Senior Attorney

Melanie Maxwell

Melanie Maxwell Seattle Family Law Attorney
Melanie Maxwell Seattle Family Law Attorney

Melanie Avril Maxwell is a Senior Attorney at Elise Buie Family Law. For more than two decades, she has practiced family law, guardianship law and general civil litigation.


A Certified Professional Guardian, Melanie was appointed by Chief Justice Stephen Gonzalez of the Washington State Supreme Court to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington State Certified Professional Guardianship licensing authority. 


During her accomplished career, Melanie also served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable M.O. Sabraw, California Court of Appeal, and as a law clerk to the United States Attorney at the United States Department of Justice.


Philosophy and Background

Melanie’s golden rule when it comes to law — and life — is to live and let live. Not surprising to her colleagues as well as past and current clients, Melanie’s approach to family law focuses on creating and maintaining civility for all and the vigorous pursuit of mediation whenever possible. An effective communicator and mentor who is committed to providing polished legal research and writing, she also enjoys teaching and coaching others, including Rule 9 interns.


Melanie holds her B.S. from Vanderbilt University, J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, and Certificate in Guardianship from the University of Washington. 


Role in the Seattle Community

An animal lover, four-time collie owner/trainer, and animal activist, Melanie goes for long walks with her collie boy, Camelot, in her free time. She is also an amateur flautist and singer.


A lifelong learner, Melanie is a domestic and world history buff who loves the exchange of information. As a part of her love of knowledge and desire to support others, she has been a grade school tutor and has given back to the legal community as a pro bono attorney.


Industry Accolades & Awards


  • 2015 and 2016 – voted “Ten Best” in Washington by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys
  • Moot Court Judge and Mentor – University of Washington and University of San Francisco Schools of Law

Bar Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Washington
  • United States District Court, Western District of Washington
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Washington
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit



Professional Associations


  • King County Bar Association
  • Pierce County Bar Association
  • Snohomish County Bar Association

Reported Decisions


  • Co-Counsel for the Appellant – In Re: Infant Child J., 994 P.2d279 (2000)
  • Criminal Law Journal (vol 10, no.3) – “United States v. Leon: A Decisions at Odds with the Fourth Amendment Exclusionary Rule.”



  • The Undergraduate Review, Vanderbilt University – “Albert Camus’ Caligula and Les Justes (The Just Assasins): Reflections on the Genesis of Revolt.”

Contact Us


We would be happy to set up an initial consultation. Thank you for taking the time to read through our site; we look forward to supporting you.


Please do not include any confidential information in your communications until we verify that our office can represent you and confirm our engagement with you in writing. Prior to that, Elise Buie Family Law, including but not limited to any of its agents and representatives, does not legally represent you. Therefore, we have no duty of confidentiality to you, and there exists no attorney-client privilege between us.

  • Elise Buie Family Law Group PLLC
    720 3rd Avenue, #2015
    Seattle, WA 98104
  • (206) 926-9848
  • Schedule an initial call with our team