The Rhyming of Hope and History in Palestine: Prof John McKay

The Rhyming of Hope and History in Palestine: Prof John McKay

The International Commercial and Economic Law Group at the School of Law is pleased to present Professor John McKay from Seattle University discussing his experiences in Palestine as Chief of Team for rule of projects in the West Bank.

Venue: BM015 (Moot Court Room)
Date: Tuesday March 15th
Time: 4pm
Admission: Free

John McKay joined the faculty of Seattle University School of Law as Visiting Professor of Law in January 2007. He teaches Constitutional Law and National Security Law, as well as courses in ethics and leadership. Prof. McKay writes and speaks nationally and internationally on these and related topics. During 2013 – 2015, Prof. McKay served as Chief of Team for rule of law projects in the West Bank of Palestine for the U.S. State Dept. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. He led a team of approximately 60 Palestinian lawyers, former police officers, technologists and analysts working with West Bank prosecutors, police and courts to enhance public safety, human rights and the rule of law.
President George W. Bush nominated Prof. McKay to serve as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington on September 19, 2001, and the United States Senate confirmed his nomination on October 24, 2001. He began his tenure as United States Attorney on October 30, 2001, and resigned along with eight other U.S. Attorneys in January 2007.

Prof. McKay attended the University of Washington, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1978. After working as an aide to Congressman Joel Pritchard (R-WA) in 1978-79, Prof. McKay earned his law degree at Creighton University in 1982. He was admitted to the Washington State Bar and joined the Seattle law firm of Lane Powell, eventually becoming a litigation partner. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. From 1989 to 1990 President George H.W. Bush appointed him as a White House Fellow, where he worked as a Special Assistant to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prof. McKay then returned to Seattle and joined the law firm of Cairncross & Hempelmann, later becoming a managing partner. Between 1997 and 2001, Prof. McKay served as the President of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C. Congress established the LSC in 1974 as a private, non-profit corporation to ensure equal access to justice under the law for all low-income Americans. Prof. McKay's tenure was characterized by a bipartisan approach to working with Congress, driven by a deeply held commitment to the principle of equal justice for all.

During his legal and academic career, Prof. McKay has taken on leadership responsibilities within the legal profession. He has been a member of both the ABA Board of Governors and House of Delegates, and served on the Washington State Bar Association's task forces on Opportunities for Minorities in the Legal Profession and on Governance and as a Trustee of the King County Bar Association. From 1988 to 1989, he was President of the Washington State Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division. From 1995 to 1997, Prof. McKay served as the first Chairman of the Washington State Equal Justice Coalition.In 1995, the Washington State Bar Association named him Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year; in 2001 he received the Association's Award of Merit, its highest honor, and following his dismissal as U.S. Attorney, the Courageous Award in 2007. In February 2008, John McKay, along with his brother Mike, was awarded the prestigious Charles A. Goldmark Award for Distinguished Service for his contributions to equal access to justice for all by the Legal Foundation of Washington. In 2012, he received the Judge Learned Hand Award from the American Jewish Committee in recognition of his pursuit of justice and equality under the law.

ICEL Director: Raymond J Friel, School of Law, University of Limerick
Email:; ICEL