Associate Attorney | Tacoma

Vade started as a criminal defense attorney with his first job out of law school in 2001.  All told, he was a public defender in Snohomish and King counties for nearly a decade before leaving to Tacoma DUI Attorneyenter private practice.  Being a public defender was a great experience professionally and personally. It was then that he realized his favorite part of his job:  Vade is a lawyer because he wants to help people, whether he’s helping people navigate difficult, stressful situations or helping them realize a dream.


  • Seattle University, BA in English Literature – 1996
  • Golden Gate University School of Law, J.D. – 2001
  • University of Arkansas School of Law, L.L.M. – 2011 – 2012

Articles about Vade S. Donaldson


Personal Story

Vade was born and raised in the ninth generation of his family from Walla Walla, where most of his family still lives. He attended Gonzaga University before earning his undergraduate degree at Seattle University.  A few years later, he earned his Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate University School of Law (which used to be a part of the YMCA and once held classes at Golden Gate Park during the San Francisco earthquake of 1906).  While there, he was fortunate to work for Judge Claudia Wilken in Federal District Court. He loved Golden Gate, which has a reputation for training hard working, nose-down/tail-up attorneys.

Later, Vade went to law school again—as if once wasn’t enough.  He earned a second law degree, an LLM or “masters” degree, at the University of Arkansas, where he also designed and taught an upper-level legal writing course.

After coming back to his home in Seattle, Vade worked in private practice supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners.  With a decade of courtroom experience, though, he eventually decided that the best way for him to help others was through criminal defense.  At Callahan Law, Vade feels he joined a team, a team who work together and support one another like family, and which treats our clients like family.

In his spare time, Vade enjoys being with his children and partner exploring the Northwest or staying close to home.  Like most everyone else in the Pacific Northwest, he likes to be outdoors running, kayaking, hiking, swimming, and riding a bicycle.  In quieter moments, he likes to read novels and non-fiction and is a big fan of the tv show, The Good Place.

Associations & Awards
  • Federal Bar Association, Western District of Washington
  • Washington State Bar Association

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