Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

2017 Helen M. Geisness Award Winner Linda Strout

Click here to view our video interview of Linda Strout

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June 2017 Bar Bulletin

By Daniel S. Gottlieb

Linda StroutFormer KCBA President Linda J. Strout has been a stalwart of the King County Bar Association for decades. During that time, she has been an inspiring and dependable leader of many KCBA endeavors. It is only fitting, then, that Strout is this year’s recipient of the Helen M. Geisness Award, which is given in recognition of exemplary distinguished service on behalf of the KCBA.

In addition to leading KCBA in 1998–99, Strout has been a member of the KCBA Board of Trustees, the King County Bar Foundation Board of Trustees, KCBA’s Judicial Screening Committee, which she also chaired, and, most recently and currently, the Fair Campaign Practices Committee. She has also participated in KCBA’s Drug Policy Project, Membership Committee and Awards Committee, among other activities. In all of these endeavors, Strout helped guide the bar with her characteristic good judgment and steady hand.

Strout is a Washington native with deep roots in the community. She graduated from Queen Anne High School (as did her mother and grandmother). She received her undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Washington and, after a stint as a civilian assistant to a U.S. Army chief of staff in Germany, she received her law degree from the University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University) School of Law.

Strout is now retired from the active practice of law. Most recently she was the deputy chief executive officer at the Port of Seattle, where she had worked since 1989, first as a staff attorney and then as general counsel. She began her legal career at Skellenger Bender P.S., where she practiced general and municipal law for nine years before joining the Port.

When Strout became KCBA president, she noted that working for the Port was in some ways limiting and she found that KCBA activities were a “great way to meet lawyers in the community and work with them on issues of importance to the profession in a way different from the typical adversarial relationship. It makes you feel very good about your profession,” she said, to have such positive interactions with other attorneys.

Strout is passionate about using her legal training and skills to give back to our community. In addition to her KCBA activities, she was appointed as the KCBA representative on the Columbia Legal Services Board of Trustees and later became its president; she continues to serve on that board. She has also served as president of the Seattle University School of Law Alumni Board of Governors, and as a member of the Washington State Bar Association MCLE Task Force. Her other community activities have included service on the Artist Trust Board of Trustees and the Arboretum Foundation Board of Directors.

Alice Paine, who was KCBA’s executive director when Strout was president, recounts that she “was involved in many aspects of our substantive work before, during and after her year as president, which, as you would expect, was an exemplary year thanks to her wise decision making and charming manner. KCBA has been fortunate to have Linda’s contributions for many years.”

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