Page 22 - 2017 Washington State Access to Justice Conference
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Ariel Speser is a Victim of Crime Advocate Staff Attorney with Northwest Justice Project’s Port Angeles Of ce. Ariel’s practice includes representing victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and consumer fraud. Ariel previously worked for Northwest Justice Project’s Foreclosure Prevention Unit. She is an experienced advocate for low-income families. Among Ariel’s strengths as a civil legal aid advocate, are her outside-the- box problem solving and collaboration with local social service agencies in order to leverage the relief available for her clients. In her volunteer time, Ariel serves as the President of Clallam-Jefferson Pro Bono Lawyers and President-Elect of the Clallam County Bar Association.
Justice Debra L. Stephens has been a member of the Washington State Supreme Court since January 1, 2008. She previously served as a
judge on Division Three of the Court of Appeals. Before taking the bench, her legal work focused on appellate practice, with over 125 appearances in the Washington Supreme Court, in addition to appearances in the Washington Court of Appeals, Idaho Supreme Court, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and as counsel of record in the United States Supreme Court. Justice Stephens was the coordinator of the Amicus Curiae Program of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Foundation, the longest standing institutional “friend of the court” program
in the state. She also taught as an adjunct professor at Gonzaga University School of Law, in areas including federal and state constitutional law, community property, appellate advocacy, and legal research and writing. A Spokane native, Justice Stephens earned both her undergraduate and law degrees from Gonzaga University. Justice Stephens currently serves on the Supreme Court Administrative, Court Education, Budget, Personnel, and Electronic Content Management Committees. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Courts and Science Institute (NCSI), and Chairs NCSI’s Center for Graduate and Professional Judicial Science Education. A proud member of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission, Justice Stephens regularly volunteers at youth and justice events across the state. She also serves on the YMCA Youth and Government Advisory Board, and is a member of the Olympia Rotary Club. Justice Stephens is married and has two children. She enjoys skiing, gol ng, tennis, and spending time with family.
Michele E. Storms is Deputy Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and former Assistant Dean for Public Service and executive director of the William H. Gates Public Service Law program at the University of Washington School of Law. Her previous position was as a statewide advocacy coordinator at both the Northwest Justice Project and Columbia Legal Services where over a  ve year period she coordinated civil legal aid advocacy in the areas of family law, youth and education, housing, elder law, Native American and right to counsel issues. Michele started her legal career as a staff attorney at Evergreen Legal Services in 1988 with a focus on family law, custody and domestic violence. She
later served as a faculty member at the University of Washington School of Law in the clinical law program for eight years where she founded
the Child Advocacy Clinic. At UWLS she taught child advocacy, family law and interviewing and counseling for lawyers. In addition to her service
on numerous boards and guilds both locally and nationally, Michele served on the Washington State Access to Justice Board for six years and is currently a Management Information Exchange board member and the elected secretary of that body. Michele was awarded a King County Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year Award in 1992 and was honored by Washington Women Lawyers with a Special Contribution to the Judiciary Award in 1998. In 2008 she received the Staff Person of the Year Award from the University of Washington Law School Student Body. Over the years Michele has provided training and has written on topics such as leadership and diversity and has served as a facilitator for meetings and retreats for nonpro t organizations. She is currently Secretary of the MIE Board of Directors.
Gary Swearingen is Corporate Counsel for Costco Wholesale and a member of the Practice of Law Board. Prior to Costco, he was in-house counsel for Motricity, Inc. Washington Mutual and a partner at Garvey Schubert Barer. Gary is a 1994 graduate of the UW School of Law.
Angeline Thomas is the Executive Director of WA Appleseed--a legal advocacy nonpro t that works to address social and economic problems in Washington State by developing new public policy initiatives, challenging unjust laws, and helping people better understand and fully exercise their rights. In addition to the many hats she wears as ED, Angeline is serving as the project manager for the WA Reentry Guide. Angeline is responsible for recruiting pro bono attorneys, subject matter experts, service providers and justice-involved individuals to contribute to chapter authoring, content editing, development of resource lists, re ning our distribution plan and maintain accountability.
Dr. Jacqueline van Wormer is the Spokane Regional Criminal Justice Administrator. She also holds Adjunct Faculty member appointments
at Gonzaga University and Washington State University. Prior to her appointment as Criminal Justice Administrator, she served as an Assistant Professor at Washington State University in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology. Dr. van Wormer has held various positions in the criminal justice  eld, including serving as the MacArthur Foundation Coordinator for the Benton/Franklin Counties Juvenile Court, Intervention Services Manager, Probation Supervisor and Coordinator for both the Adult and Juvenile Drug programs in Benton/Franklin Counties. Dr. van Wormer has extensive experience in building and measuring  delity models for court and social service programs. Dr. van Wormer is a Faculty member for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), the National Drug Court Institute (NDCI) and has served as a contractor for the Center for Children and Youth Justice (Seattle). She has lectured and trained extensively across the country on issues related to courts, criminal justice and pretrial reform, adolescent brain development and the drug court model. Dr. van Wormer has worked with hundreds of planning and operational drug court teams to assist in technical assistance, facilitation and training of courts.

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