Breakfast With Champions 2004

Don’t Miss KCBF’s Breakfast With Champions March 17, 2004

The King County Bar Foundation holds its annual Breakfast with Champions at 7:30 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2004 at the Westin Hotel. The Foundation will award its Champion of Justice Award to Columbia Legal Services and its Champion of Diversity Award to Joan Watt, the former Associate Dean for Seattle University School of Law. Access to justice advocate and Dean of the College of Law at the University of Tennessee, Thomas C. Galligan, Jr. is the featured speaker.

King County Bar Foundation is a charity with two goals: increasing access to justice and making the legal profession more diverse and inclusive. The Foundation has nine access to justice programs, administered by KCBA, that help provide a pro bono legal safety net to the most vulnerable people in King County. The Foundation is also the largest donor of annual scholarship funds for minority law students in the State of Washington.

The Foundation’s annual Breakfast with Champions is the group’s major fundraising event. The breakfast features live music, brief and inspiring award presentations, and an engaging speaker. Music this year will be provided by members of the Washington Middle School Jazz Band.

Over the past five years, the breakfast has grown from a modest fundraiser to a major annual demonstration of solidarity among members of the bench and bar in the Puget Sound region. All of the top law firms are represented. All levels of the court system are represented; last year all but one member of the Washington Supreme Court attended. Attending this breakfast and making a contribution has become an annual pilgrimage of support for the ideals of access to justice and racial diversity in the legal profession.

Those attending the Breakfast With Champions will be asked to donate at least the value of "one billable hour" in an effort to raise a significant amount of money for justice and diversity efforts in King County. Since the breakfast will take place on St. Patrick’s Day this year, organizers couldn’t resist adopting the theme, "Bringing in the Green for Justice."

Dean Thomas C. Galligan, Jr. attended the University of Puget Sound Law School and practiced in Seattle before he started his academic career at Louisiana State University. Dean Galligan has recognized and built his career around the importance of legal education in promoting access to justice. In 2000, under Dean Galligan’s tutelage, the University of Tennessee hosted a series of national colloquia on Equal Access to Justice. He explained, "As legal educators, we all know that we do instill values. At the colloquium, we were reminded that we legal educators can have a profound impact upon our students’ views on…legal service work.... We can do more to impress upon our students the importance of public interest and pro bono work."

Attending the Breakfast With Champions is a great chance to hear Dean Galligan speak and to make good on the obligation of lawyers to support pro bono legal service. To make a reservation or volunteer to be a table captain, call Ginna Owens at (206) 267-7006.

John Widell
KCBF Board of Trustee Member