“Monica was a lifesaver when I most needed a steady voice and knowledgeable guidance through my divorce. From the time my ex-wife and I decided to separate to the final dissolution settlement, Monica always catered her level of help in my case to what I needed, while keeping me informed of legal necessities and options. Occasionally, throughout the divorce process, when I felt like I was at a legal disadvantage relative to my ex, Monica would point out opportunities where I could gain leverage. The truth is, good legal help isn’t cheap, but Monica always kept my budget in mind and gave me choices to best use my money. She was well worth it. Not only was Monica a great choice for my legal representation, but everyone in her office, from the paralegals to the partners, were always gracious and helpful.”
I practice in Bellevue and Seattle. My practice focuses on divorce mediation, relationship agreements including marital agreements and cohabitation agreements, and estate planning for couples, individuals, and blended families. I began working with Amanda DuBois in 2004 and became a named partner in 2010.
My work philosophy is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. As a divorce attorney and divorced parent, I believe families rarely belong in the courtroom. You just can’t go wrong investing in the possibility of a peaceful resolution, but be prepared because the courtroom may be unavoidable.
In addition to my work in private practice, I have been honored to serve as a Commissioner Pro Tempore in King County Superior Court. Having the opportunity to sit on the family law bench has tremendously enhanced my practice. My pro bono work also includes serving as a volunteer divorce mediator with the King County Superior Court assisting divorcing couples resolve their differences outside of court. I also serve as the family law mentor for API Chaya which provides me the opportunity to work with young lawyers and law students assisting immigrant women in the Seattle area. In addition, I feel privileged to have been selected by my peers as a Super Lawyers Rising Star five years in a row. The Rising Stars designation is given to only 2.5% of the lawyers in the state of Washington.
Prior to attending law school, I volunteered with VISTA (the domestic Peace Corps). I was paid a small stipend and was assigned to work in Seattle with FamilyWorks, a family resource center and food bank in the Fremont/Wallingford area. I helped create an Employment Resource Center for customers of the food bank. I recruited workshop volunteers for the family resource center where they offered free workshops for adults and children on topics ranging from bookbinding, photography and cooking to intercultural parenting classes.
During law school, I volunteered in a Senior Center where I participated in a “buddy” program for an elderly woman who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. After law school and joining the Oregon Bar, I was a judicial clerk to the Honorable Elizabeth Welch, Presiding Family Court Judge in Portland, Oregon. Judge Welch’s docket consisted of strictly family law, juvenile law, and probate cases. I observed a variety of cases, including adult guardianship proceedings, will contests, and custody cases. Returning to Seattle in 2002, I volunteered with the King County Prosecutor’s office in their truancy department. I also worked as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Pierce County, Washington. Through these experiences, I gained specific insight into the plight of families in the courtroom and decided to focus my practice on working directly with families.
Highlights of my family law career include the successful return of a child who had been kidnapped overseas, obtaining a phased-in 50/50 parenting plan for the father of an infant at trial, and assisting several elderly couples in resolving their divorces quickly and without court intervention. Highlights of my estate planning and probate career include volunteer efforts with the Washington First Responder’s Clinic (a free clinic that provides free will packages to police officers), assisting new parents with their estate plan, and making it easier for busy adults to safely maximize the independence of their elderly parents.
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and finding fun ways to stay fit.
Pro Bono Activities:
- Volunteer, VISTA
- Volunteer, King County Prosecutor’s Office (past)
- Volunteer, Seattle University’s Access to Justice Institute (past)
- Volunteer, King County Bar Association’s Self Help Plus (past)
- Volunteer, Kinship Care Solutions Programs (past)
- Volunteer, Advocates for Immigrant Justice (past)
- Volunteer, Latina/o Bar Association Clinic, (past)
- Supervising Attorney, Family Legal Law Intern at API Chaya, 2013 – present
- Volunteer Mediator King County Volunteer Settlement Conferences, 2011 – present
- Volunteer, First Responder’s Will Clinic, 2012 – present
- Volunteer, Middle Eastern Law Association Clinic, present
- Volunteer, South Asian Bar Association Clinic, present
- Volunteer, Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee (JAJEC), Co-Chair, 2018
- King County Family Court Commissioner Pro Tempore, 2013 – present
Year Joined Firm
Areas of Practice
- 40% Family Law
- 30% Collaborative Law
- 30% Wills and Estate Planning
- Oregon, 2001
- Washington, 2003
- Lewis and Clark College Northwestern School of Law, Portland, Oregon
- Franklin & Marshall College
- Major: Government/Women’s Studies
- Co-Author, South Asians in 2007 – Take Another Look, Washington State Bar Journal
- International Aspects of Parenting Plans – Virtual Visitation, King County Bar Association Family Law Section, April 3, 2010
- Family Law Litigation Basics, Washington State Association for Justice, August 1, 2007
Honors and Awards
- Selected To Rising Stars: 2011 – 2015
Professional Associations and Memberships
- South Asian Bar Association, Washington, Secretary
- API Chaya, Member
- King County Bar Association, Member
- Washington State Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member
- Washington State Bar Association, Probate and Real Property Law Section, Member
- Washington State Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, Member
- South Asian Bar Association of Washington, Former Board Member
Past Employment Positions
- Hon. Elizabeth Welch, Presiding Family Court Judge, Portland, Oregon, Judicial Clerk
- Pierce County Prosecuting Attorneys Office, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney