2022 Public Service & Leadership Award Recipients

The Washington Young Lawyers Committee honors four local leaders


The Washington Young Lawyers Committee (WYLC) recently asked the legal community to nominate new or young lawyers who are dedicated to serving their communities for the annual Public Service and Leadership Award. The WYLC carefully considered each nominee’s service and contributions to their community to select award recipients with a history of exemplary leadership and commitment to public service. 

For each nominee, the committee weighed the following factors: (1) leadership and service in the local community or within a bar association; (2) mentoring; (3) involvement in the WSBA, American Bar Association, and/or local bar association activities; and (4) volunteer work with pro bono or public service programs. The committee balanced the factors in light of the award’s goal of highlighting exceptional public service work of new or young lawyers across Washington.

Within this framework—and after deliberating over many qualified candidates—the committee selected the following four nominees to receive the Public Service and Leadership Award. 

Cameron Sheldon

Cameron Sheldon is a staff attorney for the West African Community Council in Kent. She currently serves as the co-chair of membership for the Pierce County Chapter of Washington Women Lawyers and as an at-large member of the Washington State Bar Association’s Civil Rights Law Section. 

Cameron Sheldon has an outstanding history of community leadership and pro bono work. She has spent countless hours volunteering as a pro bono attorney for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the Veterans Consortium, while also dedicating time as a volunteer coach for high school mock trial competitions in Tacoma and serving as a Big Sister in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound. Sheldon helped develop the Legislative Research Committee for the Civil Rights Law Section and has contributed to diversity, equity, and inclusion CLEs as a member of the Honorable Robert J. Bryan American Inn of Court. Her nominator praised her “enthusiasm and humility” to further “the interest of social justice” and her community; “She is always the first to volunteer to support important efforts and brings great insight and perspective to all she does.” Sheldon’s passion for pro bono work led to her to join the West African Community Council as a full-time staff attorney in May 2022, where she practices human rights work and represents clients in family-based immigration and asylum proceedings.

Rose McCarty

Rose McCarty is a commercial litigation associate at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Seattle, and currently serves as Pro Bono Committee co-chair for the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington. 

Praised by her nominator for going “above and beyond” for her pro bono clients and making them feel “fully protected, supported, and heard every step of the way,” Rose McCarty has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting victims of domestic violence and hate crimes. As a member of Davis Wright Tremaine’s Pro Bono Committee and Civil Protection Order Program, she has represented numerous victims and their children. She has also assisted in immigration proceedings and Davis Wright Tremaine’s legal efforts to protect voting rights in Georgia. Beyond her pro bono work, McCarty is an active volunteer for Hand in Hand, a temporary shelter for children entering the foster care system. She has also volunteered with the Center for Children & Youth Justice, served on TeamChild’s Investments and Partnership Committee, and volunteered for the YWCA’s Violence Support Group. 

SarahAnne Jahns 

SarahAnne Jahns is a deputy prosecuting attorney in the Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and currently serves on the Board of Trustees, and as treasurer, for the Kitsap County Bar Association. 

SarahAnne Jahns has made impressive contributions to the Kitsap County Bar Association and her local community. First serving as the young lawyer’s representative for the Kitsap County Bar Association, she helped recruit young lawyers to engage with the local bar association and planned the Association’s annual summer picnic. She also spearheaded organizing the Association’s annual high school mock trial competition for the regional YMCA, even when COVID-19 forced the competition to go virtual. Her leadership helped bring together over 40 attorneys and judges to participate in the mock trial competition and provided an important opportunity for high school students to engage with the legal field. Jahns continues to organize the mock trial competition in Kitsap County, which is set to take place this winter, and her nominator applauds her sustained contributions to the Association and local community. 

Jessica Roberts

Jessica Roberts is a business and tax associate at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Seattle, and currently serves on the Board of the Northwest Indian Bar Association and the Board of the Washington State Bar Association’s Indian Law Section.

In the words of her nominator, “Jessica is an outstanding young Native lawyer” who is a “dedicated and energetic” leader. Roberts has served as an advising attorney at the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s legal aid clinic, assisting tribal members in divorce, child custody and support matters, estate planning, and guardianships. Her nominator highlighted her presentation of CLEs on topics such as the Indian Child Welfare Act and praised her work to lobby LexisNexis to recognize Indian Law as a distinct practice area in its research database. Beyond her pro bono work in Indian law, Roberts has volunteered her time with the BLOCK Project, a nonprofit focused on providing affordable housing for the homeless, and she serves as a mentor for another associate at Davis Wright Tremaine. 

Putting Others First

SarahAnne Jahns, Rose McCarty, Jessica Roberts, and Cameron Sheldon have shown a profound public service ethic and a track record of responding to the needs of their community. The WSBA is fortunate to have such inspiring new and young members. 

For additional information about the Public Service and Leadership Award, or to learn about ways to volunteer with a pro bono or public service program, please visit www.wsba.org.

About the author
About the author

Aaron Haynes is an associate at Chmelik Sitkin & Davis in Bellingham and the chair-elect of the Washington Young Lawyers Committee. He can be reached at ahaynes@chmelik.com.