Noted Seattle lawyer starts scholarship to help Native American and Latinx students at Heritage University pursue law degrees
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Noted Seattle lawyer starts scholarship to help Native American and Latinx students at Heritage University pursue law degrees.
Toppenish, Wash. – Arthur Dean Swanson, a Seattle-based lawyer, well respected in the state of Washington and throughout the United States, recently started a scholarship program at Heritage University to help Native American and Latinx students who plan to earn a law degree after graduation.
In the summer of 2022, a partnership between Washington’s three law schools, Seattle University School of Law, University of Washington School of Law, and Gonzaga University School of Law, and Heritage provided a 13-week course designed to make a law degree more accessible to Native American and Latinx students in central Washington. Titled the “Law School Admission Council Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars Program,” or LSAC PLUS Program and funded by the Law School Admission Council, it prepares students for the rigors of law school and a legal career. Mr. Swanson read about the LSAC PLUS Program in The Seattle Times and was inspired to start the scholarship with a $100,000 gift to Heritage. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a rising senior who plans to pursue a Juris Doctorate after graduation.
Mr. Swanson passed away in January, and now, his family is honoring his wishes by announcing the Arthur D. Swanson Scholarship at Heritage University. “When Arthur and I first started discussing how he could best support students, he related to me stories of his young life and law school experiences,” said David Wise, Heritage University VP of External Relations. “Those, coupled with his travels as a young man across several Indian reservations, convinced him of the nearly insurmountable odds students living on reservations have of earning a law degree. Students with very little frame of reference for the rigors of law school, let alone the financial resources to begin even exploring the possibility,” said Wise. “His resolve to shorten those odds resulted in the formation of this scholarship. He was so passionate about giving students the opportunity to become lawyers. We had plans for him to guest lecture on campus this coming summer. His passing is a crushing loss for all of us.”
Swanson was born April 19, 1934, in Onida, South Dakota, and his family moved to Long Beach, Washington. Art and his brother Don attended Valley High School in Menlo in Pacific County, Washington. Swanson graduated from Washington State University in 1956 after which he joined the United States Army. In 1963, he graduated from the University of Washington School of Law. He later served as a deputy prosecuting attorney in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office and as a Judge Pro-Tem in both Superior and District courts before opening his own practice. He was a past president for the Washington State Association for Justice, the Washington Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Damage Attorneys Roundtable.
During his distinguished career, Swanson was a member of The American College of Trial Lawyers and has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America since 1991. He has been named a Washington Super Lawyer every year since 2003 and by Seattle Metropolitan magazine as one of Seattle’s Best Lawyers.
Mr. Swanson passed away on January 29, 2023, before the launch of the scholarship in his name. The Arthur D. Swanson Scholarship at Heritage University is open to additional contributions by visiting heritage.edu/donate, or by making a gift to the Office of Advancement at Heritage University, 3240 Fort Road, Toppenish, WA, 98948. The Arthur D. Swanson Scholarship will be awarded annually to Native American and/or Latinx senior-level students at the University who intend to pursue a law degree after graduation.
For more information, contact David Wise at email@example.com or (414) 788-0686.
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