific details on their upcoming meeting dates and locations.

For general questions, please email your inquiries to sections@wsba.org. To get involved with the Section and for more information, please contact the Section Chair, Molly Matter.