Elise Buie


Elise Buie (aka Buie-Russell)

Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans forcing the evacuation of my family. Initially we moved to rural Georgia, then to Minnesota and finally to the Pacific Northwest.  After undergoing my own divorce and multiple relocations due to Hurricane Katrina, I truly understood what it meant to put the “best interest of the kids” ahead of my own, I decided to focus my practice on family law and serving as a Guardian ad Litem advocating for children's best interest in high-conflict divorce and dependency matters.

I pride myself on my ability to work through huge problems and major life transitions.  If Hurricane Katrina did not stop me but instead propelled me to my passion - families - then no problem is too big and no transition too messy.   I know what it's like to be a "stay at home" mom thrust back into work in order to survive. I know what it takes to juggle a demanding career and a large family.

I strive to preserve civility and respect during the divorce process. I educate my clients on the impact of conflict on children so they can make the best decisions for the future health of their family.  I work closely with my clients to ensure they understand their options and rights so that they can make informed decisions about their future. I bring a breadth of experience with high-conflict families to every family law case I handle.  My goal is to serve each client on an individual basis. I strive to find real-life workable solutions for the families I serve, realizing that a marriage might be over but a family still stands.

My practice involves all aspects of family law: preparation of postnuptial and separation agreements, parenting plans, child support, simple and complex financial cases, relocation, and blended families. I am collaboratively trained and have had 40 hours of mediation training.  I have a deep understanding of complex parenting issues which clients may face when divorcing. I bring the attention to detail and experience required to capably handle complex financial cases.

Families run full speed 24/7. Our team at Elise Buie Family Law Group does too.  We are available to you when you need us.  Family law feels like an emergency room at times; people popping in with unforeseen problems at all hours of the day, night and on weekends.  You can always reach me- I give my cell number to my clients.  Oftentimes when a client calls at the beginning of what seems like a crisis, we can divert the storm with a little creative problem-solving and education.  Having an emotionally available attorney who understands your rights and will frankly explain your responsibilities is an essential resource during your divorce.

I am an active member of the Washington Bar, a voluntarily inactive member of both the Minnesota Bar and the Louisiana Bar, and the US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. I am a member of the King County Bar Association (Family Law Section, Collaborative Law Section), the Snohomish County Bar Association, the Washington State Bar Association, (Family Law Section, CLE Committee), the Washington Women Lawyers, the National Association of Women Lawyers, the AFCC (Incoming President 2019 Washington Chapter) and the American Bar Association (Family Law Section and GP Solo Division, Family Law Committee, Juvenile Law Committee, Commission on Women in the Profession). I provide my time and services through the Moderate Means program of the Washington State Bar Association. I completed the ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute sponsored by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in Boulder, Colorado. While practicing in Minnesota I was Treasurer of the Children and the Law Committee of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

More official stats:  I received my Juris Doctorate from Loyola School of Law in 1994.  While in law school, I served on the Loyola Law Review and the National Moot Court Team earning the Top Orator Award.  I also served as an appellate law clerk to Judge Ward at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. I began my legal career as a Federal Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. of the Eastern District of Louisiana (we lovingly refer to him as Lt. Dan of Forest Gump - that's a funny hurricane story). I then went on to join a litigation practice at Blue Williams in New Orleans.  I "retired" from the law for several years while I raised (and home-schooled) four young children.

In my other guise as Wife and CEO of all things kid-related, I love "chillin" with my amazing husband, Doug Russell, and our large blended-brood of six (just imagine the modern day Brady Bunch on the set of Animal House with the pets from Homeward Bound making a Griswold vacation movie) and five large-personalitied pets (RIP Chubby and Lila).  We enjoy boating, traveling, dining at great local restaurants, Lakeside, Roosevelt, Salisbury and now Lake Forest football games, Seahawk football games and lacrosse games.

Go Lions, Riders, Knights, Forresters, Hawks, Dawgs, Saints, and Tigers!!!

A closet tailgater at heart with a taste for anything New Orleans, I can eat my own weight in crawfish (or beignets) and we have gone nowhere near finding the bottom of my energy reserves, hence the many 4:00 a.m. emails…

Contact me at [email protected]

Published work:

Co-Parenting and Divorce Post-Covid19 Will Never Look the Same: Avoid the Courts, Resolve the Thorniest Issues by Elise Buie (2020)

Family-Centered Parenting Plan: Keeping Kids Central, Not Caught in the Middle co-authored with Karen Bonnell published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

The Perfect Storm: Homemaking and Hurricane Katrina published in the Family Law Forum, Minnesota Bar Association

So You Want to Pack up the Kid and Go:  A Guide to Post-Divorce Relocation recently published in the GP Solo, Family Law, American Bar Association 

A Family Lawyer's Story published in the GP Solo, American Bar Associaion, Vol. 35, No. 2

Practicing Family Law with Civility; Education is a Key Component of Civility, published in GP Solo e-Report, American Bar Association Vol. 7, No. 9

Speaking Engagements:

IACP - Collaborative Creativity - When the Family Meets the Law - Team Approach to Family-Centered Parenting Plans - October 2018 - Karen Bonnell and Elise Buie

AFCC - 13th Annual Symposium on Child Custody - Guidelines and Standards and Rules, Oh My - Restructuring Families Without War - A Radical Approach to Parenting Plans - November 2018 - Karen Bonnell and Elise Buie

Recent Blog Posts


  • Anonymous Recommends Elise Buie

    Superb, smart, highly knowledgeable, communicative and has a heart for her client I absolutely admire her. She was very kind, thorough and understanding of the situation. She is very patient with you in any given situation. If you are looking for someone who is looking for your best interest ,...
  • One satisfied Client

    Hello Elise, I hope this finds you doing well. I think of you on a fairly regular basis hoping your family is doing great and thinking about how you helped us. Always thinking about reaching out and giving you updates... Suddenly it's been 2 years or more! What you were willing and able t...
  • Satisfied past client

    Thank you for being so thorough and looking at this with an open mind. Your diligence and bravery made this possible. My family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts. The kids still keep trying to call you when they see any inequities. You clearly touched their hearts. Warmest re...

Areas We Serve

At Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC, we represent clients from Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, and the surrounding region, including all of King County and the cities of Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Federal Way, Shoreline, Des Moines, Bainbridge Island, Vashon, Auburn, Renton and Puyallup. We love working with clients from Seattle's unique, eclectic neighborhoods: West Seattle, Fremont, Ballard, Madrona, Queen Anne, Greenwood, Ravenna, Maple Leaf, Wedgewood, View Ridge, Laurelhurst, Windermere, Madison Park, Magnolia, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, Broadmoor, Phinney Ridge, Crown Hill, Yarrow Point and Mercer Island.

Contact Us

Call us at (206) 926-9848

We'll be happy to set up an initial consult. Thank you for looking around our site. We look forward to serving you.

We welcome your email, but please understand that if you are not already a client of Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC, we cannot represent you until we confirm that representing you would not create a conflict of interest. Please do not include any confidential information until we verify that our office is in a position to represent you and our engagement is confirmed in writing. Prior to that time, there is no legal representation and thus no attorney-client confidentiality.

Thank you.

Elise Buie Family Law Group


Elise Buie Family Law Group PLLC
1001 Fourth Avenue, 44th Floor   Seattle, WA 98154