Beth Clark: BA, 1980; JD, 1984
By Michelle Zimmer –
Named the Washington Law and Politics “Super Lawyer” of the year from 2003-2005, Clark is very active in the Seattle community. Not only does she serve on the board of directors for Washington Women Lawyers, but she is an adjunct professor for Seattle University School of Law. Clark is a member of numerous organizations including the American Bar Association, Washington State Bar Association, Northwest Women’s Law Center, Commercial Real Estate Women and the King County Bar Association.
Although her accomplishments and involvement are immense, Clark remains modest, admitting she was flattered by the department’s acknowledgment of her achievements through this story.
Clark graduated from the University of Washington in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in Editorial Journalism. She found inspiration to pursue law school during a congressional internship she was awarded through the department. She served in the office of a U.S. representative in Pennsylvania.
Clark describes her internship as a “great experience.” “I met a lot of people who were using their law degrees in a variety of careers other than law,” said Clark in an email. “It occurred to me then that having a law degree would be good training in critical thinking and writing regardless of what career opportunities I might seek.”
Although this internship played a crucial role, it was a class taught by the current department chair Jerry Baldasty that helped in her final decision to go to law school.
“The class looked at First Amendment and other legal issues in journalism,” said Clark. “I really enjoyed the course and the topic.”
She returned to the UW and graduated from law school in 1984.
“I think the opportunity that I had in my [journalism] coursework to analyze issues in a critical way and write about them objectively and under time constraints was excellent training for a career in law,” said Clark.
She went on to say that she“ really enjoyed law school at the UW, as demented as that may sound. The professors were smart, interesting people who genuinely cared about their students.”
Clark formed many friendships while in law school and is very proud of the accomplishments of many of her friends.
“I made life-long friends among my classmates, many of whom are now judges, partners in major law firms, law professors, etc.,” she said.
Clark is currently a partner at Foster, Pepper PLLC, where she has worked for over 20 years. She is a real estate attorney, specializing in “representing public pension funds and institutional investors in all aspects of real estate development,” according to her web biography. Clark also has vast experience in real estate transfers, leasing, obtaining permits and acquisitions.
Clark visited campus recently as part of the department’s Mentor Lunch program, in which students have lunch with alumni and discuss careers.
Clark says that she enjoyed the program and encourages other alumni to get involved with this and other programs on campus.
As per her hectic schedule, Clark has little time to devout to other pursuits, and prefers to spend free time with her family.
“We have a cabin on the beach near Port Townsend and we throw rocks on the beach, play viciously competitive card games and generally hang out,” said Clark.