U.S. attorney, Issaquah native, receives top honor
April 2, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 2 p.m. April 2, 2011
Seattle University School of Law leaders honored Issaquah native Jenny Durkan, the top federal prosecutor in the region, on Thursday for a strong commitment to women’s issues and acting as a role model for others.
Durkan, the U.S. attorney for Western Washington, received the 2011 Woman of the Year Award from the Seattle University School of Law and the Women’s Law Caucus.
Dean Mark Niles praised Durkan for a lifelong dedication to justice.
“I’ve been told the surest way to get Jenny to do something is to tell her how it will help someone else,” he said in remarks posted on the law school website.
In May 2009, President Barack Obama selected Durkan to serve as U.S. attorney for the district — encompassing 19 counties, about 25,000 square miles and almost 5 million people. In a unanimous decision, senators confirmed the appointment months later.
Durkan once said she “always wanted to be a lawyer” and, after graduating from the University of Washington School of Law, embarked on a successful legal career.
Before the appointment to the federal post, Durkan represented the Democratic Party in the Republican court challenge to the paper-thin majority Chris Gregoire received in the 2004 gubernatorial election and handled other high-profile cases in King County and throughout the state.
The prosecutor is the daughter of late state Sen. Martin Durkan, a force in Olympia and a candidate for governor in the 1970s. The elder Durkan represented the Eastside at the Capitol, and the family lived near Lake Sammamish.