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Leland B. Kerr Receives Washington State Bar Association Local Hero Award │ July 26, 2019

Updated: March 17, 2021

From Public to Private, Attorney’s Extensive Counsel, Community Involvement Praised

RICHLAND, WA [July 26, 2019] — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) has named Leland B. Kerr as the most recent recipient of the Local Hero Award, in recognition of his decades of superb legal counsel and dedication to the health and welfare of his community.

The Local Hero Award is given to those who have made noteworthy contributions to their communities. WSBA President Bill Pickett will present the award on Friday, July 26, as part of a Board of Governors meeting held at the Courtyard by Marriott in Richland, Washington. Kerr was nominated by the Benton Franklin Counties Bar Association.

Leland Kerr with WSBA Pres. Bill Pickett
Leland Kerr with WSBA President Bill Pickett

With 45 years of active practice in the Tri-Cities, Kerr has lent his expertise and counsel to public and private clients, municipalities and businesses, and myriad charitable organizations. A former member of the WSBA Board of Governors, Kerr has also devoted volunteer hours to other bodies that help elevate the practice of law in Washington. He was a member of the Washington State Association of Municipal Attorneys; past-president of the Benton Franklin Counties Bar Association; and a member of the WSBA Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, which examines the best forms of arbitration, settlement and negotiation techniques, and more. Kerr was also a member of the early WSBA Governance Task Force which in 2013 developed an interim report at the onset of its years-long, in-depth review of WSBA governance.

“Being from the Tri-Cities’ neighbor not too far to the west, Yakima, I know the incredible impact a dedicated legal professional can have on their home and local community,” Pickett said. “People like Leland, are vital to maintaining trust between lawyers and those we, as lawyers, have sworn to serve. In that regard, Leland is a role model for us all and an irreplaceable member of his community, and the community of lawyers.”

Kerr’s clients have included the cities of Pasco, Benton, and Richland, in addition to municipal tourism promotion, public works, and land use entities. In addition to representing businesses, Kerr has also created his own, working with everything from international corporate startups to construction companies to agri-businesses. He is a member of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

With a dedication to improving the lives of people and empowering his community, Kerr sits on the Board of Directors of United Way and co-chairs the “Year of the Family.” He is a charter board member of the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce; a scout leader; a diving coach; and helps with his community fencing club, alpine club, river runners, and desert ski club, among other volunteer roles.

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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.