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Erin Lovell Receives Norm Maleng Leadership APEX Award │ Sept. 27, 2019

Updated: March 17, 2021

At-Risk Youth Advocate Recognized for Community-Based Leadership

SEATTLE [Sept. 27, 2019] — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) presented Erin Lovell the 2019 APEX Norm Maleng Leadership Award. This award is given jointly by the WSBA and the Access to Justice Board, in honor of the late King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng's legacy as a leader. He was an innovative and optimistic leader committed to justice and access to justice in both civil and criminal settings. Within the profession, his leadership was characterized by his love of the law and commitment to diversity and mentorship. This award recognizes those who embody these qualities. WSBA President William D. Pickett presented the award at the annual WSBA APEX (Acknowledging Professional Excellence) Awards Dinner on Sept. 26 at the Sheraton Seattle.

As co-founder and executive director of Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC), a nonprofit organization committed to community-based, holistic legal advocacy for youth and children in crisis, Lovell has helped hundreds of child welfare clients, juvenile offenders, and homeless youth obtain legal aid and begin to build a brighter future.

“Erin understands that advocacy is not limited to each individual case LCYC handles, but broader policies that touch children’s lives,” said Rebecca Cat, managing attorney for LCYC.

Previously a staff attorney for The Defender Association within the King County Department of Public Defense, Lovell devoted countless pro bono hours and built LCYC despite having no prior experience in nonprofit administration. Now with 10 attorneys on staff working with immigrant, at-risk, abused, neglected, and homeless youth, Lovell’s leadership has helped match its young clients with attorneys who are well-versed in handling their unique needs.

Lovell has continued to inspire those who work with her, and she’s developed additional services for local youth, such as the 2016 LCYC collaborative launch of a homeless youth program, which was one of only a dozen in the nation recognized by the Homeless Youth Legal Network of the American Bar Association.

“Ms. Lovell is a leader among leaders in the juvenile justice movement happening now in Washington state,” said King County Superior Court Commissioner Jennie Laird. “Arguably, that movement exists in part due to Ms. Lovell putting herself solidly in the mix in relevant arenas—courtrooms, policy-making meetings, community organizations serving youth—and putting the interests of children and youth squarely at the center of the conversations in these arenas.”

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About the Washington State Bar Association

The WSBA operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court and exercises a governmental function authorized by the Court to license and regulate the state’s nearly 40,000 legal professionals, including lawyers, limited practice officers, and limited license legal technicians. The WSBA both regulates legal professionals under the authority of the Court and serves its members as a professional association — all without public funding. The WSBA administers the Bar admission process, including the bar exam; provides record-keeping and licensing functions; administers the lawyer discipline system; and provides continuing legal education for legal professionals, in addition to numerous other educational and member-service activities. The Bar’s mission is to serve the public and its members, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.