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Stephanie L. Messplay
the Bar No. nd Beyond
Bar No. #47017
Law School: University of Virginia
Before law school, I worked as a legal secretary for the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS).
I became a lawyer because I was inspired by the attorneys I
worked for at ERS.
In my practice, I work on improving every day. As a relatively new lawyer, I know I still have a lot to learn.
My long-term professional goal is to argue a case at the
U.S. Supreme Court.
The most rewarding part of my job is to help to make my
clients’ lives a bit easier. Every person who walks through
our door is going through something difficult. We may not
be able to solve every problem, but even a little bit of help
can go a long way. It’s nice knowing I made a difference.
If I could have tried one famous case, it would be Marbury
v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).
The most humbling experience I have had as a lawyer was
meeting the attorney who tried and argued Craig v. Boren,
429 U.S. 190 (1976). He was a guest at a wedding I was in.
To hear this man talk about how he made history (almost
by accident) was fascinating and inspiring. Plus he worked
with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
back in her practicing days, which was really interesting to
The most memorable trip I ever took was my study abroad
in Germany. I visited many places over those five months,
including the Winter Olympics in Turin. I even spent four
days in Latvia, which isn’t exactly a popular tourist destination, even though it perhaps ought to be.
I look up to the other attorneys in my office.
I absolutely can’t live without tea. I currently have 12 va-rieties of loose leaf in my desk. I’m partial to Rooibos and
Darjeeling, but my favorites tend to be flavored black teas.
I enjoy reading historical fiction and nonfiction. Right now,
I’m reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton—the one that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical.
It’s amazing to learn how one man shaped so much of our
country as we know it today.
I am happiest when my husband is not out to sea.
I grew up in southwest Michigan, in a town of about 2,000
people. I am always shocked when I meet someone who has
heard of it.
Nobody would ever suspect that I am a military spouse. It’s
a whole different world that I never imagined myself a part
of. The community is wonderful. Deployment, not so much.
I regret not taking advantage of an opportunity to travel to
India in college. At the time, I wasn’t sure that I was emo-
tionally ready for it, but now I think I just let fear of the un-
known get the best of me.
This is on my bucket list: to visit every state in the U.S. I
think I’m at 37 right now.
This makes me roll my eyes: Tacoma traffic.
My idea of misery is terrible food for the rest of my life.
My favorite restaurant is really hard to choose! Zippy’s in
White Center, La Rustica in West Seattle, Kokopelli Grill
in Port Angeles, and Silver City Brewery in Silverdale are
You’ll find me outside in the Northwest doing this: whale
watching or hiking with my dog.
My first car was a red ’91 Chevy Cavalier. My friends called
it the “crapalier.” It broke down a lot.
If $100,000 fell into my lap, I would put it towards my stu-
If I could get free tickets to any event, I would go to San
Diego Comic-Con. I’ve been to Emerald City Comicon a few
years in a row, and once attended Dragon Con in Atlanta,
but I’ve never been to the biggest, most famous Con of them
all. I would love to go if given the chance— in costume, of
You should give this a try: hiking on the Olympic Peninsula. I feel like it’s underappreciated by those on the east side
of the Sound and it really shouldn’t be—it’s full of gorgeous
trails. Hurricane Ridge is especially lovely, and is very be-ginner-friendly.
My all-time favorite movie or TV show is “Battlestar Galac-
My favorite app for fun is Pokemon Go.
My name is Stephanie Messplay, and I have been practicing law for three
years at Van Siclen, Stocks & Firkins. Before that, I spent a year clerking at the
Washington Court of Appeals. I handle general civil litigation, misdemeanor
defense, and appeals. In my spare time, I am out and about around western
Washington, often attending local festivals.