Mark Arend


Puyallup | Tacoma

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Interesting notes about Mark
Proudest accomplishment: Air Force Pilot's Wings
Greatest fear: Rubik's Cubes
Collections: Hawaiian Shirts

Publications & Presentations

About Mark Arend

Before becoming an attorney, Mark Arend had accrued an impressive professional portfolio as a distinguished Air Force pilot and a successful corporate entrepreneur. It was during his time as a high-tech business executive that this now-veteran attorney first entertained the idea of learning the law.

While his original intent was to return to the business world following law school, Mark’s plans shifted along the way. Today, a partner in McKinley Irvin’s Tacoma office, he conveys an air of competence, compassion, and refreshing common sense. A divorcee himself, the happily remarried father of three knows firsthand how divorce can be “emotionally devastating and fraught with uncertainty.”

"My approach to practicing family law is informed by several principles. The first is to be a good listener—not just on behalf of my clients but also my coworkers and the courts. For me, that’s the first commandment in the law: Talk less. Listen more."

A second mandate, says Mark, centers on what he calls emotional intelligence—speaking one’s arguments in calm, persuasive tones; and “remaining civil, professional, and ethical in all circumstances.”

Creating a safe environment for clients is another of Mark’s best-practice principles. For him, that means treating clients with empathy and respect, “telling them the truth from the outset through conclusion of our case,” and remaining readily accessible to respond to questions and concerns.

At the end of the day, Mark concludes, the most important traits of a first-rate family law attorney may well be a strong grasp of the law and human nature—and the capacity for sheer, hard work.

"We’ve got to be willing to burn the midnight oil for our clients,” he contends. “I don’t know of a single attorney out there doing a fantastic job by coming into the office late and leaving early."

There is none of that complacency at McKinley Irvin, notes this Operation Military Family volunteer and outdoor enthusiast, who adds: “We’re determined to be different—and great. And we’ve got the talent and resources to do it.”

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  • Commissioner Pro Tempore, Pierce County
  • Chairman, Platinum Achievement Committee, Honorable Robert J. Bryan American Inn of Court, Chapter XXV


  • United States Air Force, Fighter Pilot and Officer, 1983-1988


  • Washington State Bar Association, Family Law Section; Rules of Professional Conduct Committee: 2011-2012; Continuing Legal Education Committee: 2011/2012; Professionalism Committee 2009-2011
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
  • Cascade Vista Youth Athletic Club, Board of Directors

Community Activities

  • Operation Military Family, Volunteer Attorney, 2009-present
  • WSBA Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project, Volunteer Attorney, 2009-present
  • Tacoma-Pierce County Legal Clinic, Volunteer Attorney, 2008-present
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  • J.D., Seattle University School of Law
  • Graduate, Trial Skills, National Institute of Trial Advocacy
  • Certified Mediator, King County Dispute Resolution Center
  • B.A. University of Washington
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Publications & Presentations


  • Speaker, “Estate Planning Essentials,” Edward Jones Client Roundtable, Puyallup, WA, 2013
  • Speaker, “Estate Planning Basics,” South Hill Professionals, 2012
  • Best Lawyers
  • Best Law Firms
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • Puget Sound Business Journal Washington's Best Workplaces 2023
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year 2024
  • Avvo Rating 10.0
"Thanks for all the work for our family over the past year. We’re really glad you are on our side."
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