Honourable Craig M. Washington
In September of 1976, Judge Washington began his career as a staff attorney with Community Legal Services Inc. of Philadelphia, at the Bilingual Law Center Girard where for six years he represented low income clients in consumer, housing, family and bankruptcy cases. He credits the city’s first bilingual public law center for providing him with first hand knowledge of issues facing many communities throughout the city.
In 1982, the Honorable Edward G. Rendell, then District Attorney of Philadelphia, appointed Washington to the position of Assistant District Attorney. In 1985, Washington left the DA’s office and joined a center city law office where he received an opportunity to develop his own practice: In 1997, he was elected to serve as Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court and in 2005, was ordained Deacon at Salem Baptist Church in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.
Defining moments: My parents were hard working and church going; that was very important in my formative years. The next outstanding influence was being in the Cubs and Boy Scouts at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown. The values that I got there included character development, interaction with the environment, service to the community, and faith in God. Another defining moment was the decision to go to college after Germantown High School. There was an intervening significant moment when I met my wife, Gene Florence Vance, shortly after high school, and we were married after college. The next was my admission into Temple Law School.
Significant accomplishment or project: As far as career, it was being elected by the citizens of Philadelphia to serve as a judge in civil and criminal matters. In life, it was accepting Jesus the Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Advice for young people: In terms of a legal career, I would recommend that they get as much experience in the area where they think they want to either study in or work in by way of volunteering time, internships, and , of course, academic studies, to see if it’s something they want to pursue. How to build relationships within the African Diaspora: Most important is to realize that throughout the world, we are all God’s children. If we believe that, it will make it much easier to understand and live with one another and benefit universally from that. I think everything else will fall in line if we come to that understanding.