There are some words we use so often that the effect has become diluted with time and use. An offhand example is the word "great."
We have come to demand much from this small word, which Merriam-Webster tells me is meant to describe something "characterized by relative largeness" or "remarkable in magnitude, degree, or effectiveness." Nowadays, we use this word to explain everything from how we are feeling ("How are you doing today?" "I'm great!") to our approval of someone or something ("He's such a great guy," or "I had a great time.").
It is perhaps because of our modern vernacular that the KCBA Young Lawyers Division was not tasked with finding this year's Great Young Lawyer. Instead, we searched for - and found - an Outstanding one.
Each year the KCBA YLD selects its Outstanding Young Lawyer based on the following criteria: 1) substantial contributions to the legal profession of a legal or non-legal nature; 2) substantial contributions to the KCBA; 3) substantial contributions to the community; and 4) demonstrated excellence in the practice of law. The 2013 selection committee considered 18 nominees, each one deserving of tremendous praise and accolades for his or her numerous professional and personal accomplishments.
But what made this year's recipient truly stand out among the crowd was his complete embodiment of each of the selection factors enumerated above. It is with this background that I have the privilege to introduce the 2013 KCBA Outstanding Young Lawyer: Clayton P. Graham.
One need not read far into Graham's biography at Davis Wright Tremaine to be impressed by his professional achievements. After earning his law degree cum laude at Georgetown University in 2006, Clayton joined DWT's Real Estate, Land Use and Construction Practice Group. For nearly seven years, Graham has developed his practice while assisting clients such as Seattle Children's Hospital, The Seattle Times Company, Pope Resources and Verizon Wireless on the broad range of issues that arise in the acquisition, development, use and sale of real property.
Don Percival, chair of DWT's Real Estate and Land Use practice, said, "Clayton has a track record of helping our clients get their projects done right the first time, avoiding the delay and expense of 'redos' and litigation." Graham's devotion to the improvement of the practice is exhibited by his service in KCBA's Environmental and Land Use Law Section for the past several years. Graham has even been selected to serve as president of the Section during the next year.
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