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Anita Crawford-Willis
Judge Anita Crawford-Willis '86 speaking to ...

Law School Honors Alumnae at Annual BLSA Reception

More than 100 alumni, students, faculty and members of the legal community gathered at the law school to honor Judge Anita Crawford-Willis '86 and Karen Murray '91 for their contributions to youth in the community.

Karen Murray
Karen Murray '91, Rose Marie LaMoine
speaking with Dean Kellye Y. Testy

Seattle University School of Law's Black Law Student Association hosted an annual reception to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of Black alumni in the community. The student organization relishes the opportunity to connect with and honor their mentors for their inspiration as leaders who paved the way and opened doors for law students to follow in their footsteps.

Crawford-Willis has been a respected member of the legal community in King County for over 20 years. Her spirit of public service coupled with her commitment to inspire young people to pursue their scholastic dreams makes her a highly sought after mentor.

As a student, she was an active member of the Black Law Student Association both at the law school and on the national level, traveling extensively to represent the law school at regional NBSLA meetings. She was active in other organizations, including the Women's Law Caucus and received a Loren Miller Bar Scholarship.

Currently she is the senior judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings in the Seattle Office. In this capacity, Crawford-Willis is responsible for the day to day operations of the largest office. She supervises 25 full-time judges, sixteen pro-tem judges and 20 support staff. Anita also supervises the extern program and coordinates the Take Our Daughters to Work Day. In addition she serves as a pro-tem judge for Seattle Municipal Court and King County District Court.

Karen Murray
Karen Murray '91

Karen Murray is also a highly respected member of the legal community. She has devoted her life to representing indigent defendents as a public defender with the Associated Counsel for the Accused, where she is a Seattle Municipal Court Supervisor.

Murray has always taken an interest in volunteering and serving on committees to advance access to justice for those disenfranchised, or confronted by inequities due to their racial, economic, or cultural background. She has been an outspoken voice as former co-chair of the Drug Policy Project's Disparate Impact Celebration Committee, co-chair of the King County Bar Association Elder Law Clinic, and member of the King County Bar Foundation's Future of the Law Institute board of directors. Murray also spends many hours judging mock trials for the annual YMCA Youth & Government Mock Trial Competition, and SU Law's appellate arguments. Since Hurricane Katrina, Murray has been an active volunteer, journeying several times a year to devastated states - providing much needed legal counsel to residents.

Dean Testy received cheers and applause as she stated, "Tonight we honor two incredible human beings, jewels in the tapestry of our school. Together, they represent those values we as an institution hold most dear - passion, creativity, leadership, but most of all they are outstanding attorneys who work toward making this world more just and humane."

View photos from the BLSA event in the photo gallery.

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