The Legal Spotlight: Amanda Hartman

Ashley Loftus | March 25, 2024| Article & News


Amanda Hartman, a transplant from Idaho who has since adopted Vancouver as her home, officially became a member of the esteemed McKean Smith legal team in 2023. Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Amanda has fully embraced the region’s unique charm and opportunities.

Recently, the Clark County Bar Association shone a spotlight on Hartman when Hearsay Magazine featured interviewed her for a short article. Eager to echo this recognition we seized the chance to delve deeper into Amanda’s story.

In a candid conversation with her colleague, Ashley, Amanda offers a glimpse into her background, providing insight into the journey of this promising young attorney.

March 25th 2024

Ashley: Amanda, you passed the Washington State Bar in September of 2023, when did you realize you wanted to become an attorney?

Amanda: Figuring this out actually took me a while. I’ve had people, including an attorney I did not know, telling me I should be an attorney since high school. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I got a BS in political science for my undergrad because it seemed like something that would lead to a legal career. I also took the LSAT during my last year. Then I got a job in financial technology a couple months before graduating and shifted focus to that rather than law school. About 6-8 months in, I was the bankruptcy/complex merger specialist because I enjoyed/was good at reading through bankruptcy filings and SEC forms, with people, once again, telling me I should become a lawyer. I decided for myself that I did actually want to be one in the summer of 2020.

Ashley: If you weren’t an attorney, what would be your next choice of career?

Amanda: A financial analyst or similar. I enjoy investments/finances and find corporate deal structures interesting. Especially when the corporation in question is clearly trying to figure out how to accomplish something their relevant country’s regulatory agent does not like.

Ashley: What is some advice you would give to other young aspiring attorneys?

Amanda: Ask yourself why you want a career in law. Is it because other people told you you should go to law school? Is it because you enjoy the nitty gritty details in black letter law and finding loopholes? Is it because you want to help people, and see law as a way to do that? Is it because you want to change the law in some way? If you know why you want to go into law, you have more internal direction as to which sort of law you might want to practice in. You will also have more confidence about your choice, which may end up helping you get through law school and through the bar exam (if necessary, in your jurisdiction).

Ashley: I’ve been to Idaho. It’s definitely a little different from Vancouver and the Portland Metro Area. What was it like growing up in more of a rural area?

Amanda: I didn’t really grow up in rural Idaho, Nampa is fairly suburban. Or at least, it seems that way to me as someone who grew up in Idaho. There wasn’t much to do so I spent a lot of time at home reading, at some point my closet had shelves ground to ceiling (almost) on two walls that were just books. In my senior year of high school we moved outside the city limits a bit, which was rural. I remember a nearby farmer grew corn, he offered us as much as we wanted on the condition we did not attempt to grow any ourselves to avoid cross-pollination. My bedroom window looked out over a field too, so occasionally I would be woken up by a crop duster buzzing the house after dusting the field.

Ashley: Finish the sentence: ‘Those that know me best know that I …….”

Amanda: …Love reading, writing, and cats!

Ashley: Speaking of cats, your 8-month-old Siberian kitten Tybalt got a shout-out in the Hearsay article. Where does the name Tybalt come from?

Amanda: It’s from Reynard the Fox (medieval allegorical fables from the second half of the 12th century), one of the characters is Tibert /Tybalt the cat. Lady Capulet’s brother, in Romeo and Juliet is named after the same Tibert/Tybalt character, which is why he has the “Prince of Cats” nickname, ( if you’re curious)!

Amanda is currently a Family Law support attorney on Deanna Rusch’s team in McKean Smith’s Vancouver office.

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