John McKay

John McKay

Professor From Practice


  • Constitutional Law
  • National Security Law


  • B.A., University of Washington, 1978
  • J.D., Creighton University, 1982


John McKay joined the faculty of Seattle University School of Law in January, 2007. He teaches Constitutional Law and National Security Law, as well as courses on ethics and leadership.

Professor McKay was the United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington from 2001 until he resigned along with eight other U.S. Attorneys in January, 2007. A former White House Fellow, Professor McKay has served as President of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C. and as litigation and managing partner at Seattle law firms. As Senior Emeritus Pro Bono lawyer with Northwest Justice Project, Prof. McKay partners with the women's shelter in Cathlamet, WA, providing civil legal services for domestic violence victims and low-income residents of southwest Washington.

During 2013-2015, he led the U.S. State Department rule of law project in Ramallah, Palestine where he advised prosecution, police, and security services and provided human rights training.

Professor McKay has been a member of both the ABA Board of Governors and House of Delegates and has served served as the President of the King County Bar Association. A recipient of numerous awards, Professor McKay was named Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year by the Washington State Bar Association, the WSBA; as well as the Award of Merit, its highest honor, and following his dismissal as U.S. Attorney, the Courageous Award. Professor 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.