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Paul Arley (Arley) Harrel | At-Large Trustee

Class of 1973, UW School of Law

Paul Arley Harrel portrait

Why I Serve

My family’s been rooted in Washington since 1902. Five generations later, my siblings and I still own and operate the family farm in Thorp. Growing up, we raised livestock, grew vegetables, grain, alfalfa and more. In elementary school, I woke at 5 a.m. to do my chores before catching the bus and I worked on the farm every summer through college. My grandfather encouraged me to pursue a law degree. He said it would help when dealing with agricultural water rights, leases and more. He was right. It’s been extremely valuable.
Farming prepared me for school because I was accustomed to hard work and approached life with a solid work ethic. I’m a spokesman for the idea of UW coming out of the ivory tower and really reaching into the community. It’s critical the public realizes how important the institution is to the greater good. We must interact, listen and be a resource all the time, not just when we need support for funding or legislation. That can’t happen by sitting on campus. As a trustee, I want to always be reaching out and making connections.

It all starts with the students. If they feel connected to UW and have a successful experience, it cultivates a desire as alumni to give back to the next generation. We all need to create forums for continued participation. Amazing things are always happening around the university. Take a class, network, go to a sporting event or attend a lecture, read one of the publications. Thanks to the UW, there are endless opportunities to enjoy and thrive.


Arley Harrel is a member at Williams Kastner Law Firm. His practice focuses on civil litigation, trust and estate litigation, and trial, as well as real estate and commercial advice in Washington and Oregon. He chaired the firm’s Litigation Department, 2000-2006, as well as the Business Litigation Practice Group, 2006-2008. He served on William Kastner’s Board of Directors, 1991-2003, and chaired the Environmental Practice Group, 1992-1996. His many honors include being selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2012 based on his commercial litigation work. Regionally, he was recognized by Seattle Met magazine in 2010 as a “Top Lawyer” in commercial litigation.