December 12, 2013

Remembering Justice Tom Chambers

Tom Chambers '69, former Washington State Supreme Court Justice, passed away on December 11, 2013.

"Justice Chambers was an inspirational figure in the legal world, as a person, a lawyer and a jurist, and he will be sorely missed," said Kellye Testy, Dean of the University of Washington School of Law.

Justice Chambers was first elected to the State Supreme Court in 2000 and was reelected to a second term in 2006. Prior to joining the court, he worked as a trial lawyer for more than 30 years in Seattle.

Throughout his career, Justice Chambers was very involved in the legal community, serving as the president of a number of statewide professional organizations, including the Washington State Bar Association.

"Justice Chambers was a legendary mentor whose leadership by example, encouragement and shared wisdom shaped the lives of countless Washington lawyers," said UW Law Professor Bill Bailey. "Even with his success, he never lost touch with his humble origins. The theme of his entire career was to protect the rights of the ordinary citizen, leveling the playing field for all. He is a role model for all time, our own Atticus Finch in real life."

This fall, Justice Chambers was the recipient of the Henry M. Jackson Distinguished Alumni Public Service Award at the law school's annual Celebration of Distinction, where he was honored by colleagues and classmates, who came from as far as Japan for the event.

A number of publications have written about Justice Chamber's life and his contributions to the legal community: Retired state Supreme Court Justice Chambers dies at 70 | Foster Care and Public Defense among Justice Chambers’ Legacies. His obituary can be found in the Seattle Times.

Justice Chambers, 1929 - 2013, Biographical Information

Justice Chambers’ Blog: tomchambers.com/

A public memorial will be held at 4 pm on January 9 at the Museum of Flight.