Washington Law Review seeks to Spotlight alumni who have made notable contributions to the WLR journal or legal community. If you or someone you know fits this description and deserves to be recognized, please fill this form to nominate them for our Alumni Spotlight.
Spotlight Feature: Judge Rebecca Glasgow
Graduation Year: 2002
WLR Position: Executive Notes and Comments Editor
While a student at the University of Washington School of Law, Rebecca Glasgow externed with Washington State Supreme Court Justice Bobbe Bridge. Through the externship, Rebecca says that she learned the importance of attention to detail, thorough and well-supported analyses, and the ability to absorb feedback and improve on every assignment. After graduating from UW Law in 2002, and due in part to her performance as an extern, Rebecca earned a clerkship with Washington State Supreme Court Justice Susan Owens. One year later, Rebecca became a clerk for Justice Bridge, where she served for four years. After clerking, Rebecca served for several years in the Washington State Attorney General’s office and eventually became a Deputy Solicitor General. In 2018, Rebecca Glasgow was elected to Division Two of Washington’s Court of Appeals, where she still serves today.
In the past, Rebecca has served as the President of Washington Women Lawyers and as a member of the UW Law Dean’s Leadership Council. She is currently a member of Washington’s Gender and Justice Commission and sits on the board of the Judicial Institute, which promotes the election and appointment of people of color, LGBT people, and women to the judiciary. In 2014, the Washington State Bar Association named Rebecca a “Local Hero” for her volunteer work and commitment to public service. In 2021, the Board of the Washington Women’s Lawyers voted to award Judge Glasgow the Legacy Award, which memorializes the inspiring and valuable personal and professional legacies of the organization’s members.
Today, Judge Glasgow credits Washington Law Review with helping her develop her attention to detail and her ability to absorb feedback while in law school—skills that helped her excel in her career. Law reviews give students an early opportunity to build strong practice skills. For example, in the law review environment, students learn to give and receive feedback with grace and learn from that feedback.
Membership on a law review can open doors to future employment opportunities, including clerkships, attorney general positions, and positions with law firms. Accordingly, Judge Glasgow emphasizes the importance of making membership in law reviews accessible to those who have been traditionally excluded by the legal community. Further, as those in the legal community succeed professionally, they should look back and help others do the same. Midlevel attorneys should mentor new attorneys, new attorneys should mentor law students, and law students should mentor college and high school students interested in a career in the justice system.
When asked how law reviews can impact change in the law, Judge Glasgow describes how legal publications introduce ideas on the frontier of developing legal theory. Once these ideas are polished and published, attorneys and judges may cite these articles to affect change. For example, legal publications are a particularly effective way of introducing cutting-edge social science into a platform where it can be digested and cited by those adjudicating real-world disputes.
Judge Glasgow encourages current students to keep an open mind about practice areas for as long as possible. Law students should take full advantage of the buffet of interesting topics taught by brilliant faculty members. Clerking is another opportunity to gain exposure to a wide range of interesting legal issues. In short, unless a student is completely certain of their passion, Judge Glasgow encourages students to fight the temptation to become a specialist too early in their career.
Washington Law Review is proud to spotlight such a distinguished alumnus. Washington Law Review is further grateful for Judge Glasgow’s insights.