The Honorable Richard A. Jones, United States District Court Judge in Seattle and 1975 graduate of the UW School of Law, has been named the 2016 recipient of the University of Washington Charles E. Odegaard Award.
Established in 1973, the Odegaard award honors individuals whose leadership in the community exemplifies the former UW president’s work on behalf of diversity. It is the only University and community-selected award, and is regarded as the highest achievement in diversity at the UW.
The award will be presented at the 46th annual Celebration, Fête and Honors hosted by UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) and the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program (FEOP) on Thur., May 5. The dinner and scholarship fundraiser will be held at the Husky Union Building on the UW Seattle campus (5 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. dinner). Tickets can be purchased online.
“Judge Jones’ work in the legal field, as well as his commitment to supporting and advancing the lives of youth of color in our community, is extraordinary,” said Gabriel Gallardo, UW interim vice president for minority affairs and vice provost for diversity. “He embodies the best of what it means to be a graduate of the University of Washington, and we look forward to celebrating his outstanding dedication to social justice, equity and educational opportunity.”
Judge Jones has served in his current role since being appointed to the federal bench in 2007. Previously, he spent over 13 years as a King County Superior Court Judge and 17 years as a practicing attorney with employment at the King County Prosecutor’s Office, Port of Seattle, the Seattle law firm of Bogle & Gates and the United States Attorney’s Office.
Highly regarded for his work, Judge Jones received Outstanding Judge Awards from the Washington State Bar Association, Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, Loren Miller Bar Association, Asian Bar Association of Washington State and King County Bar Association. He also served as a faculty member with the National Judicial College for 13 years.
In addition to his time in the courtroom, Judge Jones co-founded two Seattle-area law student programs, the Northwest Minority Job Fair and First Year Minority Clerkship Program. He has served on over 25 boards and committees including the National Center for Courts & Media and Washington State Bar Association Leadership Institute.
He is on the national board of the YMCA of the USA and has served locally for over two decades as a board member with the YMCA of Greater Seattle. His efforts to give back to students in the community also includes participation in events with both the UW School of Law and OMA&D.
Judge Jones has long been recognized for his service to the community. In 2007, he was honored as the YMCA’s A.K. Guy Award recipient for exceptional volunteer contributions. In 2010, he was named the recipient of Distinguished Alumni Awards by the UW Multicultural Alumni Partnership and the UW School of Law. Additionally, the Washington Law Review recognized him with its Inspiration Through Service Award in 2011. His most recent honors include the 2013 President’s Award from the Washington Women Lawyers and the 2014 Washington State Association for Justice William O. Douglas Judicial Service Award in 2014.
Judge Jones received a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Seattle University in 1972 prior to his law degree from the UW. He has also received a doctor of humane letters honorary degree from St. Martin’s University in 2008 and a doctor of laws honorary degree from Gonzaga University in 2010.