Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Profile: Benjamin Byers - Madrona Globetrotter

Profile: Benjamin Byers - Madrona Globetrotter

August 2022 Bar Bulletin

By Maia Robbins and Lucio Maldonado

We are excited to see our colleague and friend, Ben Byers, step into the Chair’s seat on the Board of Trustees for the New Lawyers’ Division. Ben is sharp, tenacious, intelligent, empathetic, and kind—not to mention downright hilarious.

Ben was born and raised in the Madrona neighborhood and is a proud Garfield High graduate. But his personal and professional background stretch far beyond the city limits.

As a sophomore in high school, his parents moved the family to Naples, Italy, for a year for his father, a geneticist at the University of Washington, to conduct research on collagen-related genetic disorders at a foundation funded by Susanna Agnelli, a scion of the Fiat family. Rather than return home with his family, Ben elected to spend an additional year in Naples, living with a host family.

It was there that his early thoughts of becoming an attorney—which first emerged through his relationship with his older brother, David Byers, a former shareholder at Graham & Dunn and now a Managing Director at Starbucks—developed into a cognizable plan. In Naples, at a NATO school with a contingent of Neapolitan natives and other international students, Ben and his friends aspired to create an import/export company focused on southern Italian products. Ben would be responsible for the legal aspects, and his local friends would handle the sourcing and funding.

It was this plan that would drive many of the decisions Ben made over the next decade. He completed his senior year at Garfield, including Running Start classes at Seattle Central, and matriculated at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. There, Ben double-majored in economics and sociology, and earned All-American honors as a swimmer and water polo player.

Following graduation in 2007, he worked in a variety of roles around the globe. A year at DeLaurenti in the Pike Place Market, slinging meats and cheeses from behind the famous deli counter; a stint in Hong Kong, working for a traditional toy company in the Kowloon neighborhood; years in a Congressional office in Washington, D.C., working in a variety of roles; and eighteen months in North Carolina, as the first employee for a husband-and-wife team running a start-up company focused on pharmaceutical compliance training. While the plan for the import-export company had faded, the desire to be an attorney had not. But as Ben told us, he knew that once he became an attorney, he would be in Seattle and eager to focus on the law—so, before taking that leap, Ben focused on gaining diverse professional experience through unique experiences around the globe.

With his family firmly ensconced in Seattle, and with a long-term goal of returning to the Pacific Northwest, Ben enrolled in the University of Washington School of Law in the Fall of 2013. At UW, Ben was heavily involved in the law school community. In his 3L year alone, he served as the President of the Student Bar Association, the Associate Editor-in-Chief of the Washington International Law Journal (formerly Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal), and as the Vice President for Development of UW Law’s Moot Court Honor Board.

Despite his time commitment to the UW community, Ben continued to explore professional opportunities. He was a summer associate at Gordon & Rees in New York and San Diego; externed at Group Health (now Kaiser Permanente); and externed for the Honorable Bruce Heller on the King County Superior Court. Ben’s experience during his 2L summer in Judge Heller’s chambers compelled Ben’s unanticipated next step—rather than follow his initial intention i.e., to take an offer from Gordon Rees, Ben elected to instead accept a clerkship which would take him across the Pacific Ocean to the Supreme Court of a U.S. Territory.

The Supreme Court of the Northern Marianas is the sole court of appeal for the territory which spans 14 islands in the equatorial North Pacific. Ben clerked for the Honorable Justice Perry B. Inos, one of three Supreme Court Justices, from August of 2016 to January of 2018. Ben’s clerking experience went beyond drafting bench memoranda and opinions, covering several other related duties, including serving on multiple rules committees, working with a small team to establish the Northern Marianas Drug Court, and coaching middle and high school mock trial teams. True to form, he sought additional opportunities for community involvement, which led him to teach Introduction to Criminal Justice at the Northern Marianas Community College, and to coach the island’s lone water polo team.

Upon completing his clerkship, Ben accepted a position with Corr Cronin LLP, a preeminent litigation firm in downtown Seattle. He has been practicing there since, and has been named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers® Magazine each year since 2020.

Along with excelling as an attorney, Ben is also a phenomenal mentor for all of the newer attorneys at the firm. He serves as the firm’s unofficial “social chair” and plans many virtual happy hours in an effort to maintain important social interaction during especially trying times. To combat the pandemic’s isolation blues, Ben regularly texts or calls his fellow associates to check in, provide a smile or a joke, and see how they are doing. In short, Ben unwaveringly excels as colleague—professionally, and as a friend.

Surprise—Ben’s current professional involvement does not end at Corr Cronin’s walls. In addition to his service on the New Lawyers Division Board of Trustees, he’s an active member of the Pacific Coast Labor and Employment Law Conference Planning Committee, the UW Law Alumni Association, and regularly mentors law students through UW Law’s mentorship program.

Ben is also the proud daddy of a pandemic baby, Rory, who is now 17 months old, growing fast, and regularly attends firm events. Ben is also our go-to source for restaurant recommendations and recipes, as his wife is general counsel for Tom Douglas Restaurants, and Ben dutifully insists she bring her work home with her.

We have many lawyer friends that are wonderful, smart people, but there is an overall shortage of kind, down-to-earth, and funny young attorneys that are willing to devote their time and efforts to helping those around them grow—Ben graciously wields all these traits in spades. We are excited to watch him lead the New Lawyers Division, and for its constituents to find out why he is so valued by those around him. 

King County Bar
Association

1200 5th Ave, Suite 700
Seattle, WA 98101

Main (206) 267-7100

 Contact Us