January 2016 Bar Bulletin
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Profile / Derek Crick

Downhill Racer, Uphill Climber

By Mary Jo Newhouse


Throughout elementary school and high school, Derek Crick was a dedicated alpine ski racer and member of the ski team. Ski racing is at once both a solitary and a team sport. An individual competes alone against the elements and clock, relying on strength and skills, based in personal discipline, mental toughness and training, at the same time pulling together for the team with camaraderie and support, and contributing to the team results and those of each individual skier on the squad.

Crick refined these well-developed personal resources through his formative years, and they are the same characteristics that serve him well as an attorney and a community leader. He is a respected attorney admired by his clients, mostly closely held businesses and individuals, as well as a valued and necessary colleague relied upon and appreciated by his colleagues for his insight and skills.

Crick provides legal counsel and advice to his clients and colleagues in the same fashion — calmly and competently assessing the details of the situation and circumstances, the legal support (or lack thereof), and the risks and benefits, and clearly setting out options and priorities. As immediate past president of the King County Bar Foundation (KCBF), Crick exhibited the same qualities of leadership: thorough assessment, clear analysis, complete grasp of the subject, and practical and necessary advice to move forward and achieve goals. These are most basic and valuable skills that a trusted advisor can possess, and it is the accomplished individual who masters those skills.

Steve Ellis, former KCBF president and recently retired attorney, asked Crick to replace him as coach of the UW law school’s transactional LawMeet team, which participates in interscholastic competitions designed for students interested in transactional practice. Ellis listed the reasons he selected Crick: “In thinking about the qualities a replacement would need to be effective, I wanted to recommend someone dedicated, effective, calm, good at listening, good with people, and interested in helping others become better at their tasks,” Ellis said.

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