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Judge Karen A. Overstreet, of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Western Division, was honored by the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division with its Making a Difference through Community Service award. The award, which recognizes a lawyer who made a significant lifetime contribution to the local community through community service, was presented to Overstreet at a luncheon during the division’s National Solo & Small Firm Conference on Oct. 12 in Seattle.
Overstreet was the first woman bankruptcy judge appointed in the state of Washington and served as the chief judge in her district. Prior to her appointment as a judge, Overstreet was a partner at the firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Seattle and practiced in the areas of bankruptcy and commercial law.
She co-founded Consumer Education and Training Services, a nonprofit organization that provides resources to the community — including web resources — on matters of money management, consumer credit and personal finances. A frequent speaker for CENTS, Overstreet provides information to teens in western Washington high schools about the wise use of credit.
Overstreet is a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the American Bar Association, the Washington State Bar Association, the Washington Women Lawyers and the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society Advisory Panel. She is a former member of the U.S. Judicial Conference’s Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System and served as chair of its Subcommittee on Technology and Statistics.
Overstreet received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and her law degree from the University of Oregon.
The ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division is the only ABA entity exclusively devoted to solo practitioners and small firm lawyers. The division, with over 27,000 members, serves as the voice of the “Main Street lawyer.” Solo and small firm practitioners represent half of the nation’s lawyers, and the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division provides a community for them within the ABA.