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Carolyn Annette Elsey

Family Attorney at Tacoma, WA

4.4   35 reviews
  • Licensed for 29 years
    State WA
    Acquired 1994
    Active Lawyer disciplined by state licensing authority in 2002

About Carolyn

Learn Carolyn’s areas of practice.

I am committed to providing quality, cost-effective representation in family law and personal injury matters. Whether you have an amicable case or are facing trial, I am ready to help. I have specific experience dealing with child protective services and the mental health system.

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Carolyn Annette Elsey
917 Pacific Avenue
Suite 413
Tacoma, WA, 98402


4.4 / 5.0
  35 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Paul | February 10, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
SHE is a bulldog in the courtroom if something isn't right she WILL speak up and be there for her clients. Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value
Posted by Wayne | July 16, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Service Manager
She listened, advised and gave great advice. She understands the law and how a court room works. Carolyn is an advocate for the law. She was not intimated from the opposing lawyer and use the law to protect our rights. I would refer her to anyone who needed a lawyer, that is willing to represent them in a professional manner.
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Posted by anonymous | May 22, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Carolyn is a well educated, professional lawyer to help in a time of stress and chaos. Her price is reasonable, compassionate. Carolyn has been a great, understanding lawyer who has been sensible and comforting when I really needed someone. Thank you, for being a voice to the courts and others to speak for me and my family. You made this very stressful situation an easier route of legality. I am very happy to have her support and expertise!
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Posted by Alicia | April 5, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Still working with her
Ms. Elsey is helping me with a very difficult custody and divorce case. She's been able to help me and advise me many times outside of court. She's very knowledgeable and was recommended. She took my case at a very difficult time for me as I became a sudden single mom to 4 boys.
Posted by Jeffery | March 14, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
No one will fight harder for you.
Carolyn Elsey came in and saved my case. I had a previous lawyer that didnt help me out at all and kept dragging me along. I never thought my divorce would be over. My old lawyer wouldnt contact me and wouldnt enter any of my evidence and only seemed to be helping my spouses case. I asked Carolyn to step in and take over my case. she gathered all the evidence and took my case from hopeless to in my favor in a few weeks. She accomplished more in one month than my old lawyer did in one year. And after everything she ended up getting my spouse to settle and made me money in the process. Carolyn Elsey is really a top lawyer and really cared about me and my case.
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Posted by Diana | November 9, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
She knows her stuff
Carolyn took on my case after 2 other attorneys couldn't do their job properly. One tried to screw me because he was scared of opposing counsel and the other one had OUTRAGEOUS fees. He drew the case out for many months longer than it had to be. When Carolyn took over, she looked at my case and was puzzled as to why it wasn't settled yet. When I hired her, she assured me that she could settle my case and she DID. Within a couple of months, cleaning up the other 2 attorney's messes, we finally settled. She's amazing and knows what she is talking about. If there's something not right, she'll tell you it's not and why.
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Posted by Joshua | July 11, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Saved my son and my family
I was going through a terrible divorse my ex was abusing the justice system to cause every problem possible. Though carolyn was able to takle every situation every court hearing methodically and was able to exspose lie after lie. We were able to keep good time lines as well working with the courts to keep my sons mom undercontrol. My ex would constanly violate the parenting plan and speak very horrible of me to him which was starting to cause my son distress. One day my ex took my son and fled the state and was off the grid. Carolyn was there for me she was able to get all the court paperwork taken care of and she made this her priority. She was going above and beyond by speaking with police, prosuccuters and helped find a private investigator. It took 7 months to get my son home and safe some . This angel over came every hurtle with getting a warrent for that crossed the state line which the prossocuter wasnt even trying to get involved by saying this is civil not criminal,and its a parent so its not kidnapping, even though custodial interferance is a felony, but Carolyn was able to force them to uphold the law so that the us marshalls were able to get involved. My son is home happy safe doesnt remeber what happened much and my family remebers the hardest times we have faced and this amazing women who made our family whole. No one could have done what she did. Thank u for everything u have done
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Posted by Tina H. | June 8, 2017
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
A wonderful person and knowledgeable attorney
Carolyn is a very kind and compassionate person. She is not afraid to freely share her vast knowledge of the legal system and it's procedures, and she willingly goes out of her way to help others, both personally and professionally, with no strings attached. If you're looking for a compassionate attorney that will aggressively fight for you, this woman is the one for you!!
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Posted by Gloria | May 2, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Case Closure
Carolyn stepped into a trail situation and did a great job dealing with a unhealthy set of circumstances. She was professional at all times.
Posted by anonymous | December 10, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Confident and Level Headed
Carolyn supported me and my family during a stressful, frightening time involving a domestic violence restraining order. She weeded through the smoke screens whilst remaining focused on me and my children's safety and welfare. She is honest and takes her job seriously.
Posted by anonymous | March 30, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Very kind and helpful
I recently consulted with Carolyn about a family law matter and she was very helpful. She was knowledgeable, kind and personable. I feel very confident going forward with my case now that I have accurate information. If I needed a lawyer at this time, I would love to hire her.
Posted by Jennifer | March 3, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very thankful for an amazing attorney that helped our daughter and our family! She is very honest and committed. Jennifer R.
If you want an attorney that will work hard for you and is very commited, then Carolyn is the one to work with. She was amazing. We had a very difficult custody case because of my ex, but Carolyn never wavered. Our daughter is 23 and going to college now to become an RN, and we couldn't be more proud of her. I believe that it was around 1995 that we started working with Carolyn for a custody dispute. She kept in touch with us and when we had went into the court room, she had fought for what was best for our daughter. Carolyn has passion about her job and helping others and I can say that I truly appreciate everything that she did for our family. Thank you so much Carolynn!!!! - Jennifer R.
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Posted by Sally | May 12, 2015
Third party custody
We hired Carolyn in August 2014 to help us obtain 3rd party custody of our Grandson. She was super great, very informative and was readily available during the process . If we had to do this over again we would hire Carolyn to be our attorney. Final court was today and we got what we set out to achieve. Custody of our Grandson. We owe it all the Carolyn Elsey.
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Posted by jean | August 15, 2014
lawyer that cares
I hired Carolyn to gain custody of my grand daughters. She immediately went to work for me and made it happen. She has recently began to help me with related issues.
Posted by Kristi | February 16, 2014
Carolyn Fights for YOU!
I initially worked with Carolyn Elsey when I was a Designated Mental Health Professional for Pierce County (2005-2009). Despite our being on "opposite sides," I have always had a lot of respect for her ability to fight for her clients. She asked appropriate questions of her witnesses (myself included), and she made sure every proverbial stone was upturned! Since leaving that position with the County, I have referred several people to her, and I have only gotten positive responses from them! Carolyn Elsey is a fighter, and I would hire her in a heartbeat should the occasion arise!
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Posted by Stephanie | July 1, 2013
Carolyn, My Hero!
Carolyn took over a big case load from someone who left the firm that she joined. She helped get a very small and bothersome case resolved. She was amazing and kept me informed the whole way. When I was concerned and emailed or called, she always got back to me immediately.
Posted by Kari | February 8, 2013
Carolyn was my sons lawyer in a family law matter. We could not have asked for a better Attorney, she always kept us informed & answered our calls in a timely manner. The matter was handled very fairly for all involved. We were very happy with the way everything was handled by Carolyn and the court. We would recomend her to anyone & have over the last 6 years.
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Posted by Stefanie | October 8, 2012
Could not have asked for a better attorney!!!!
Ms. Elsey represented my husband and me in a family law matter regarding a child. Ms. Elsey went above and beyond while representing us and was able to answer all of our questions, took all of our calls (or returned them promptly) and actually talked to us like we were friends and not just clients. Ms. Elsey's knowledge of the law and how it pertained to our case was on point. We could not have asked for a better lawyer to represent us and will ONLY be using Ms. Elsey in the future when the need arise again! No other lawyer compares and we've had past, unpleasant dealings with a number of them in the greater Tacoma area.
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Posted by D. Fernandez | March 28, 2012
Excellent Attorney
Carolyn was truly a blessing for me. As a servicemember stationed in a different state I had to research lawyers over the internet, which can be extremely difficult and costly. After speaking to a few attorneys I had found on other websites, I was so happy to have found Carolyn. I saw another soldier had written a great review for her and that really caught my attention. I emailed Carolyn and immediately got a response. Her reply was very honest, and she advised me on how she could help me with my case. I appreciated her honesty about a realistic outcome. She gave me her contact information to contact her anytime I needed, which was something I truly appreciated. After one email I knew this was the attorney to go with. I am more than extremely pleased with all her hard work. She gets the job done and will not waste your time. She works directly with you as a client to make sure that you are fully informed and ready for your court hearings. Although, we are not in the same state I never once felt as if my case was not being handled well. She has not let me down and continues to help me as we approach different stages of my case. Carolyn will work hard for you and is truly on your side. As a soldier I recommend Carolyn to any other servicemembers needing help with such sensitive difficult matters. She has worked with many military personal and understands the importance of your military service. If you are looking for a family law attorney in the Pierce County area look no further than Carolyn. Most importantly, Carolyn is not only a great attorney she is truly a honest and genuine person.
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Posted by Jessica | December 12, 2010
Carolyn Elsey
Carolyn is kind and caring and had my and my child's best interest in mind. Her fees are very reasonable. Carolyn came to a fair and reasonable negotiation settlement on my case.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 300-300 per hour
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.5 (Excellent)

Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2002.

Reprimand issued in WA, 2002
updated on 01/28/2010

This means the attorney did something wrong, but the Bar did not suspend the lawyer. Typically in this case the lawyer's poor behavior is exposed to the public in hopes that he or she will not repeat the behavior.

Carolyn's comment: “The event Avvo refers to actually occurred in 1996, not 2002. As a brand-new lawyer, I accidentally misfiled a document and thus gave a court inaccurate information. The person who filed the grievance waited 3 years to do so and the disciplinary process took another 4 years. I believe Avvo's system is misleading as different states' disciplinary systems take differing lengths of time.”

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Law Offices Of Carolyn A. Elsey
  • 2016 - Present
  • Attorney
  • The Kraft Law Group, P.S.
  • 2012 - 2016
  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Carolyn A. Elsey
  • 1994 - 2011


  • Seattle University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1993
  • Western Washington University
  • MA - Masters
  • 1990
  • Montana State University, Bozeman
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1988

Legal Cases

  • Knox vs. DSHS
  • Verdict in Plaintiff's favor


  • Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1994 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Speaking Engagements

  • Family Law Section
  • Dealing with Juvenile and Mental Health Courts
  • 2007
  • Family Law Section
  • Defending Child Support Contempt Actions
  • 2004
  • Bar Convention
  • Child Support Contempt
  • 2004

Attorney endorsements

Received (13)
Given (36)
Endorse Carolyn
Unknown Attorney | Jun 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Dec 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Apr 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have had the pleasure of working with Carolyn as a mediator and also as an attorney opposite me on a case. I am very impressed by Carolyn's work ethic, integrity and her knowledge of complex family law issues. I find her highly qualified as a lawyer."
Family Attorney | Feb 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ms. Elsey's professionalism and sincerity demonstrates what all lawyers should strive for. Her presence makes our State Bar better."
Family Attorney | Feb 17
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I recently worked with Carolyn and was impressed by her knowledge of the law as well as her ability to work out practical matters for her clients."
Family Attorney | Jan 31
Relationship: Co-worker
"I endorse this lawyer because she is a little bulldog. She digs into a case and will fight fight fight for her client."
Family Attorney | Oct 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Carolyn is one of the hardest-working and dedicated lawyers in Pierce County. She also cares a lot about her clients and earns their trust every day."
Family Attorney | Aug 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Carolyn both personally and professionally for many years. She is a zealous advocate for and compassionate with her clients. Carolyn is hardworking and keeps current on the frequent changes in family law."
Family Attorney | Nov 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Over the past 5 years, I have personally known Ms. Elsey to be a professional and ethical advocate for her clients. She is compassionate, fair and balanced. At the same time, she is assertive and a zealous advocate for her client's best interest. I have also observed Ms. Elsey speak at a professional family law seminar. She was extremely knowledgeable about her practice area and the law in general. I would definitely refer clients to her."
Family Attorney | Jun 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work."
Family Attorney | Jun 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work."
Family Attorney | Jun 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have witnessed Ms. Elsey represent clients aggressivly and with exceptional competence. I have sent, and will continue to send, clients her way with confidence."
Family Attorney | Jun 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have observed Carolyn's work in this community for more than ten years, have referred many clients to her office, and have had numerous opportunities to see her contributions to the legal field and to the community. I strongly endorse her, personally and professionally. Attorney Shannon Kraft"
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