Growing up in Seattle's Rainier Valley in the 1950's, I learned as a child that people worked hard to make a living. My mother's favorite saying was by William Penn, "I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."My parents taught me and my siblings the meaning of the saying "An honest day's work for an honest day's pay," and they lived by those principles. So did I - I began working in the summers at the local steel mill at the age of 13.
Growing up, two of my heroes were Dr. William Hutchinson and coach Frank Ahern. Dr. Hutchinson, who later built the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in honor of his brother, performed surgery on me when I was 4 years old. The surgery took more than 5 hours and resulted in a bill of $50! Coach Frank Ahern spent hundreds of hours teaching me to believe in myself and my abilities. Both men, along with my parents, were instrumental in showing me the value of helping others, and leading me to a career in law.
I believe that each day I have the opportunity to do the best I can do. This is the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Every day, my life as a lawyer offers me the opportunity to make a contribution to some person or some ideal. Often, the person I am attempting to help is unable to help himself; the ideal is often one that would otherwise be disregarded.
Whether I am waiting for a jury to return with a positive verdict or negotiating a settlement that will allow an injured client to pay for medical bills, my work as an attorney is personally fulfilling. I am motivated by ensuring that justice is achieved for every person that I represent.