Jessica Fisher, Public Information Assistant, No Phone Number Available
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 3:47 p.m.
Congratulations to City of Spokane Public Defender Francis Adewale on receiving the President's Award from the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, WACDL. According to WACDL the, “President's Awards are given to recognize distinguished service to the highest traditions of the criminal defense bar. This award may be given to recognize achievement in a particular case or series of related cases, or long-time service to the criminal defense bar.”
Francis Adewale is Spokane Public Defender from Nigeria. In 1990, he earned a law degree at a local law school in Lagos, Nigeria. Eight years later, he fled Nigeria and moved to Washington D.C. after receiving a U.S. Visa through a lottery program. While working odd jobs in D.C., Francis learned that lawyers who have practiced for at least seven years in common-law countries are eligible to take the Washington State bar exam. He passed the bar exam on his first attempt and then moved his family to Spokane, Washington!
After moving to Spokane, Francis was hired by the City Public Defender’s Office through the City’s Civil Service merit system. While working for the Public Defender’s Office Francis worked with a team of prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges to help shape Spokane’s Community Court. Community Court is a specialized docket held at the downtown Spokane Library (non-inmates) each Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and each Friday (inmates) at 8:30 a.m. in municipal courtroom A. The docket is composed of offenders who are charged with various nuisance / quality of life charges from events in the city's urban core. Using a combination of offender needs assessment, on-site wrap around social services and intensive case monitoring, the Community Court operates with the goal of assisting the offenders with getting the services they need to put their lives back on track and break the cycle of offense with the resulting recidivism rate for the urban core offender population.
Spokane’s Community Court has been serving citizens since 2013. This Community Court has become a model for numerous cities across the country. Francis was honored for his work in helping create Spokane’s Community Court, volunteering his time to help put on a training symposium for immigrants to learn the basics of Washington law and participating in the street law program with the inaugural City of Spokane Human Rights Award.
Thank you Francis Adewale for your dedication to disadvantaged people in the Spokane community! Keep up the good work.