Araceli Amaya

Senior Attorney

Bellevue | Seattle

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Interesting notes about Araceli
Favorite band (teen years): New Kids on the Block
I'm happiest: With family and friends
Dream vacation: Cruise around the world

Publications & Presentations

About Araceli Amaya

Helping folks in need is embedded in Araceli Amaya’s DNA. It surfaced early in this gifted lawyer’s life when, as a young child, she helped her Spanish-speaking parents navigate the complexities of her family’s new life in the United States.

"I grew up serving as my mom’s translator,” Araceli recalls. “I would accompany her to the post office when she needed stamps, for example; and I remember how good it felt to help someone do something they couldn’t do for themselves."

"Being a lawyer is a lot like that. For most people, law is a foreign language,” adds the senior attorney. “Demystifying the legal process—and assisting my clients in their journey to a new and different life—provides that same sense of personal satisfaction."

Along with a deep love for the law, Araceli brings to her work a healthy mix of high-level legal know-how, genuine compassion for her clients who, she acknowledges, “often feel helpless and overwhelmed,” an unwavering professional demeanor, and a reassuring dose of reality.

"It’s important to choose your battles wisely. Family law is fraught with contention. But the reality is that not all issues merit a fight. A good attorney is not one who litigates every issue, but one who identifies the right issues, then advocates aggressively for their resolution."

Among the most rewarding aspects of her work, says this mother of two teenagers, is using her skill set to support clients’ efforts to work through emotionally challenging times while limiting damage to themselves and, especially, their children.

"It’s not the divorce that damages a child,” Araceli insists, “but the conflict between divorcing parents. By keeping my clients focused on what really matters, I can help them build those all-important bridges to long-term solutions for the good of the children. That may be the most important thing I do."

Spending time with her own children is a high-priority activity for this wife and mother, who, in her off-hours, enjoys “creating things—whether a garden or a delicious meal—and performing acts of kindness that show my family and friends I love them.”

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  • King County Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Washington State Bar Association, Family Law Section and Young Lawyers Division
  • Washington Latino/a Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
  • Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of Seattle
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  • J.D., American University, College of Law
  • B.A., University of Redlands, International Relations and Affairs


  • Spanish
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Publications & Presentations



  • Presenter, “Post-Decree Child Support and Pitfalls to Avoid,” CLE, McKinley Irvin Family Law Speaker Series, 2015
  • Best Law Firms
  • Best Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent
  • Avvo Rating 10.0
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
"Thanks for all the work for our family over the past year. We’re really glad you are on our side."
"David remained very level headed and family focused throughout our proceedings. That said, I always felt my specific needs were very well ..."
"Without David and Sam, there is no way I could have made it through this exceptionally difficult time in my life. I cannot imagine two ..."
"My daughter is the sunshine of my life. I felt despair and a sense of helplessness on the day I was served. On the first appointment day ..."
"In our search for a reputable law firm to handle my sister’s divorce case, we explored our options until we found the McKinley Irvin law ..."
"My attorney was very good in and out of the courtroom. Always kept me up to date on any issues that came up and was very knowledgeable on ..."
"I would like to give my sincere appreciation to Jennifer Payseno and staff. You all stood by me no matter how trying my case got. I always ..."
"Dave, thank you very much for doing such a wonderful job. It has been a pleasure working with you."
"From start to finish, the team at McKinley Irvin took care of me and my family. I couldn’t ask for more. What happened in court was exactly ..."
"I have dealt with approximately 4 lawyers in the past from other law firms. Laura from McKinley Irvin, however, handled my case with ..."
"I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help with my case. I know the call I got from your office was an answer to my tearful and ..."
"I am so very thankful that I chose to work with McKinley Irvin and the wonderful staff they have in place. Highly recommended!"
"A huge weight and amount of stress was lifted as soon as I hired Jamie Walker. Having her on my team was exactly the peace of mind I needed ..."
"Getting a divorce was hard enough as it is. I was nervous and just wanted to get it over with before my ex-wife thought of anything else she ..."
"Marc provided steady counsel and support through the emotional times. He kept us focused and moving forward during the meetings."
"Wish I had you when I first got divorced. It’s so hard to find a reliable lawyer, but I must say, you are one of the best."
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