Claire
McNamara

ASSOCIATE
claire.mcnamara@ pacificalawgroup.com P. 206.602.1218
F. 206.602.1268

Claire McNamara represents clients in trials and appeals, and is an active volunteer and pro bono advocate for several civic and non-profit organizations.

Claire McNamara represents public, private, and non-profit clients in trial and appellate litigation. Claire counsels on a variety of issues including constitutional, governance, civil rights, public records and open meetings act, elections and ballot measures, and free speech policies. Claire also works alongside Pacifica’s public finance team in low-income housing finance-related litigation matters.

Claire has successfully helped clients before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth and District of Columbia Circuits, the Washington State Supreme Court and various federal and state trial courts. She has represented multiple campaign entities and foundations in pre- and post-election challenges, in addition to assisting with developing policy and crafting messaging.

Claire currently serves as a Special Assistant Attorney General to support Washington State with implementing Keep Washington Working, a law meant to ensure immigrants’ safety, productivity, and dignity. She has also assisted with litigation and municipal compliance matters arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Claire is committed to public service and social justice. She is currently on the Board of Yoga Behind Bars and is the Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee for the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington. She has served as pro bono counsel for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, for an unaccompanied minor through Kids in Need of Defense, as well as for the National Democratic Women’s Caucus.

Before joining Pacifica, Claire served as a judicial clerk to Judge Jill Johanson of Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals. During law school, Claire was the managing editor of the Seattle Journal for Social Justice, volunteered with the International Refugee Assistance Project, and externed with the ACLU litigation team. Claire also represented youth charged with crimes in the Seattle University Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic and helped secure clemency for an adult client serving a life sentence without parole. Prior to law school, Claire worked for OneAmerica and its sister 501(c)(4), OneAmerica Votes, to advance immigrant rights and volunteered for King County as a Court Appointed Special Advocate to evaluate and advocate for children in high-conflict, low-income families.

Claire grew up in Tucson, Arizona but has made the Pacific Northwest her home. She and her scruffy dog live in Capitol Hill. Claire enjoys a seamless vinyasa flow, wandering the Pacific Northwest mountains, dancing at concerts, and content-heavy, chatter-lite podcasts.

Bar Admissions:
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Education:
  • Scripps College, B.A., English (major), Psychology (minor) cum laude
  • Seattle University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude (Managing Editor, Seattle Journal for Social Justice, President, Dispute Resolution Board, Dean’s Medal & Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, Kellye Y. Testy Scholarship for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership, Mary Wechsler American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Washington Scholarship for Social Justice in Family Law)
Honors:
  • Western District of Washington Federal Bar Association, 2020 Litigation Academy Fellow
  • Selected for Washington Rising Stars, 2018-2020
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Commercial Litigation, 2021
Speaking:
  • Stepping Up to Serve: Federal Pro Bono Representation, CLE Host and Organizer, May, 2019
  • Appellate Practice Section Presentation, Dealing with the Large Record on Appeal, February, 2016
Publications:
  • Stepping Up to Serve: Federal Pro Bono Representation, CLE Host and Organizer, May, 2019
  • Appellate Practice Section Presentation, Dealing with the Large Record on Appeal, February, 2016
Community Involvement:
  • Yoga Behind Bars, Board Secretary and Governance Committee Member, 2018-Present
  • OneAmerica and the American Immigration Lawyers Association Citizenship Day Pro Bono Volunteer, 2010-Present
  • Cascade Bicycle Club Volunteer, 2015-2016
  • Pramila Jayapal for Congress Campaign Volunteer, 2016
Professional Organizations:
  • Co-Chair, Pro Bono Committee for the Western District of Washington Federal Bar Association