Dean Standish Perkins, known as Stan to his friends and colleagues, has built a successful career as a personal injury attorney. He has served the Seattle area since 1986, when he started his own law firm – Dean Standish Perkins & Associates. Stan earned his B.A. from the University of California Berkley in 1982 and went on to receive his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law, formerly University of Puget Sound Law School, in 1985.
Over the course of more than three decades, Stan became a prominent figure in the legal community due to his dedication to his clients and his unwavering pursuit of justice. But as his children neared adulthood and his practice flourished, he found himself yearning for something that would allow him to make a lasting impact: Mentoring young lawyers.
Currently, Stan serves as the benefactor and director for the Seattle University School of Law’s Incubator program. Incorporated under the university’s Access to Justice Institute, the program helps new attorneys establish successful solo and small-firm practices. Stan generously shares his time, resources and experience, providing guidance that he wishes he had when he struck out on his own and began his practice.
The Beginning Of SU’s Incubator Program
In 2013, Dean Annette Clark of the Seattle University School of Law – also a dear friend of Stan’s – approached him about the rapidly growing movement of incubator programs at other law schools. She proposed that Stan get involved in the program to support and guide recent graduates who were venturing into solo or small-firm practices so they had mentorship and resources to facilitate success.
Stan felt captivated by the two core pillars of the incubator programs that were already in existence: their focus on supporting attorneys serving people of moderate means and their emphasis on cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit of lawyers. He realized that his own journey in law mirrored the challenges faced by the participants of the program. He and Dean Clark realized that his entrepreneurial background could be perfect for starting an incubator program. With that, they decided that Stan would spearhead the creation of an incubator program at the SU Law.
Innovators Create The Incubator Program
Diana Singleton, the head of the Access to Justice Institute at Seattle University School of Law, collaborated with Stan to turn this vision into reality. Fueled by his newfound passion, Stan immersed himself in research, outreach and development to finalize a curriculum tailored to the unique challenges faced by solo and small-firm practitioners. By the fall of 2013, the stage was set for the launch of the program’s inaugural class in January. Through the combined efforts of Stan, his colleagues, and the directors of incubator programs across the nation, four deserving candidates made the debut class of 2014.
A Long-Lasting Legacy Of Helping Others
The start of the incubator program was exhilarating; it represented the first opportunity for Stan to become involved at the SU School of Law. But the birth of the incubator program represented more than just a professional achievement—it was a profound personal journey. When he graduated, passed the bar exam, and began his practice, he did it without an incubator program. What he needed and what he sought at the beginning was mentors and business knowledge that he did not receive in law school. Today, he feels thrilled to be involved with the school and to have initiated this incredible program for alumni.