Whatcom County lawyer sworn in as president of Washington State Bar Association

Rajeev Majumdar has been sworn in as the 2019-20 president of the Washington State Bar Association. Majumdar will be the first president of the WSBA from Whatcom County in 60 years. He will also be the first bar president of South Asian descent in the United States.

“I am really proud to bring my perspective from Whatcom County to try and solve some problems at the state level,” Majumdar said.

As he steps into his role as president of the bar, Majumdar will face unique challenges governing a body of people who are used to making arguments and can be extremely critical.

“The goal is to not necessarily make everyone satisfied but instead make sure everyone’s perspective gets discussed and to be fair about that,” Majumdar said. “I think that is the biggest challenge I have being head of a democratic body.”

Majumdar, 42, was sworn in by Washington Supreme Court Justice Steven C. González who administered the oath of office at a ceremony in Seattle. His term as president will run through September 2020. The WSBA operates under the Washington Supreme Court to license the nearly 41,000 lawyers in the state.

Majumdar was born in New York and raised in Idaho from the age of three. He earned his bachelor’s of science in biology and philosophy, with a minor in chemistry from Albertson College of Idaho in June 1999.

He graduated from the University of Washington in June 2004 with two master’s degrees. One in public administration and one in international affairs. In 2007 he earned his Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude from Seattle University. He is a member of the Lummi, Nooksack, and Tulalip Tribal Bars.

“A lot of people try to dictate solutions and what I want to do is change the dialogue about that,” Majumdar said. “I think that more of the true meaning of diversity, not dictating how people should treat others but opening the door for everyone to get their perspective on the table.”

Majumdar enjoys working with young lawyers and encourages them to explore pro bono opportunities in their community. “I like talking to young lawyers because they are full of hope and my goal is to not let them lose sight of hope and become cynical,” Majumdar said. “Every lawyer has the skills to help people in their community.”

In 2008, Majumdar moved to Blaine and began working as an attorney for The Law Offices of Roger Ellingson. Despite not knowing anyone in Whatcom County, Majumdar made a conscientious effort to be engaged in his community, a mindset he adopted from his father.

His influence in the Whatcom County community has been far-reaching and diverse. Since 2010 he has contributed his legal expertise to Sun Community Services, which provides transitional housing for those experiencing homelessness and who also have mental disorders or substance abuse disorders.

It was as a board member for Sun Community Services that Majumdar got to know Wendy Jones, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Chief Corrections Deputy. Some of the harshest critics of attorneys are law enforcement because we deal with them a lot, Jones said.

“He is an extraordinarily bright young man who is very sensitive to a variety of different people,” Jones said. “He is going to be in a position as the president of the bar where he is going to be able to affect every single attorney, directly or indirectly, in the state and that’s a good thing.”

Since 2011 he has been the prosecuting attorney for the City of Blaine. He has also been the special prosecuting attorney for the City of Bellingham since 2014. Majumdar serves on the board of directors for LAW Advocates which provides free legal assistance for the low-income residents in Whatcom County and is a board member of Northwest Youth Services.

Founder and managing member of the Law Offices of Ziad Youssef and mytrafficman.net, Ziad Youssef was encouraged by Majumdar to get involved with LAW Advocates. Youssef is the current vice-chair of LAW Advocates and has known Majumdar for close to 10 years.

“When I got my copy of NW Lawyer with Rajeev on the cover, I framed it and hung it on the wall in my office,” Youssef said. “It gives me inspiration to see someone from a diverse background and similar immigrant history, rise to leadership in a way that is supported and creates coalition.”

“You want your neighborhood to be influenced by who you are and you want your community at large to be influenced by what you want to be,” Majumdar said.

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