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Hunter M. Abell Sworn in as President of Washington State Bar Association | Oct. 13, 2023

Updated: Oct. 13, 2023

SPOKANE, WA. — Hunter M. Abell was recently sworn in as President of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA). Washington Supreme Court Justice Debra Stephens administered the oath of office during the September meeting of the WSBA Board of Governors in Spokane, Washington. Abell stood between his two young daughters, Libby and Wynsome, to accept the oath.

Hunter Abell    Hunter Abell
“I am hoping this year will be focused on building the public’s trust and confidence in our legal system,” said in an upcoming Q & A for Washington State Bar News. “Toward that end, I have adopted the theme ‘For the People’ for the coming year. The rule of law is the bedrock of our democracy, establishing and upholding the rights of all people.”

Abell is a resident of rural Ferry County where he lives on a fourth-generation family ranch.  He is an attorney at Williams Kastner in Spokane, where he focuses on civil litigation, real estate, and Indian law. Abell first was elected to the Board of Governors in 2019. Previously, he served as chair of the WSBA Professionalism Committee and Indian Law Section. Before joining Williams Kastner, he served as a JAG officer with the U.S. Navy, and is currently a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

In 2015, Abell received the WSBA’s Courageous Award, bestowed to those who have displayed exceptional courage in the face of adversity, thus bringing credit to the legal profession. He received the award for his service with the detainee operation in Guantanamo Bay while leaving his growing family behind – including his youngest who was born during the deployment — and putting his law practice on hold for a year.

A focus on the public has long been foremost on Abell’s mind. In his Courageous Award video, he said, “I have concerns when I see a genuine legal issue that needs to be addressed and the potential client just can’t afford to get the relief that they’re looking for… there’s an increasing gulf between the legal profession and the public, and if we can try to bridge that, we’re in better shape for it.”

A graduate of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., Abell attended Gonzaga University School of Law and received an LL.M. at Georgetown University Law Center. Abell is also a proud graduate of Inchelium High School.

As WSBA President, Abell will oversee the long-range, strategic planning process for the future of the WSBA. His term as president runs through September 2024.

At the September Board of Governors meeting, Justice Stephens also swore in WSBA President-Elect Sunitha Anjilvel; Immediate Past President Daniel D. Clark; Treasurer Francis Adewale; and new governors Allison Widney (District 3), Todd A. Bloom (District 6), Kristina Larry (District 8), and Tom Ahearne (At-Large). Matthew Dresden was reelected in District 7-North.

Download a printable PDF version of this release.


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.