I’ve always hated that we have to vote for judges. I wish they were just hired by counties on the basis of resumes and interviews.
But we have to vote, so here’s some info you might find useful about a candidate for one of the slots opening on our Superior Court bench.
If I were doing interviews for the job, I’d be impressed by Kathleen Petrich’s resume. There’s practicality in her engineering degree and early work for GE, persistence and flexibility in her move into law school later in her work life.
Then there are the honors for that law career — it takes some doing to be named one of the best lawyers — and even a “super lawyer”—among the thousands of attorneys in Seattle.
The Seattle Bar Association has a foundation that raises money for people who can’t afford a lawyer and for poor kids to pay for law school.
Petrich was on that foundation board and served as its chair, raising millions of dollars for pro bono legal assistance for the poor.
That means a lot to me. There can’t be fairness in the courts when people are too broke to afford a lawyer.
She retired young and she and her husband chose Whidbey Island as their home for the years ahead.
With high energy and a drive to serve, they’ve volunteered for all kinds of groups here including, for Kathleen, our League of Women Voters and a library board.
Seeing another way to serve, she’s been working as a pro tem judge in the Superior Court where she’s now seeking a full-time seat.
In an in-person interview for the job, you’d see that she’s quick, congenial, fascinated by people and their problems.
She also has the steady, good-humored, you-can’t-fool-me manner of someone who’s successfully raised a son to adulthood.
I can’t imagine anyone getting away with any nonsense in a Petrich courtroom.
I’d hire her for this job, so I’m voting for her.