Bar No. 45910
I AM JUSTIN STIEFEL co-founder,
CEO, and master distiller of Heritage Distilling Co. in Gig Harbor.
In just five years, we have grown
the company from a small start-up to the largest independently
owned and the most widely
recognized craft spirits brand
in Washington, and the most
awarded craft distillery in North
America for the last four years in
a row. You can find me at justin@
I became a lawyer because I have
always been interested in processes
and how processes are created and
Before law school, I studied
chemical engineering and worked in
the United States Senate.
My greatest accomplishment as a
lawyer is working to get legislation,
built on sound public policy, enacted
The best advice I have for new
lawyers is, unless you want a very
specific job that requires a degree
from a certain school (i.e., you want to
clerk for a federal judge or be a judge
yourself one day), go to the most
affordable law school you can get into.
My long-term professional goal is
to continue to push the boundaries of
what people just assume is fact and
to open their eyes to the possibility of
new ways of thinking about statutes
The most rewarding part of my job
is seeing our customers respond well to
the products and services we provide.
The worst part of my job is
I wish that more lawyers would
think about how to get to “yes”
instead of finding all the reasons that
something cannot be done.
Since I graduated from law
school, the legal profession has not
changed as quickly as technology
(from a pricing and service-delivery
The most humbling experience
I have had as a lawyer was getting
sworn into the bar by U.S. Supreme
Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
I look up to people who question
the status quo.
If I took one day off in the middle
of the week, I would go to a baseball
game or be out on the boat.
My best recipe I make at home is
cornbread and sausage stuffing.
I create work/life balance by
spending time with my kids.
In my life, I work on improving
how I listen to people and work to
show them how to solve problems.
I worry about general economic
conditions and the lack of education
in the younger generations about
democracy, capitalism, and the
negative consequences of the
This changed my life: 9/11.
My best parenting advice is work
to show kids how to think through
problems in an organized way.
Nobody would ever suspect that I
used to play drums in a heavy metal
band in high school.
Friends would describe me as
focused, strong, caring and aggressive
I regret some silly business
decisions made early on, but that is
how you learn.
Aside from my career, I am most
proud of this: helping to change
the landscape for craft distillers in
This makes me roll my eyes:
This makes me smile: watching
My best habit is always asking what
can be done bigger and better.
I am thankful that the people
around me have faith in my vision.
My idea of misery is meetings with
My motto is: ( 1) If you walk into
a fair fight, your strategy sucks to
begin with; and ( 2) you don’t get what
you deserve, you only get what you
My favorite restaurant is Dick’s
You’ll find me outside in the
Northwest doing this: boating.
My dream trip would be
Scandinavia, Greenland, Iceland, and
a trip through the Northwest Passage
I would like to meet James
Madison because of the time, attention
and detail he spent dedicated to the
creation of our country.
If I have learned one thing in life, it
is don’t be the first person to talk.
Law School: The Catholic University
of America, Washington, D.C.
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