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Awards Received

Top Attorney & Civil Engineer of the Year

Lifetime Achievement Award

Hall of Fame

Thomas E. Gates, Esq, PE, FASCE, Founder of Gates’ Law, PLLC, was recently inducted into the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) Hall of Fame.

Being selected by the International Association of Top Professionals is an esteemed honor, as only 10 IAOTP members are inducted into the exclusive Hall of Fame. These special honorees are distinguished by their longevity in their fields, the contributions they have made to society and the impact they have had on their industries.

Mr. Gates was honored at IAOTP’s 2019 Annual Awards Gala at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas for the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also previously honored at IAOTP’s 2018 Annual Awards Gala held at the Plaza Hotel in NYC for his selection as Top Attorney & Civil Engineer of the Year.

The President of IAOTP, Stephanie Cirami stated, “Inducting Mr. Gates into our Hall of Fame was an effortless decision for our panel to make. Aside from his long list of accomplishments and accolades, he provides legal support as a volunteer. We know he serves as a compassionate, honest and creative figure within his community and we are looking forward to celebrating this honor with him at our Annual Awards Gala being held at the Plaza Hotel in NYC .” 

Mr. Gates is being inducted into IAOTP’s Hall of Fame for having over 3 decades of professional experience serving the people of Washington as a licensed Civil Engineer, and more recently as a Lawyer. Mr. Gates has demonstrated success not only by serving politically for two terms on the City Council and Mayor for the City of Richland, but also as King County Bar Associations Volunteer Legal Services Attorney.  As Owner & Founder of Gates’ Law PLLC, Mr. Gates’ firm specializes in Civil Litigation, Personal Injury, Business and Non-profit, Estate Planning and Trusts, and defense of criminal and DUI charges.

As a practicing engineer for nearly twenty-five years, Mr. Gates focused on the environmental and waste management areas.  He was a member of the American Concrete Institute and American Society of Civil Engineers national standards committees.  He is credited with involvement in at least 14 technology reports and numerous presentations.  He was a former consultant for the Electrical Power Research Institute and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.  Mr. Gates was also the lead Judge for Washington’s Science Talent Search for 6 straight years.  For his contributions, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  He also served as the Chair of Washington State’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee providing guidance to the Department of Ecology.

Mr. Gates received his Bachelor of Science Degree and Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Kansas State University.  He received his Juris Doctor Degree from Seattle University School of Law after going back to college.  He formed his law firm immediately after being admitted to the Washington State Bar Association.  Mr. Gates is licensed to practice before the Washington State Bar and in Federal Court by the United States District Court of the Western District of Washington. 

Throughout his illustrious career, Mr. Gates has received many awards, accolades and has been recognized worldwide for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the profession.  Aside from being inducted into IAOTP’s Hall of Fame for 2020, Mr. Gates received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who, and was named Top Attorney of the Year by Top 100 Registry. For 2019 he graced the front cover of TIP (Top Industry Professionals) Magazine and was selected for IAOTP’s Lifetime Achievement Award. For 2018 he was selected as Top Attorney and Civil Engineer of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who.  For 2017 he was listed as America’s Top 100 Attorneys Lifetime Achiever, and named on multiple occasions as a “Rising Star” by Washington Super Lawyers.   For 2016, Mr. Gates was named Top 10 Under 40 Award by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys.  For 2015 received Excellence in Legal Service by the US Commerce & Trade Research Institute and received the Premier 100 Trial Attorneys Award by the American Academy of Trial Attorneys.  For 2014, he was named Top 10 Under 40 by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys.  In 2004 named King County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Volunteer Attorney of the Year. In 1992 named Sir Knight of the Year by the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree and in 1987 named Outstanding Young Man of America. 

Aside from his successful career, Mr. Gates is an active participant in his community.  He served his community for two terms on the Richland City Council and as Mayor.  Prior to that, he served nearly 6 years on the Physical Planning Commission; 4years as Chair.  He has also served on the Boards of social service, civic, and fraternal organizations including the Salvation Army, The Benton-Franklin Community action Committee, March of Dimes, Kiwanis Club of Richland and the Knights of Columbus.  In 1992 he was named Sir Knight of the Year by the Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree; Distinguished President, Kiwanis in 1996; Salvation Army’s Steven T. Pack Representative Award and in 1987 named Outstanding Young Man of America.

Looking back, Mr. Gates attributes his success to his education, mentors he had along the way and staying passionate in all of his endeavors.  He says his work is very gratifying and hopes others will consider a career in Law and Engineering.  When not working, he enjoys gardening, woodworking, cooking, and reading.  For the future, he will continue to follow a simple creed: “He saw a need, he cared, he made a difference” and hopes to make a difference in the world and in people’s lives any way that he can.

For more information on Mr. Gates please visit:



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