Eric Mapes graduated from the University of Washington Law School in 2012, where he completed internships with former Washington Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers and the Innocence Project Northwest. After two years as a law clerk at the Washington State Court of Appeals, he began his public defense career writing appeal briefs for indigent clients on a contract basis.
In 2016, he became a full-time staff attorney at Counsel for Defense of Chelan County, a non-profit public defense firm in Wenatchee. Before moving to the Whatcom County Public Defender Office at the beginning of 2022, he also served as a public defender in Skagit County. Before law school, Eric earned a B.A. from The Evergreen State College and taught English as a foreign language in Sapporo, Japan.