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About me

I grew up on Vashon Island, just southwest of Seattle in Puget Sound where much of my family still resides. After attending Pepperdine University and NYU, I graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia with a Bachelor of Arts, emphasis in media & writing.


I graduated cum laude from Seattle University School of Law, where I served as president pro tem and a member of the board of directors of Outlaws, chaired the graduation steering committee, and worked in the Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic in estate planning and civil litigation. Having a special passion for professional ethics, I also served on the Academic Conduct Board during my entire time at law school.


Professionally, I enjoy working with individuals, families & small businesses as a trusted advisor. Estate and business succession planning is key to the long-term health of any family or family business, and Spectra Law PS prides itself on providing excellent service in these areas. Additionally, we are here to go to bat for our clients when they need it most: whether they are on the plaintiff's or defendant's end of a lawsuit.


Always concerned with the health of the legal profession, I have been involved in state and local bar activities that encourage ethical and professional practice of the law, including serving on bar committees, presenting in continuing legal education programs, and mentoring law students and new attorneys.


In my spare time I love to travel, camp & backpack, and whenever I can, I spend my weekends exploring the backcountry of Washington.


Contact info

Spectra Law PS

1700 Seventh Avenue
Suite 2100
Seattle, WA, 98101

Practice areas


  1. Estate Planning: 40%
  2. Business: 25%
  3. Probate: 15%
  4. Real Estate: 10%
  5. Other: 10%
  6. More 



Hourly ($325/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Free consultation (15 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

17 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Rachel R. Bender

    I endorse this lawyer.


    Rachel Bender Estate planning Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Michael De Maar JR

    I endorse this lawyer. James is an excellent attorney who is very knowledgeable about his areas of the law. He is compassionate and very communicative with his clients.


    Michael De Maar Divorce and separation Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Pro Bono Publico Service CommendationWashington State Bar Association2014
Nomination - Faculty Graduation SpeakerSeattle University School of Law2013
Pro Bono Publico Service CommendationWashington State Bar Association2013
Pro Bono Publico Service CommendationWashington State Bar Association2012
Pro Bono Publico Service CommendationWashington State Bar Association2011
Pro Bono Publico Service CommendationWashington State Bar Association2010
Pro Bono Publico Service CommendationWashington State Bar Association2009
Pro Bono Publico Service CommendationWashington State Bar Association2008
Nominee - 2006 New Business of the YearGreater Seattle Business Association2007
Graduation with Honors - cum laudeSeattle University School of Law2005
Dean's ListSeattle University School of Law2003
CALI Award for Excellence in Legal WritingSeattle University School of Law2003
Seattle University School of Law Presidential ScholarSeattle University School of Law2001
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Adjunct ProfessorEdmonds Community College2016 - Present
PrincipalSpectra Law PS2012 - Present
Adjunct ProfessorSeattle University School Of Law2012 - Present
PrincipalThe Spencer Law Group PS2010 - 2012
Managing PartnerSpencer Anderson & Buhr, PLLC2005 - 2010
Rule 9 Litigation Legal InternRonald Peterson Law Clinic2004 - 2005
Trusts & Estates Legal InternRonald Peterson Law Clinic2004 - 2004
Property Law Teaching AssistantSeattle University School of Law2003 - 2005
Assistant Director of AdmissionsBastyr University1999 - 2004
Director of Community College RelationsThe Evergreen State College1997 - 1999
Director of Volunteer ServicesPierce County AIDS Foundation1996 - 1997
Association namePosition nameDuration
Washington Future Business Leaders of AmericaBoard of Directors2015 - Present
Three Dollar Bill CinemaBoard of Directors2013 - Present
United States District Court for the Western District of WashingtonMember2009 - Present
Greater Seattle Business AssociationMember2006 - Present
Washington State Bar AssociationMember2005 - Present
WSBA Solo and Small Practice SectionMember2005 - Present
WSBA Real Property, Probate and Trust SectionMember2005 - Present
QLaw FoundationGrant Committee Chair2010 - 2010
Washington State Bar Association, Professionalism CommitteeMember2009 - 2010
QLaw FoundationEducation Committee Member2009 - 2010
QLaw FoundationFalltacular Committee Chair2009 - 2009
QLaw FoundationBoard of Directors2009 - 2011
Leadership TomorrowTeam Coach2008 - 2009
City Year of Seattle/King CountyMentor2008 - 2010
The Municipal League of King CountyMember2008 - 2009
King County Bar Association, Real Property, Probate and Trust SectionMember2007 - 2008
Leadership TomorrowGraduate2007 - 2008
King County Bar AssociationMember2005 - 2008
American Bar AssociationMember2005 - 2008
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
In Re Estate of John DoeAdministration of Intestate Estate
In Re Estate of Jane RoeAdminisration of an intestate estate.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Legal VoiceBasic Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples2011
UnpublishedThe Survey on Legal Pedagogy and Sexual Minority Law Students2005
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Seattle University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2005
Evergreen State CollegeN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1995
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Just Enough to Be Dangerous: Bridging the Gaps between Trust & Estate Clients, Practitioners, and PracticeThe Dialog Gap: Helping Clients Understand the Creative Process that is Estate Planning2016
Personal Estate Planning for the 99%Estate Planning for Blended Families2015
Advanced Guardianship Issues: New Paradigms for Your Guardianship PracticeCommunity Property Considerations in Guardianship2015
Admission to Practice Rule 8(g) Training ProgramLegal Considerations for Gay and Lesbian Servicemembers2014
Admission to Practice Rule 8(g) Training ProgramLegal Considerations for Gay and Lesbian Servicemembers2013
Admission to Practice Rule 8(g) Training ProgramWashington State Domestic Partnership Law and Other Legal Considerations for Gay & Lesbian Servicemembers2012
GLBT Law from A to Z: Issue Spotting for Pro Se Legal Clinic ClientsThe Ethics of the Half-Hour Consultation: A Discussion of the Rules of Professional Conduct in the Context of Community Legal Clinics2010
BECU Trust Company SeminarEstate Planning for Domestic Partners2010
The Past, Present & Future of Domestic Partnerships in WashingtonEstate Planning, Probate & Tax Implications of Domestic Partnerships2009
National LGBT Bar Association Career Fair & ConferenceStarting Your Own (LGBT) Law Firm2009
Gay City University'Til Death Do Us Part - Washington's Domestic Partnership Registry2008
By InvitationWashington's Enhanced Domestic Partnership Registry2008
CAMP 2007Estate Planning Basics for Same-Sex Couples2007
CAMP 2007Are You DPed Yet? - Washington's Domestic Partnership Registry and What it Means for You2007