Almost twenty years ago I started my own family law firm. I envisioned a place where individuals going through the de-coupling process could feel empowered though education and understanding. Today, I am proud to say that our office here on the water in Fremont is exactly what I had in mind all those years ago. Our firm practices exclusively in family law and estate planning, and I've managed put together an amazing group of people. Each of our lawyers has a background in either finance or human services, and our paralegals are second to none. So, in addition to being smart strong advocates, our team is financially savvy, warm, compassionate, and most importantly, family focused.
Here's why I like family law: as a small business owner myself, I feel a kindred spirit with those who have put their hearts and souls into juggling career and family. When a family breaks up, the transition is overwhelming, not only from an emotional perspective, but financially as well. I pride myself on my ability to help people manage huge life transitions. In fact, prior to becoming an attorney, I was a high-risk labor and delivery nurse at the University of Washington. Over the years I have discovered that the divorce process is not unlike the process of labor and delivery – it's scary, painful and sometimes a little out of control – but in the end, it's empowering to look back and see that you made it through.
I find that my background as a small business owner and a former nurse helps me in a couple of interesting ways. My nursing background gives me a unique perspective as to how to support divorcing individuals undertaking the unimaginable stress of the often unfriendly legal process. And my experience dealing with the day-to-day realities of managing a business gives me insight into the hopes and dreams of entrepreneurs. I particularly enjoy working with small business owners and professionals who need a creative solution for managing the financial aspect of divorce.
Some of the issues facing small business owners include how to value a business, and if the business qualifies as a separate property interest. And then there is the dreaded issue of spousal support. I fully understand the midnight panic attacks experienced by business owners and professionals faced with overwhelming financial concerns as they try to figure out how they will get back on track after their divorce. Here's one thing I've learned from my clients in this regard: you had what it took to build your career or business – you can do it again. You just need some really good support and innovative legal thinking to get you through this process so you can go back to focusing on what you're good at and what you love.
I'm lucky to work with a fantastic team of experts who have demonstrated a special commitment to serving our firm's clients. Yes, that means weekend and evening availability for our busy entrepreneurs. We get that you live in a 24/7 world. We gladly give out our cell phone numbers to our clients when it makes sense. Family law doesn’t happen between nine and five anymore.
In my practice I focus exclusively on family law, handling amicable and complex family law matters. I regularly take particularly challenging cases to trial in King County. My experience as a trial lawyer and as a former Member of the Washington State Association for Justice Board of Governors has provided me with helpful litigation strategy and trial skills.
I received my Bachelors of Science in Nursing at Pacific Lutheran University and my Law Degree from Seattle University back when it was University of Puget Sound Law School. I served as a member of the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ) Board of Governors where I co-founded the Women's Section, and served as chair of the Family Law Section. I also served on WSAJ's Continuing Legal Education committee and the Legislative Steering Committee. I have been a featured speaker and a chairperson at numerous continuing education seminars for attorneys, nurses and mental health professionals.
In addition to my legal practice, I have also authored a series of books that teach basic legal rights and responsibilities to ordinary people called the Civil Survival Series. My other educational program, Lawclass.net, is a more in depth exploration of everyday legal issues.
I am currently the President of the Board of the Women's Funding Alliance, a Seattle-based foundation focused on economic justice and leadership for women and girls, and am a long-time supporter of Peace Trees Vietnam a landmine removal project in Quang Tri Province in central Vietnam. I also served on the Board of Teamworks Academy founded by former Seahawk Mack Strong and his wife Zoe Higheagle Strong, and I currently serve on the Board of the Post Prison Education Program and WWISH. Some of my other community service includes serving on the boards of The Stevens Hospital Foundation, The Center for Spiritual Living, and The Shoreline Public Schools Foundation.
My husband Philip DuBois recently retired from his busy OB-GYN, practice at Swedish Hospital. We have two fabulous adult daughters and a very special Australian Labradoodle named Avi.
Areas of Practice
- Family Law
- Washington, 1986
- U.S. District Court Western District of Washington, 1991
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1991
- Seattle University, School of Law, Seattle, Washington
- J.D. - 1986
- Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington
- B.S.N. - 1978
- Major: Nursing
- "Women in the Courtroom: Washington Journal Salutes Women Litigators Who Are Making a Name for Themselves in a World Still Dominated by Men"
- Teaching Basic Legal Concepts to Working Individuals, Young Adults and New Immigrants
- Featured Speaker and Chairperson, Numerous Continuing Education Seminars for Attorneys, Nurses and Mental Health Professionals
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Washington State Trial Lawyer's Association (WSTLA), Member, Board of Governors
- Washington State Trial Lawyer's Association (WSTLA), Women's Section, Medical Negligence Section and Family Law Section, Chair
- Continuing Legal Education Committee, Member
- Boards of Numerous Professional and Civic Organizations
- The Shoreline Public Schools Foundation
- The Stevens Hospital Foundation
- The Center for Spiritual Living
- Development, Fundraising and Special Events Committees, Chair
- Seattle Rotary, Member