Black Law Student Association honors founding members Hightower and Wineberry
(February 9, 2010) Two accomplished graduates of Seattle University School of Law were honored by Seattle University School of Law and the Black Law Student Association. Seattle Municipal Court Judge Judith Hightower '83 received the Alumni Award, and former legislator and Internet entrepreneur Jesse C. Wineberry received the Leadership Award at the Fourth Annual BLSA Alumni Awards Reception in early February.
Hightower and Wineberry worked with other African-American law students to start the School of Law's first Black American Law Students Association (BALSA) in the early '80s. At the first meeting, students unanimously elected Wineberry as their first BALSA president, and Hightower served as the organization's first treasurer. Both went on to successful careers.
Hightower has been a Municipal Court Judge for the City of Seattle for 19 years and is a leader in the Access to Justice movement. A former Advisory Board member of the law school's Access to Justice Institute, she was honored with the institute's Award of Distinction for Public Service in 2006. Before becoming a judge, she worked as a criminal defense attorney representing indigent defendants and was responsible for supervising misdemeanor attorneys in her law firm.
She chairs the Washington Judicial College Trustees Committee and is a member of the State Bar's Public Legal Education Council. She has participated in Judges in the Classroom Program, the Urban Peoples Law School and regularly speaks at schools and in the community about the law and legal profession. Hightower also served on the law school's Alumni Board.
In 2009, she was honored as the State Bar's Access to Justice Board Judge of the Year and in 2008, received the National Black Prosecutor's Association's Thurgood Marshall Justice Award.
Wineberry's successful career started when he was still in law school. In 1982, he was selected by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to serve in Washington, D.C., as a Congressional Fellow on the U.S. House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance. He helped write the famous United States vs. AT&T opinion, which broke up the century-old AT&T monopoly and paved the way for unprecedented competition in the long distance and wireless industries.
In 1984, while still a law student, Wineberry was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives. He served in the Legislature from 1985-1995 as Majority Whip, Chairman of the House Committee on Trade, Technology & Economic Development, Senior Ranking member of the House Judiciary and Ways & Means Committees and was a Super Delegate of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Wineberry is the founder and CEO of BroadcastUrban, which in 1999 pioneered the global streaming of urban radio stations and national events on the Internet. BroadcastUrban streams live events to more than 6 million listeners each month and major market radio stations in cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Las Vegas and Miami. BroadcastUrban made history when the company streamed the inauguration of President Barack Obama to more than 21 million viewers around the world. BroadcastUrban's newest division, BroadcastUrban FilmWorks, is producing its first motion picture based on the incredible true story of Reginald Lewis, described by Oprah Winfrey as "America's first black billionaire."
A Seattle native, Wineberry is also a graduate of the University of Washington's School of Business and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a member of the New Jersey Bar.