THE OUTSTANDING YOUNG LAWYER AWARD
recognizes substantial contributions by a new lawyer to the legal profession, the bar and the community.
Karolyn A. Hicks, Stokes Lawrence, P.S.
Karolyn Hicks’ unique and highly public profile is defined by two qualities — a successful record in complex
civil litigation and a commitment to defending civil liberties. Among her complex civil litigation successes,
Karolyn successfully represents well-known companies in the high-tech communications sphere — clients like
T-Mobile USA, AT&T Mobility, Amazon.com and InfoSpace. This is a formidable record for someone who
earned her law degree, cum laude, from American University just eight years ago.
At the other end of the spectrum, Karolyn balances her work with big companies by representing individuals
in their sensitive disputes involving trusts and estates. She is a principal author of the "Estate Litigation"
chapter in the WSBA Washington Probate Deskbook and frequently speaks on this subject at CLE seminars.
Karolyn further contributed to the legal profession by serving three years on the board of trustees of
the KCBA Young Lawyers Division, where she chaired its current events committee. She also served on the
Neighborhood Legal Clinics Committee, which provides pro bono legal services to the indigent, and volunteers
at the committee’s Greenwood Clinic.
Among her civil liberties successes, Karolyn demonstrates an ongoing passion for social justice — especially
in the area of civil rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Karolyn served five
years on the board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington as well as stints on the
executive committee and nominating committee. She continues to serve as an ACLU cooperating attorney
and fundraising ambassador.
When the ACLU brought its suit before the Washington Supreme Court on behalf of 11 same-sex Washington
couples who wish to marry or have their marriages recognized under Washington laws, Karolyn was
one of the primary attorneys representing the couples and their families. When there was a challenge to
the City of Vancouver’s domestic partnership benefits, Karolyn drafted the ACLU amicus curiae brief to the
Washington Supreme Court.
For the past two years, Karolyn has been serving on the board of directors of the Bent Writing Institute, a
non-profit grass roots organization dedicated to encouraging the written and spoken word among members
of the Seattle LGBT community. In this capacity, Karolyn advises the board on legal issues, reinstated
the organization’s non-profi t status, and drafted its employee handbook. She is the board secretary and
co-chairs the finance committee. She writes grants for Bent Writing Institute and coordinates the work of the
organization’s other volunteer grant writers. Karolyn is also on the law firm outreach committee of Lambda
Legal, a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people and
those with HIV.
Hicks is an associate at Seattle law firm Stokes Lawrence. Stokes Lawrence has itself been recognized for
its unique record in diversity. In spite of the fact that only 17 percent of law fi rm partners nationally are
women, more than half of the partners in this fi rm’s Seattle office are women — as is the firm’s managing
partner. Although there is very high attrition among women lawyers nationally, Stokes Lawrence has very