UW Law remembers Paula C. Littlewood

Paula C. Littlewood, UW Alumna J.D. ‘97 and former UW Law assistant dean, died Dec. 14, 2020 from pancreatic cancer. She was 55.

During her tenure as assistant dean, Littlewood coordinated a lobbying campaign to secure $34 million in public funds for William H. Gates Hall, the first public-private partnership between the Legislature and University for an $80 million capital campaign. She held various leadership positions with the Washington State Bar Association from 2003 to 2019, serving as the executive director between 2007 and 2019. Most recently, Littlewood served as interim CEO of Seattle Humane.

A note from the Littlewood family:

Paula C. Littlewood

“Paula lived a full life with energy and compassion, completely supported by the incredible communities she created. Her career spanned decades of service to the public, including posts at the University of Washington School of Law, the Washington State Bar Association and most recently Seattle Humane. The impact of her creative thinking and positivity has been felt nationally and internationally. Paula’s legacy will be continued in the legal community and the many other areas where she shared her knowledge and passion.”

“Paula was a force for good, and we mourn her death. We will share more information about how Paula will be honored and remembered as those plans are created. In the meantime, please use this method to contact the family: PCLittlewoodMemorial@gmail.com.”

Here’s how the UW Law community is remembering Littlewood:

“Paula was a longtime and enthusiastic member of the Law Alumni Association, Engagement Committee and Leadership Council. We will be forever grateful for her contributions to our community.”
— Mario L. Barnes, Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law, UW School of Law

“Paula was really vital in helping the UW in so many ways. She is known nationally as a ‘future of law’ thinker. She was critical in helping me bring the Washington Leadership Institute to the UW when a funding cut to WSBA put it at risk. She helped Ron and Joe fund and build William H. Gates Hall! And so much more. Rest in power, Paula! Law Dawg extraordinaire!”
— Kellye Testy, Dean Emeritus, UW School of Law; President and CEO, Law School Admission Council

“Paula was intimately and consistently involved with the law school. Paula was passionate and compassionate about our school, our students and our alumni. She thought deeply about our goals, our vision, our values and our challenges. She went on from our law school to lead the Washington State Bar Association, where her work touched every lawyer in the state and many outside the state as well. Paula cared about the future of the law, not only how lawyering of the past and present were conducted, but also how the learning and lawyering of the future would best serve the people who needed the best we could provide. Paula was always approachable. She listened intently and with validation of the speaker even when she didn’t always agree with what was being said. Paula was open to new ideas and always ready to take an active role in bringing the good ones to fruition. Paula was brave. Even when she was sick, she still made time to coach girls volleyball and to volunteer for the law school. We will miss our friend, Paula. I look forward to celebrating her life together, even if we must do so remotely.”
— Greg Gorder, ’85 Member, Law Alumni Association, Advancement Committee and Leadership Council

“Paula touched many lives. At the law school, it wasn't just about ‘big’ service roles like the Leadership Council. She mentored 1L students, spoke at orientation, evaluated PILA grant applications, supported student organizations and journals, and more. She was truly someone who showed up.”
— Mary Hotchkiss, Teaching Professor and EC Chair, 2020-21, UW School of Law

“Paula seemed always full of energy and compassion. Her voice was thoughtful and reasonable, tempered by a wonderful sense of humor, including irony. 
— Judy Bendich ‘75

“My most meaningful alum time ever was when Dean Hjorth and Paula enlisted and worked with various of us in efforts with key senators, leading to a new building. Great, effective lady.”
— Dave Broom ‘63

“Paula did so much for the legal profession — from her persistent and powerful advocacy to make William H. Gates Hall a reality, to championing the LLLT program in Washington and around the country, and I include the fond memory of co-teaching a course on law and leadership with her at UW. A wonderful life, ended too soon.”
— Michele Storms, Executive Director, ACLU of Washington

“I knew Paula for nearly 30 years. She was a big picture leader, yet she possessed such humanity. You always had her undivided attention. Paula had a verve for life, living each day completely and passionately. She freely shared her experience, expertise and contacts with others, enriching everyone in the process. She infected those around her with possibilities. She was decisive and knew how to take action. We need more people like Paula in the world.”
— Penny Hazelton, Law Professor Emeritus, Former Associate Dean and Law Library Director, UW School of Law

“Paula was an esteemed colleague and friend since 1998. We both served as assistant deans at the UW law school. She will be sorely missed. Among the things I loved about Paula were her caring heart, vision and forward-thinking capacity. She cared for people. One can see the positive results of the day-to-day experiences of the organizations that she worked for. She would focus on the mission of those organizations and she was energized and engaged making everything better. Her thoughtfulness and inspiration are to be applauded and admired. She left us too soon and will be remembered for all she accomplished in her life. What a courageous individual and role model for so many.  Because of her giving so much to so many her legacy will continue. Her children, Parker and Sophie, were blessed with a mother who loved them so dearly. I will miss her sharing their stories and hearing how she handled her encounters with living a life well lived!”
— Sandra E. Madrid, Ph.D., Former Assistant Dean, UW School of Law

A scholarship at UW Law has been created in Paula's memory.