Norma Linda Ureña
Bar Number: 26770
Norma Linda Ureña practices family law at Wechsler Becker. She previously served as a legal advisor for the Mexican Consul in Seattle. She has a B.A. from Seattle University and a J.D. from the University of Washington. She gives frequent CLEs and volunteers with various organizations and boards. She received the King County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award in 2009.
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What is the most interesting case you have handled in your career so far and why?
A crop lien case in Pasco. I was working as a farmworker attorney for Northwest Justice Project. A group (about 10) of farmworkers came to the office after 5 p.m. They were working in the onions but had not been paid for weeks; the farmer had promised payments on various dates but hadn’t paid a penny. I was able to file a crop lien and stop the transport of the onions from the cellar to the buyers. The workers got paid.
How is being a lawyer different from the way you thought it would be?
I thought it would be WAY more glamorous.
How did you become interested in your practice area?
I was married to someone that controlled what I wore, how I ate, where I went, who I spoke to, when I spoke to them, and what I spoke to them about. I wanted to help those that are in similar situations, to annihilate pain and suffering and begin living.
How do you define success as a lawyer?
Achieving justice for someone who wouldn’t have been able to get it otherwise.
At the end of your career, how would you like to be remembered professionally?
As an attorney who cared for her clients and worked hard for them.
What is your best piece of advice for someone who’s just entered law school?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What is the last thing you watched on television? Mexico-Poland match in the World Cup a minute ago (I attended the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia).
If you had to give a 10-minute presentation on one topic other than the law, what would it be and why? How travel makes one a better lawyer. Travel to immerse yourself in another culture and redefine what is “normal.” For example, there are different ways that people around the world count birthdays. In some cultures, a baby is born and is considered one year old.
What is one thing your colleagues may not know about you? That I have a disability where I get random vertigo episodes and have to be hospitalized when the vertigo goes on for more than three days.
What is your favorite smell? The smell of my mom’s homemade flour tortillas. It’s a memory now.
What book have you read more than once? A few but The Grapes of Wrath and The Catcher in the Rye.
What is the best fictional representation (TV, movie, book) of a lawyer? My Cousin Vinny.
What is your best random fact that you would share with others at a party? I was part of a group that researched malnutrition in children in rural Mexico and provided our findings to the World Health Organization. Oh, and I have 100 first cousins (97, but close enough).