From the TCBA May Legal Brief
Attorney Larry Jefferson was selected by the Board of the Thurston County Bar Association (TCBA) to receive this year’s Daniel Bigelow Award in recognition of outstanding achievement in professional and community service. Jefferson is a lead attorney for the Superior Court Adult Felony team at Thurston County Public Defense. The May issue of TCBA’s Legal Brief, describes Jefferson’s many contributions to the community and to the constructive evolution of the criminal justice system as follows:
Throughout his twenty plus years in public service, Mr. Jefferson has been the personification of the TCPD Mission Statement. “To defend and protect our clients’ Constitutional Rights, one person at a time.” In partnership with Wayne Graham, Mr. Jefferson spearheaded the First Look Program which provides alternatives to charges and incarceration for cases identified as low-level and non-violent. This assisted in reducing the rate of incarceration in our community.
In addition, Mr. Jefferson was instrumental in establishing the new Pretrial Services Diversion Program which is a low-cost diversion program. Over the course of two years, he worked with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Pretrial Services in developing and implementing the program. Mr. Jefferson was a critical team member of the Trueblood Diversion Program. He worked tirelessly to obtain the release from custody of mentally ill clients who then obtained treatment and evaluations within the community.
The program is a model for the State of Washington and a basis for future requests to obtain peer support for clients in need of services. Through his employment, Larry Jefferson has served in work groups and committees such as Innovative Justice, The Opioid Task Force, Felony Leadership Improvement Project and Cielo.
In addition to the committees and workgroups already mentioned, Mr. Jefferson contributes hundreds of hours of personal time in our local community. He has served as a board member for the Campaign for Equal Justice and former member of the Olympian Editorial Board and Disciplinary Advisory Round Table.
In addition, Larry Jefferson served on committees for Olympia Beer and Justice which provides legal aid for low-income families. He was instrumental in resurrecting the TCBA Criminal Law Section and in 2019, he and Mike Martinez introduced the TCBA Diversity and Inclusion Section.
Mr. Jefferson was active on the Thurston County Bar Association Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015. During that time, he served as an Officer and as President from 2013 to 2014. It is no surprise Mr. Jefferson was nominated and received the Washington State Bar Association Local Hero Award in 2018. Although he is always busy with a new committee or workgroup, Mr. Jefferson finds the time to serve breakfast every week at the Salvation Army Community Kitchen in Olympia. Through his actions and dedication, Mr. Jefferson is an outstanding professional and leader in our community