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Isaac Ruiz

Adjunct Professor


  • B.A., Government and Economics, The University of Texas at Austin, 1996
  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of Notre Dame Law School, 2000  


Isaac is the founder and managing attorney of Ruiz & Smart LLP. His mission as a lawyer is to "fight like hell for justice on behalf of real people, often against large, well-funded, and dogged opponents." He has helped clients recover many millions of dollars while giving thousands of hours back in service to the community.

The son of Mexican immigrants -- a farm laborer and a seamstress -- Isaac also worked in the fields after school and sold watermelons on the side of the road over summer vacations.

The first person in his family to graduate from college: the University of Texas at Austin in 1996, Isaac earned his degree double-majoring in Government and Economics in just two and a half years. He then went on to earn his law degree from Notre Dame Law School in 2000. There, he graded onto the Law Review and graduated magna cum laude. He earned the Dean's Award for Business Associations and won the award for best article. After law school, Isaac served as a law clerk for the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver from 2000 to 2002.

Isaac has been in practice for 22 years, with the firms of Arnold & Porter, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Perkins Coie, and Keller Rohrback, where he rose to the level of Tier 1 partner.

He has worked with the same legal team on his cases with valuable additions along the way since 2008. He is a member of various bar associations, including the Washington State Bar Association and the King County Bar Association.

Isaac has been named to the "Super Lawyers" Washington list by Thomson-Reuters every year since 2015. He has been named to the list of "Top 100" Super Lawyers in Washington from 2020 through 2022.

Isaac has occupied numerous roles in service to the profession and the community including:

  • Commissioner and three-time co-chair of the Seattle Community Police Commission
  • Author and Editor of the IFCA Book, the definitive guide to Washington's Insurance Fair Conduct Act ("IFCA")
  • Editor of the Washington bench-bar guide on LGBTQ issues
  • President and member of the board of Entre Hermanos, which provides health services to members of the Latinx LGTBQ community.
  • President and member of the board of the QLaw Foundation, which provides free legal services to members of the LGBTQ community.
  • Member of the Washington State Association for Justice ("WSAJ") Eagle program for 10 years; Chair of the insurance section of the WSAJ