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William Kirk, Partner

Bill Kirk is the past Dean of the National College for DUI Defense (2018-2019).  He was sworn in this past July at Harvard Law School.  You can see Mr. Kirk's Dean's Address here.  Bill is also the past-President of the Washington Foundation for Criminal Justice.  He is the only practicing attorney in this State to have passed the National College for DUI Defense's Board Certification Exam.  Bill has been named a SuperLawyer by Washington Law and Politics every year since 2003 after starting the practice of law in 1998.  He is the co-author of "Defending DUIs in Washington," the treatise in this state for DUI and BUI defense and currently, the Managing Partner at Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn.

Mr. Kirk has dedicated the last 18 years of his practice to defending those accused of impaired driving or boating.  Literally all high-profile DUI cases in the greater Puget Sound area have been handled by Bill.  After graduating from Washington State University in 1992, Bill obtained his Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1998.  Bill then worked as a King County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney until joining this firm in 2000.  

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 – 2018, 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 was very active in the National College for DUI Defense and was named to the Board of Regents 2009.  In 2018, Bill was inducted as the 24th Dean of NCDD.  Mr. Kirk 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.

Recent Blog Posts


  • Great Attorney

    Great attorney. Hire him if you can afford it, it is worth paying the extra costs to not have the restrictions from such a conviction.
  • Diligent

    My situation was extremely complex. Bill worked diligently to formulate a strategy based on my needs, he took the time to listen carefully to my unique circumstances and moved forward only once he had a firm grasp of my situation. He executed our agreed upon strategy with confidence and secured a...
  • Highly Recommended

    I was new to Seattle and the Cowan Law Firm came highly recommended. They certainly lived up to the billing and I was very impressed how much they got handled outside of the courtroom through their experience and knowledge. Bill Kirk turned a painful situation into a victory…it truly is all who y...
  • Better Person Today

    I had never felt so down and out and at a loss of what to do next in my entire life. I had never use a Lawyer for any reason and didn't know any. A very close friend, had told me about the Cowan Law Firm. I called and made and appointment, went in and meet with Doug and then Bill Kirk. When I lef...
  • Couldn't Have Made a Better Choice

    Bill was recommended to me by a trusted local attorney. (I live 300 miles from the Seattle area) I couldn't have made a better choice. In the Administrative Hearing Bill raised enough questions about the arrest, that the Administrator gave me the benefit of the doubt. In watching Bill's dealings ...
  • Best of the Best!

    There are attorneys and then there is Mr. William Karl Kirk, a real professional and expert in his field. I chose Mr. Kirk because of several factors. One being his knowledge in the field of which he commands respect and two his very nature as a person. His personality shines through all the way ...
  • Brilliant and Unbelivable!

    If you are looking for an Attorney you have found him! If you are fortunate enough to get him consider yourself lucky. You really just do not know how good Bill is until he is a part of your team. He will put your feelings at ease and make sure you are well taken care of. When you feel like nothi...

Cowan Kirk Kattenhorn

Cowan Kirk 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.