Community Service Recognition
Pierce County is filled with attorneys who help needy clients without any expectation of pay; who teach classes on legal principles just for the satisfaction of helping others understand the legal system; who help children navigate the confusing and terrifying world of the courts solely because they care about children.
The Community Service Awards was created for two reasons: First, to say thank you to those attorneys who are using their legal skills in their personal time to help make Pierce County better. These attorneys are helping our community grow stronger. Through their efforts, our citizens are better understanding the legal system and better able to assert their rights.
The second goal of the awards is to spread the word of what our colleagues are doing with their pro bono and community service efforts. Perhaps these attorneys’ actions will inspire others.
The committee solicits nominations from bar members and present them to the President for evaluation and discussion. The President makes the final choices with input from the committee.
The 2019 Community Service Award Recipients
Service to the Legal Profession
Recipient: Julian Bray
It is easy to sit by and take notice. What is difficult is to stand up and take action. At the 112th Annual Lincoln Day Banquet on Feb. 21, 2020, the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association Board of Trustees honored Julian Bray with the Service to the Legal Profession Award for providing outstanding service to furthering the goals of the legal profession and promoting the ideal of professionalism.
The significant impact that Julian Bray made to our legal profession is difficult to sum up in words. His leadership, wisdom, and friendship has left a lasting impression on our organization and we are all better off for knowing him. Julian’s legacy will be remembered as one of wisdom and humility. He was instrumental to the success of so many local programs, including Family Recovery Court, a program designed to reunify children with their parents by providing substance abuse treatment, drug screening, job training, parenting education, and peer support. He was also influential in the success of Pierce County’s “Baby Court,” a program focused on providing stability for babies and toddlers in the foster system, to include providing child victims access to therapeutic animals.
Julian received his JD from Seattle University in 1995. After working briefly as a public defender in Chelan County, he joined the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Most recently, Julian served as Chief of the AG’s Tacoma Division, where he was revered by his colleagues as the consummate professional. Julian served both the local and statewide bar in numerous capacities. He was a former member of the Character and Fitness and Disciplinary Boards for the Washington State Bar Association. Locally, he has been recognized for his extensive work with Lawyer’s Helping Hungry Children, an organization that he co-founded to fight child hunger and malnutrition in our community through fundraising, advocacy, and service. Instead of sitting idly by, Julian always recognized a problem, stood up and took action. He truly embraced the ideal of professionalism and no one is more deserving of this award. His legacy and generosity will be remembered forever. Julian Bray (1-19-20)
Recipient: André Peñalver
At the February 21, 2020 Lincoln Day Banquet, the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association Board of Trustees recognized André Peñalver with the Community Service Award for his commitment to providing access to justice in this community and throughout the State. André has been in leadership roles with the Campaign for Equal Justice, the State’s largest funding source for pro bono legal services. Through his leadership, André has helped provide funding for local services such as the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, which provides direct legal services for survivors of domestic violence, individuals seeking asylum, and families in need of services, among others. André’s efforts have also helped provide funds to Columbia Legal Services, Team Child, and Tacoma Pro Bono.
André has served on the Campaign for Equal Justice board for close to a decade and has just recently finished his term as Board President. In that role, he traveled around the state giving CLEs and hosting events to help raise awareness about the gap in funding for those most in need of legal services. Through his efforts, he helped the Campaign raise a sum of $1.6 million last year.
Locally, André has co-chaired the Pierce County Campaign for Equal Justice to raise money for Tacoma Pro Bono and other local services benefitting our community. As with the statewide campaign, the local campaign raised record sums of over $50,000 thanks, in part, to Andre’s efforts. Those fundraising efforts mean tangible benefits to so many in our community who are without means to afford legal representation.
Apart from fundraising, he has also volunteered countless hours at our local Tacoma Pro Bono clinics. He volunteers monthly at the Henry Haas General Law clinic and in October, he was recognized as Tacoma Pro Bono’s volunteer of the month because of his exemplary service. Congratulations again to André on this well-deserved award.