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Experience List
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Admitted to Practice

  • Washington, 1982
  • District of Columbia, 1999
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

John McKay

John McKay leads the firm’s government investigations and crisis management group. He represents clients in complex civil, criminal, and government investigative matters. A highly accomplished trial lawyer and dedicated public servant, John was the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington for six years, representing the government in all criminal and civil matters. Most recently, he has worked as a professor of law at Seattle University School of Law, and directed a U.S. State Department rule of law project in Palestine. With over three decades of service in the public and private legal sectors, John brings a wealth of consulting and leadership experience to the firm.

Additional Qualifications

  • Professor from Practice, 2016-present; Professor, 2007-2016 – Seattle University School of Law, Seattle
  • Chief-of-Team, Justice Sector Assistance Project, Palestine, 2013-2015
  • United States Attorney, Western District of Washington, Seattle, 2001-2007
  • President, Legal Services Corporation, Washington, D.C., 1997-2001
  • Partner, Cairncross & Hempelmann, Seattle, 1992-1997
  • Partner, 1990-1992; Associate, 1982-1989 – Lane Powell, Seattle
  • White House Fellow, Special Assistant to Director of Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, D.C., 1989-1990
  • Legislative Assistant, Congressman Joel Pritchard (R-WA), Washington, D.C., 1978-1979

Professional & Community Activities

  • Chairman, Equal Justice Coalition of Washington State, 1995-1996
  • Founder and Director, Northwest Minority Job Fair, 1987-1997
  • Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, American Bar Association, 1996-1997
  • American Bar Association House of Delegates, 1991-1996
  • American Bar Association Board of Governors, 1991-1994

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to "Washington Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2004-2008, 2011-2018
  • Law Alumni Merit Award, Creighton University, 2014
  • Judge Learned Hand Award, American Jewish Committee, 2012
  • Charles A. Goldmark Award for Distinguished Service, Legal Foundation of Washington (with Mike McKay), 2008
  • Courageous Award, Washington State Bar Association, 2007
  • Distinguished Public Service Award, United States Navy, 2007
  • St. Thomas More Award, Christian Legal Society, University of Washington School of Law, 2005
  • Commencement Speaker, Seattle University School of Law, 2002
  • Cruz Reynoso-Ralph Abascal Don Quijote Award, California Rural Legal
    Assistance, 2001
  • Award of Merit, Washington State Bar Association, 2001
  • Commencement Speaker, University of Washington School of Law, 2000
  • Commencement Speaker, Gonzaga University School of Law, 1998
  • Commencement Speaker, The Ohio State University School of Law, 1997
  • Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year, Washington State Bar Association, 1995