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Larry Jefferson Receives Washington State Bar Association Local Hero Award │ March 6, 2018

Updated: March 17, 2021

SEATTLE — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) is honoring Larry Jefferson with its Local Hero Award in recognition of his extraordinary advocacy as a long-time public defender, representing those most in need and addressing the root causes of incarceration and recidivism.

The Local Hero Award is given to those who have made noteworthy contributions to their communities. Jefferson was nominated by the Government Lawyers Bar Association of Washington. WSBA President Bradford Furlong will present the award at a luncheon at noon on Thursday, March 8, at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia, open for press and legal-community attendees.

“Larry brings a level of intelligence, respect, experience, and mirth to the practice of criminal law that is unmatched,” said Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney Megan A. Winder. “He is a patient and willing teacher, with the ability to communicate difficult subject matter in a way that is comprehensible to the juveniles he represents, to their overwhelmed parents, and to his colleagues.”

Jefferson has more than two decades experience as a public defender in King and Thurston Counties. He currently serves as supervisor of the felony unit at Thurston County Public Defense. His career has focused on providing legal defense for low-income persons—often juveniles—charged with serious felony offenses, including murder, robbery, and theft. In one noteworthy case, Jefferson helped secure a new trial for a man serving a life sentence, and the man was released after 19 years in prison for a crime the alleged victim admitted never occurred.

His work to address the justice system itself includes serving as a board member for the Campaign for Equal Justice, which raises awareness and funds for civil-legal aid. He supports the Felony Leadership Improvement Project (FLIP) to streamline how criminal cases are managed in Superior Court. He also participates in the “IF” Project, in which currently or previously incarcerated adults speak to at-risk people to intervene, prevent, and reduce imprisonment and recidivism. He is a board member for the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a recent past president of the Thurston County Bar, and former member of the Olympian Editorial Board and the Disciplinary Advisory Round Table.

“He goes above and beyond to the traditional call to serve the community,” Winder said.

In his personal life, Jefferson is a devoted husband, father of two wonderful children, and a self-proclaimed mama’s boy. He likes to cheer for the Seahawks while spending time with a girl close to his heart—Nexie, his barbecue grill.

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.