Elizabeth Michelson

Of Counsel


Download Profile Contact
Publications & Presentations

About Elizabeth Michelson

Elizabeth Michelson has practiced family law in Snohomish County since 1980. She focuses her practice on complex divorce and custody cases, and has been recognized within the legal profession and in the community for her exceptional ability in the practice of family law.

She is a longtime Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), has been included in Best Lawyers in America since 2001, and was named “Lawyer of the Year” in 2017 for family law in the Seattle metro area.

By working to understand her client’s needs and expectations, Liz helps her clients make rational decisions, and provides a strategic, achievable plan to meet their goals.

"I develop a relationship of absolute trust with my clients. Total honesty—I don’t soft pedal or avoid difficult conversations about the difference between what is possible and what is likely. People respect and deserve that."

Liz is dedicated to helping clients remove themselves personally, legally, and financially from unhappy marital situations. She is especially motivated when, with the support that she and her team provide, clients become emotionally empowered and less fearful and dependent.

"Being a family law attorney has defined who I am over the last nearly forty years. What continues to motivate me is never having a single client walk away after the case is finished believing that I didn’t do my best for him or her."

Liz has worked as a mediator and finds the experience and training has given her an advantage in family law disputes. She has also served on the Reduce Family Conflict Committee of the Domestic Relations Commission of the State Judicial Administration Board.

Liz and her husband have a three-legged dog, Smokey, who is a local celebrity. Stories about Smokey have been featured in the local media, and he is regularly recognized and pampered by his adoring fans.

Next >>



  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 1996-present
  • Committee Member, Domestic Relations Work Group, State Board for Judicial Administration, 2000-2001


  • Snohomish County Bar Association
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Washington Women Lawyers
Next >>


  • J.D., University of Colorado School of Law
  • Graduate, Pacific Family Mediation Institute
  • Professional Mediation Skills Training Program
Next >>

Publications & Presentations


  • Presenter, "Spousal Maintenance: Modification, Suspension, Termination," Snohomish County Bar Association CLE, 2005
  • Presenter, "Pros & Cons of Prenuptial Agreements," American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers CLE
  • 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 ..."
"[My attorney] spoke English – as oppposed to ‘legalese’. She was able to propose a number of options and alternatives for various scenarios, ..."
"Marc provided steady counsel and support through the emotional times. He kept us focused and moving forward during the meetings."
Read More