Lisa Brodoff

Lisa Brodoff

Professor Emerita

 Sullivan Hall 430


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  • Estate and Disability Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Public Benefits Law
  • Administrative Law


  • B.A., University of Vermont, 1977
  • J.D., Hofstra University School of Law, 1980; Law Review note and comment editor
  • Admitted to practice in Washington State: U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


Professor Brodoff joined Seattle University School of Law in 1998 after a career as legislative staff counsel to the Washington Senate, Elder and Disability Law attorney at Puget Sound Legal Assistance Foundation, the Chief Review Judge in the Office of Appeals for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services, and Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Washington State Office of Administrative Hearings. At SU, she teaches the Administrative Law Clinic and the Estate and Disability Planning Clinic courses and has developed and taught the Elder Law course. As clinic director from 2010 to the present, Professor Brodoff oversees all aspects of clinical legal education and functioning of the clinic law office and Externship Program. She works closely with the Legal Writing Program, Academic Resources Center, Law Librarians, and Access to Justice Institute to integrate law student learning across the curriculum and to teach transferable skills and doctrine from the 1L year through graduation and into the practice of law. Her creative and effective teaching has been recognized nationally by the Society of American Law Teachers’ Great Teacher Award 2019, a prestigious award honoring teaching excellence that promotes progressive values, diversity, justice, and broad access to legal education.

Professor Brodoff has engaged in scholarly work, impact litigation, and policy advocacy while teaching at Seattle University. Her areas of expertise are in the rights of sexual minorities, people with disabilities, the elderly, and people securing access to public benefits; and in clinical law teaching theory. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and continuing legal education programs on topics including the right to counsel in civil matters, end-of-life and disability planning, and the administrative hearing process. Professor Brodoff was instrumental in the passage of legislation in Washington State creating the Mental Health Advance Directive, a planning document for people with mental illness. Washington's statute is now considered model legislation for states seeking to expand the rights and planning options for people with mental illness. She also created a new and innovative planning document for people with Alzheimer's Disease and other types of dementia - the Alzheimer's/Dementia Mental Health Advance Directive. This planning tool is now used nationally by people with dementia and their families who want to plan for critical decisions to be made during the long course of their lives.

In addition to her scholarship, speaking, and impact work, Professor Brodoff has served on a number of committees and boards including chairing the AALS 2019 Clinical Law Section Annual Conference, serving on the Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking Committee for DSHS, the Office of Administrative Hearings Suitable Representation Advisory Committee, the Dementia Action Coalition, and the WSBA Elder Law Section Board. She is also a musician who performs who composes, plays bass, and sings with two bands. She brings the skills she has learned from music into her classroom teaching to build a safe and creative environment to explore learning advocacy skills and values.



  • Cracking Student Silos: Linking Legal Writing And Clinical Learning Through Transference; Forthcoming in the Clinical Law Review, April 2019 (with Prof. Mary Bowman).
  • Increased Risks of Needing Long-Term Care Among Older Adults Living With Same-Sex Partners, (with Bridget Hiedemann), American Journal of Public Health. Published online ahead of print June 13, 2013: e1–e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301393
  • Planning for Alzheimer's Disease with Mental Health Advance Directives, 17 Elder L. Journal 240 (2010).
  • Lifting Burdens: Proof, Social Justice, and Public Assistances Administrative Hearings, 32 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 131 (2008).
  • The ADA: One Avenue to Appointed Counsel Before a Full Civil Gideon, 2 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 609 (2004) (with Susan McClellan and Elizabeth Anderson).
  • We Have a Dream: Integrating Skills Courses and Public Interest Work in the First Year of Law School (and Beyond), 17 Chapman Law Rev. 89 (2013) (with Sara Rankin and Mary Nicol Bowman).
  • The New 1L: First-Year Lawyering with Clients, Carolina Academic Press 2015 ; co-author of Chapter 2 (with Sara Rankin and Eduardo R.C. Capulong) and Chapter 3 (with Mary Bowman, Sara Rankin, and Nantiya Ruan).
  • Introduction: Civil Legal Representation, 9 Seattle J. for Soc. Just. 1 (2011).
  • Can the Professor Come Out and Play? Scholarship, Teaching, and Theories of Play, Journal of Legal Education Vol. 5804 (2009) (with Bryan Adamson, Marilyn Berger, Anne Enquist, Paula Lustbader, and John B. Mitchell).
  • Implementing Psychiatric Advance Directives: Provider Issues and Answers, 30 J. Behav. Health Servs. and Res. 253 (2003) (with Debra Srebnik).