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William Kirk

Bill Kirk is currently serving on the Board of Regents for the National College for DUI Defense and is the President of the Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice.  He is one of only two attorneys in this State to be Board Certified as an expert in DUI Defense by the National College.  He has been named a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters (Washington Law & Politics) every year since 2003.  He is the co-author of "Defending DUIs in Washington," the treatise in this state for DUI and BUI defense.  He is the Managing Partner at Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn

Bill was a rising star in the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office until being hired away by the Cowan Law Firm in 2000. Mr. Kirk built a reputation amongst judges and defense lawyers as a fearless, but fair prosecutor, but mostly has a highly skilled trial advocate. Committed to eventually become a criminal defense lawyer, Bill interned for both the Spokane County and King County Prosecutors while in law school, and tried 19 cases, most of them DUIs before he had graduated from law school and received his license to practice law. Bill graduated from Washington State University in 1992, and from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1998. Impressed with his early demonstration as a top fight trial lawyer, the King County Prosecutor's Office immediately offered him a permanent position. He was initially assigned to District Court Unit, where his primary function was to prosecute DUIs. He quickly rose through the ranks, next being assigned to the Juvenile Court, and then to the Felony Drug Unit where he prosecuted felony drug cases until joining this law firm in 2000. He now limits his practice exclusively to defending those accused of impaired driving and boating.

Mr. Kirk was named a “Rising Star” by Washington Law & Politics in 2001 and 2002. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Washington Law & Politics from 2003 – 2017, one of only 250 attorneys in the State to receive such an honor. Mr. Kirk was named as one of the Washington's “Top 25” criminal defense attorneys on three separate occasions.

Bill has received certification in administering Standardized Field Sobriety Tests in 2001. He was trained by National Patent, the manufacturer of Washington's breath machine, in Mansfield, Ohio in 2003. He was named partner in this firm in 2004.


Bill has been very active and is a multiple time graduate of the National College of DUI Defense's Summer Session (Harvard Law School) and its Winter Session. In 2009, Bill was named to the Board of Regents for the National College for DUI Defense, one of only 12 lawyers in the country to server on this board. Bill has lectured extensively both locally, nationally and internationally in all areas related to the defense of those accused of impaired driving.  Furthermore, Bill is “Board Certified” as an expert in DUI defense by the National College for DUI Defense and is only one of two lawyers in Washington State to pass this rigorous exam.

Bill is also a member of the following organizations:

  • National College for DUI Defense, Board of Regents
  • Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice, currently serving as President
  • Northwest Academy of DUI Defense (Founding Member; President 2003)
  • Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Washington State Trial Lawyers Association
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

A lifelong resident of the Seattle area, Bill is married with two sons. He is also a season-ticket holder for the Seattle Mariners and a rabid fan of Washington State University where he served as President of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity in 1991 and President of the Interfraternity Council in 1992.

The Supreme Court of Washington does not recognize certification of specialties in the practice of law and the certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in the state.

Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn


Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn is known throughout Washington and the nation for representing all of its clients with commitment, creativity and compassion. We recognize how devastating a DUI charge can be, particularly when our clients learn how incredibly tough Washington's DUI laws have become, even for a first-time offender.

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If you need a DUI defense attorney in Seattle, Bellevue, or King County, contact us today to find out why respect for our clients, a passion for justice, and our commitment to winning have earned each of us the highest honor a member of the bar can receive from our colleagues – their referrals.