Paul Henderson was born in Washington, grew up in Tacoma and graduated from Stadium High School in 1966. In 1968 he volunteered for the Army. He went to an NCO school, was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and went to Vietnam. He served in combat units with the 101st Airborne Division. After ten months in-country, he was wounded and sent home. Paul stayed with the Army through the reserve program until 1996. He completed Special Forces training and was commissioned as an officer. His duties took him all over the world. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He also stayed with combat arms units and avoided being an Army lawyer. He was a soldier long before he was a lawyer and he wanted to keep his connection with that part of the army.
When Paul was discharged from active duty in the early 70's he really didn't know what to do so he moved to Idaho for three years and followed his passion for skiing and being in the outdoors. He eventually went back to the University of Washington and finished college in 1974. He had long had an interest in law, mainly through movies and books. He had never actually even been to a lawyer himself. But he thought it was fascinating and he was pretty good at debate so he decided to go to law school. He graduated from Northwestern School of Law in Portland, Oregon, in 1978 and moved to Vancouver, Washington where he was offered a job as a new lawyer. He has been there ever since.
Over the years Paul has worked with some of the best lawyers anywhere. He attended Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College and was able to work with the master himself as well as other great lawyers like Paul Luvera, Robert Shapiro, Roy Black and Richard Racehorse Haynes. That's where he met my wife and law partner, Connie. He has been able to get justice for many clients, most of whom would have otherwise been cast aside and ignored by big business, big government and big insurance companies.
The Army and his combat tour made a man out of him. But, it also left some scars both physical and emotional. The physical wounds healed. He had to deal with the emotional ones years down the road. It hasn't always been a smooth road for Paul. Twenty five years after leaving Vietnam he had to come to grips with the emotional wounds. It was tough. Combined and connected with those issues was a serious problem he had with alcohol. Paul had to stop drinking or die. So, he did stop in 1997 as he was getting help for PTSD. He has not had a drink of alcohol since. It was a difficult time for him. The work he did paid off, though. He has enjoyed tremendous success and a renewed commitment to being a lawyer in the courtroom.
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