Media Contact

Jennifer Olegario
Communications Manager

State Bar Association honors Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary E. Fairhurst with resolution for her distinguished lifetime career of achievements | March 13, 2019

Updated: March 17, 2021

SEATTLE [March 13, 2019] — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Board of Governors recently adopted the following resolution during its March 7, 2019, Board meeting, honoring the lifetime accomplishments of Washington Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst:


WHEREAS, Mary E. Fairhurst is the Chief Justice of the State of Washington Supreme Court and has been since January 9, 2017, having practiced law in Washington state for more than thirty-four {34) years; and

WHEREAS, throughout her legal career, Chief Justice Fairhurst has focused her work on equity and inclusion to expand opportunities for women and minorities in the legal profession and to ensure access to justice for all Washingtonians: She has served as president of Washington Women Lawyers as well as on its state board, she has served on the Washington Supreme Court's Gender and Justice Commission and Access to Justice Board committees, and her many well-earned awards include the Washington Women Lawyer's President's Award, Betty B. Fletcher Judge of the Year Award, and Passing the Torch Award; the LEGALS, P.S. Allies for Justice Award; and the Council for Public Legal Education's 2011 Judge William Nevins Award for distinguished service in public legal education; and

WHEREAS, Chief Justice Fairhurst has dedicated her career to service of the people of Washington state, previously serving for sixteen {16) years as an Assistant Attorney General with the Washington State Attorney General's Office prior to being elected to the Washington Supreme Court in 2002 and being named Chief Justice in January 9, 2017; and

WHEREAS, Chief Justice Fairhurst has dedicated and volunteered thousands of hours to the Washington State Bar Association, having previously served as President of the Washington State Bar Association as the second woman and first public-sector governmental attorney to hold this position; and WHEREAS, Chief Justice Fairhurst has also served on the WSBA Board of Governors representing the Third Congressional District and has led many WSBA committees and processes including, most recently, the bar structure work group to examine potential changes to the structure of WSBA in light of recent case law with First Amendment and antitrust implications for bar associations; and

WHEREAS, due to the numerous accomplishments and improvements to the legal professional and invaluable service to the public, Chief Justice Fairhurst received WSBA's highest honor in 2011, the Award of Merit; and

WHEREAS, Chief Justice Fairhurst's commitment and service to the profession makes her a luminary for our profession, her community, and for our country.


The Washington State Bar Association recognizes Mary E. Fairhurst, Chief Justice of the Washington Supreme Court, for her distinguished lifetime career of achievements that have improved access to justice, gender equality and equity and inclusion in the legal community, and public-oriented innovation in delivery of legal services in the State of Washington.

Adopted by the Washington State Board of Governors on March 7, 2019.

Download this release in printable PDF.

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.