Greg McLawsen is the principal attorney of Puget Sound Legal where he represents families in the U.S. immigration system. Greg’s goal is to use technology and innovation to deliver excellent legal services efficiently and affordably. Greg is active in the leadership of the American Immigration Bar Association and Solo and Small Practice Section of the Washington State Bar Association. He routinely publishes and presents on subjects relating to immigration law, legal ethics and law practice management.

Greg entered law school planning to pursue a career in public interest law at non-profit organizations. He attended the University of Nebraska School of Law, where received a year of immigration law training as a student attorney at the school’s Immigration Clinic. During law school Greg worked as a law clerk at a non-profit firm representing low-income families in class action lawsuits. After graduating Greg worked as a research editor for Immigration Law and Procedure, the country’s leading immigration law treatise. Greg then served two years as judicial law clerk in Washington State Superior Court for Kitsap County, where he worked as an attorney assistant to four judges.

For Greg’s complete professional profile please visit his LinkedIn page. A list of prior
speaking engagements can be found here. Selected publications are available on the Social Science Research Network.

Bar Admission

  • Washington State
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Western District of Washington, U.S. District Court
  • Executive Office of Immigration Review (immigration court)


  • University of Nebraska, School of Law, J.D. with distinction (top 10%)
  • University of Washington, B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy


  • Annual Pro Bono Award, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Washington Chapter
  • Certificate of Appreciation , American Immigration Lawyers Association – Washington Chapter (for development of Chapter mentorship program
  • Order of the Coif, National Order of the Coif (for academic achievement during law school)
  • Pat Giels Memorial Award, University of Nebraska School of Law Immigration Clinic (for excellent representation of immigration clients as student attorney)
  • Excellence for the Future Awards, CALI (for top grade in Criminal Law, Mental Health Law, American Legal History, & Int’l Human Rights Seminar)

Examples of Service

  • Chair Elect, Washington State Bar Association Solo and Small Practice Section.
  • Treasurer, Washington State Bar Association
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association – Future of the Legal Profession Task Force
  • Secretary, Nebraska Zen Center
  • President, Equal Justice Society
  • Cofounder/Vice president, Allies and Advocates for Gay Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Equality


Greg is a Washington State native, born in Bellevue. During college he worked as a busboy, waiter, valet, dish-washer and chauffeur. After graduating he took time to travel throughout Southeast Asia and India, then later in Central America. Greg’s travels England (x3), Italy (x3), Germany, Turkey, China, India (x3), Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand (x4), Burma/Myanmar, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Trinidad & Tabago, Cayman Islands, and technically to Mexico. His experiences meeting people from all over the world led him to his career in immigration law, where he gets to work daily with clients from around the globe. Greg lives in Tacoma, Washington with is wife, Jules, their cat, Mische and two chickens (Momo and Robert Poulet). When he gets the chance Greg loves spending time in the mountains – in fact, the law firm closes periodically for Mountain Wednesday.

What has Greg been up to?

Nine Mistaken Beliefs about Immigrants and the Law

The following article was published in this month’s edition of the King County Bar Association’s Bar Bulletin, co-authored with attorney Gustavo Cueva.    Immigration law is often viewed as a niche practice area. Perhaps for this reason there are many common misperceptions about immigration law and immigrants in the bar at large. Here are a…

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Inside SeaTac airport; behinds the scene Customs and Border Protection

I was lucky to join a behind-the-scene’s tour of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operation at SeaTac International Airport. (The tour was organized for local members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association). We spent about two hours going through the airport with senior supervisors from the port. Here are a few take-away points I thought might…

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Greg receives public service award

Attorney Greg McLawsen has received the Washington State Bar Association young lawyer Public Service Incentive Award in recognition on his volunteer work. Greg volunteers as the supervising attorney for the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center and won a victory for a military family in 2013 who he represented free of charge.

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