My Story

In 1982, one year after graduating from the University of Washington Law School, a client allowed me to open my own office in one of his commercial buildings on Ballard Avenue.  It was a rough space, filled to the ceiling with junk, with all of its doors off of their hinges.  I jumped at the opportunity and never looked back.

Ballard Avenue looked nothing like it does today.  It seemed like every third storefront was a bar, and there was a constant progression of inebriated, but perfectly harmless, retired fishermen traversing the sidewalks.  Certain female clients insisted upon early appointments so they could leave the neighborhood before dark.

Ballard_-_Starlight
Site of Ballard Avenue office on far left.  Photo by Joe Mabel.

My first client was not only waiting for me as I moved in but also helped carry some of my heavy law books.  He was the target of a paternity suit.  I accompanied him to his blood draw and watched as technicians photographed him then glued his image to a test tube.  I am happy to say that we won the case.  But I can claim no credit.  It was all in the DNA.

I was new to the neighborhood and discovered that a good way to meet people was to patronize the neighborhood restaurants.  Many a good story was heard over a plate of Swedish Pancakes or between bites of a Bird In The Bush sandwich.

Ballard_Hattie's_Hat
Breakfast.  Photo by Joe Mabel.

 

Seattle_-_Vera's_01.jpg
Lunch.  Photo by Joe Mabel.