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April 13, 2006
Spokane Assistant Attorney General wins prestigious women’s law award

SPOKANE – Attorney General Rob McKenna is proud to announce the Gonzaga University Law School Women's Law Caucus is presenting its 14th Annual Myra Bradwell Award to Gonzaga Law School alumna Cheryl Wolfe, an assistant attorney general and senior counsel for the Attorney General’s Office Spokane Division.

The award is presented annually to an outstanding alumna of Gonzaga Law School in honor of Bradwell who was denied the right to practice law on the basis of gender in 1872. The Women's Law Caucus is a group of law students dedicated to resolving issues affecting women in the profession.

Wolfe supervises the Spokane Division’s Social and Health Services Section, including 10 assistant attorneys general and their support staff. She is primary counsel for the DSHS Division of Children and Family Services, including Child Protective Services, in most Eastern Washington counties. She also represents Eastern State Hospital, Adult Protective Services, a multitude of licensing matters, various community services offices and other parts of DSHS.

“ Cheryl is a shining star in the attorney general’s office and she is highly deserving of this great honor,” McKenna said. “Cheryl’s passion for public service and dedication to Washington families make her a role model for other attorneys in both the public and private sector. This award is a great honor for Cheryl, our Spokane division and the Washington State Attorney General’s office as a whole. We are extremely proud of her.”

“ Cheryl handles the challenges of her section with remarkable skill and enthusiasm,” said Spokane Division Chief Larry Briney. “She is a wonderful person and a very talented attorney. Her devotion to public service was evident when she started with the Office of the Attorney General as a volunteer in the consumer resource center, answering consumer complaints while still an undergraduate at Gonzaga University, and it has not waned over the years.”

During law school, Wolfe worked in the Attorney General’s Office as a law clerk in the area of higher education where she honed her legal research and writing skills. After law school, she was in private practice briefly until the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) enticed her back. For the last 20 years, Wolfe has represented the Department of Social and Health Services, focusing mainly on child abuse and neglect cases and issues.

Wolfe has been awarded the AGO Outstanding Leader award and was the first person in AGO history to receive the prestigious Governor's Sustaining Leadership Award, presented by then-Gov. Gary Locke. She has also been named Government Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the Spokane County Bar Association.

“ Cheryl possesses significant intangibles all attorneys should strive for,” McKenna said. “She has a calm and professional demeanor that disarms her adversaries and I’m told her measured approach to leading and managing her section has resulted in more than one person saying, ‘I want to be just like Cheryl.’ But most importantly, Cheryl has a measured, yet assertive, approach to the highly emotionally charged world of protecting children and adults.”

“ Cheryl’s demeanor and thoughtful reasoning has resulted in widespread respect from her clients, guardians, opposing counsel and the bench,” Briney said. “Thanks to her tireless efforts, a vast number of children have been protected and others placed for adoption in safe, nurturing homes. These children, to whom Cheryl will always remain nameless, now have bright and hopeful futures.”

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For interviews: Larry Briney, Spokane Division Chief, (509) 456-6392
Contact: Janelle Guthrie, AG Media Relations Director, (360) 586-0725


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