Beyond the Bar Number > Talesha Sams

Talesha Sams
Sams with a few of her animals: Nugget the baby goat, Highland cow Agnes, and her cat Taz.

Talesha Sams

Bar Number: 31109

My primary job is representing Adult Protective Services (DSHS) in administrative hearings regarding abuse of vulnerable adults. I also have a private practice in the areas of guardianships, civil rights, consumer law, and family and criminal law. My free time (whatever that is) is spent with my children, my grandchildren, and my farm animals.

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If you could change one thing about the legal system, what would you change?

There is definitely a lack of adequate attorney participation in pro bono work throughout the state. Perhaps better incentives and more legal resources available for attorneys to use would help lessen the gap between those needing legal representation and attorneys who are available to take on pro bono cases. It’s a work in progress.

How did you become interested in your practice area?

I have always had a strong desire to work in public service and assist vulnerable populations. This was true even before my legal career. It is very rewarding to help those who, historically, have been denied equal access to justice. True satisfaction doesn’t always have to be in a monetary form. 

What is your best piece of advice for someone who’s just entered law school?

Participate in your school’s law clinic or work as a legal intern in the areas of public service. Hands-on experience while attending law school can be the most valuable and practical experience you’ll ever get.  

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> We’d like to learn about you! Email to request a questionnaire and submit materials to be used for a hand-drawn portrait. Find past Beyond the Bar Number features here.


If you had to give a 10-minute presentation on one topic other than the law, what would it be and why? “How to live your life to the fullest each day,” because tomorrow is never guaranteed.

If you could go back in time, where/when would you go? Florence (Firenze), Italy, during the Renaissance. When I lived in Italy, I fell in love with all of the artwork that was created during that time period. To actually see the various masters at work would be priceless.

What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Leftover pizza. 

What is one thing your colleagues may not know about you?  That I served in the Army as a paratrooper with the 75th Ranger Battalion and the 82nd Airborne Division and that I participated in Operation Urgent Fury during the invasion of Grenada in 1983.

What is your favorite smell? Freshly cut alfalfa fields. It’s a country-girl thing.

What is your favorite word? “Technically.” Starting a sentence out with this word cuts to the point and it has the power to make all the eyes in the room roll backward.

What book have you read more than once? The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell. It covers everything that’s ever been in your head.

What is the best fictional representation (TV, movie, book) of a lawyer? Vincent Gambini. I think My Cousin Vinny demonstrates the awkwardness and difficulty a new, inexperienced lawyer can face in their first big trial in a small town. 

What did you think was cool when you were younger that makes you cringe to think about now?

Putting playing cards in my bicycle spokes to make it sound like a motorcycle.