When I was in law school my colleagues and professors kept suggesting that I practice family law. I had no interest in family law – it sounded depressing, to tell the truth. Prior to law school, I spent a decade working in the non-profit sector helping families and children. I also had experience in international relations, living abroad, and working with international government agencies. I wanted to bring those experiences to my law practice and was primarily interested in immigration law, initially.
Then I found this amazing little law firm in Fremont that has a completely different view of family law than the one I had in my head. Here, we look at divorce and other family transitions as the beginning, not the end. I met with clients who were at the darkest moments in their lives and then helped them to attain a new and better life for themselves and their children. It turns out that practicing family law is inspiring, positive, and deeply meaningful work. Because of my interest in international studies, I expanded my family law practice to include cases that involve parents that are foreign born, live overseas, or have interstate and international custody issues. I developed my pro bono work around helping children who arrive in the U.S. unaccompanied (without a parent) and need to be cared for by a relative. In short, it turns out my colleagues and professors were right when they pointed me in the direction of family law -15 years ago in law school.
I am passionate about decreasing the negative impact that divorce can have on children. I also believe that kids need loving caregivers in their lives and they need protection when a caregiver is a risk to a child. My father was the first man in his home state to win full custody of his children. I know firsthand the effect that divorce can have on the lives of children and parents. I also recognize that life transitions can be positive when supported by the guidance of a caring professional.
I am an experienced litigator and have significant courtroom experience. At the same time, most family law cases are resolved through mediation and I am committed to de-escalating cases that don’t need to go to court.
I aspire to reach my client’s goals by listening, analyzing, and advocating. I enjoy complex analysis and problem solving. I have experience as a litigator in criminal court, immigration court, and family court. I analyze complex family law issues including interstate and international custody, parental kidnapping, and non-parental custody actions, relative visitation, among many other issues related to family law. My analyses have been included in amicus briefings to the Washington Supreme Court and in briefs to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th District. I am a member of the Washington State Bar Association and member of the family law section. I was recognized in Super Lawyer Magazine and Seattle Met Magazine as a “Rising Star” and “Outstanding Young Lawyer.” Only 2.5% of Washington attorneys are selected for this honor.
When not working, my husband and I are just trying to keep up with our two busy sons. We love weekend getaways, Seahawks games, and volunteering in our community. I enjoy traveling, including to my ancestral country, Peru.
Areas of Practice
- Family Law
- Washington, 2007
- Seattle University, School of Law, Seattle, Washington
- J.D. cum laude 2006
- Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio
- B.A. cum laude 1995
- Major: Political Science
- Community Service Award
Classes and Seminars
- Presenter, Continuing Legal Education: Determining Jurisdiction for Interstate and International Families
- Presenter, Continuing Legal Education: Enforcement and Jurisdiction of Custody Orders under the UCCJEA and Hague Convention on International Kidnapping
- Presenter, Continuing Legal Education: Protecting Immigrant Children Through Family Law Action and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
- Presenter, Continuing Legal Education: What to do when Criminal Issues arise in Family Law
- Volunteer Attorney, Latino/a Bar Association
- Volunteer Attorney, El Centro de la Raza
- Volunteer Attorney, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)
- Co-Founder, Reel Grrls
- President of Board, Reel Grrls (past)
- Board President, Baden Powell Service Association – Traditional Scouting for Everyone
- Facilitator, Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS) (past)
- Member/Parent, Seattle Public Schools PTSA
- Volunteer, March for Our Lives
- Board Member, Power of Hope (past)
- Volunteer Attorney, NWIRP (past)
- Washington State Bar Association, Member
- King County Bar Association, Member
- Latino/a Bar Association, Member
Honors and Awards
- Super Lawyers Rising Stars: 2014