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Outstanding Alumni|College of Arts and Sciences

David J. Burman -- 2006 Outstanding Alumnus

Bachelor of Arts - 1974 - Political Science

     After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wyoming, Laramie native David J. Burman attended Georgetown University Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal. Burman credits his experiences as a member of the UW Debate Team and law-related courses taught by Professor Mike Horan (Department of Political Science) with piquing his interest in a law career. “Being on the debate team was a great experience for me,” notes Burman. “I was able to develop skills that have been essential to my career and I met many impressive people.”
     Following law school, Burman had two prestigious clerkships, one with the United States Circuit Court for the District of Columbia and the other with Justice Byron White of the United States Supreme Court.
     A partner in Perkins Coie LLP Law Firm in Seattle, Washington, Burman is well versed in the areas of complex and commercial litigation, antitrust and contract dispute, intellectual property, and constitutional law. He also has been involved with many of the
largest public law cases in the state of Washington, including defense of the University of Washington Law School’s affirmative action plan and the Seattle School District’s bilingual education program, and Burman represented Compassion in Dying in its challenge to state statues that prohibited physician-assisted suicide. Last year, he represented Governor Gregoire’s successful effort to defeat a lawsuit challenging the validity of her election.
     Burman has argued two cases in the United States Supreme Court. For his efforts in one of those cases, in 2004, Burman received a number of awards, including the Goldmark Award, recognizing the outstanding work of an attorney or organization that has performed on behalf of the poor. Named for Seattle Attorney Charles A. Goldmark, the award is sponsored by the Legal Foundation of Washington. Burman also was named one of the top four Washington lawyers by Chamber and Partners, publishers of world-famous guides to famous law firms and lawyers.
     In addition to his professional pursuits, Burman serves his community as a member of various committees and boards, including working on a federal judicial merit selection panel for the Federal District Court and as a lawyer representative for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. He also is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a founding member of the Dwyer Inn of Court. Burman is on the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors. In 2005, he received the Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s Edward E. Carlson Outstanding Citizen Award.
     Longtime friend and colleague United States Circuit Judge Margaret McKeown notes: “Dave not only does a lot—he does it exceedingly well. He is a principled advocate who has earned respect from judges and peers alike. He effectively combines scholarship with private practice. But, most importantly, Dave is humble and has never forgotten his roots. He maintains pride in being from Wyoming, and he keeps up with his high school friends from Laramie. Like many who have grown up in Wyoming, he is inexorably tied to Wyoming, its people, and its landscape.”
     Burman cites his family—two daughters Kendall and Blaire—as his greatest accomplishment. But in true Burman fashion, he adds, “Although my wife DeeAnn deserves most of the credit.”

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