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.”Next >>
- 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
- J.D., American University, College of Law
- B.A., University of Redlands, International Relations and Affairs
Publications & Presentations
- Author, "Non-Parental Custody and Burden of Proof," King County Bar Bulletin, March 2016
- Author, "How To Fight the Uphill Battle of Non-Parental Custody," King County Bar Bulletin, December 2015
- Presenter, “Post-Decree Child Support and Pitfalls to Avoid,” CLE, McKinley Irvin Family Law Speaker Series, 2015