Top 7 Under 40: Ian McCurdy

Born and raised in Portland, OR, Ian McCurdy has spent the last four years living and working in Bellingham. As an associate attorney at Adelstein, Sharpe & Serka, McCurdy has helped create a collaborative and healthy environment for lawyers within Whatcom County.

McCurdy, 34, practices employment law and employment litigation defense. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in 2007. In 2012 he graduated from the University of Oregon Law School with his Juris Doctor.

I like being a resource for people who don’t have the expertise that I have been able to gain on employment issues,” McCurdy said.

Throughout his professional career, McCurdy gained valuable insight from the mentors he surrounded himself with and his father, who was also a lawyer.

As an attorney, there were role models in my life who I saw engage with the community in a really positive way,” McCurdy said. “I think being involved in the community is a really important aspect of being a lawyer.”

McCurdy recently formed the Whatcom County Young Lawyers group as a way to offer his experience to new lawyers in the area and help guide them through their career. He is also a volunteer for the Bellingham United Debate Club at Bellingham High School.

Many in the club are aspiring attorneys, so I think it is helpful for me to be there showing them that these are helpful skills and to help them see what being a lawyer is like,” McCurdy said.

As a member of the Bellingham Rotary club and on the board of directors, McCurdy’s community involvement is far-reaching. The Rotary Club is currently partnering with the City of Bellingham and companies to raise funds for a new swimming dock at Bloedel Donovan Park.

McCurdy serves on the Washington State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Committee representing Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties. The committee ensures that young lawyers are engaged and connected within the legal community.

McCurdy is also on the board of directors for Animals as Natural Therapy which provides mental health programs to at-risk youth, veterans and elders. He was drawn to the organization because of the work they do with the aged and infirm populations in the community.

The more people you know in a community the more meaningful your work can become,” McCurdy said. “Get involved in any way you can and be open to things that you might not have previously envisioned yourself doing.”

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