Mary Katherine Plas is a 2001 graduate of The University of Toledo, College of Law. She has a Bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and German from Valparaiso University where she also studied Music and performed extensively as a vocalist. Having earned a post-baccalaureate certificate in Paralegal Studies in 1995, she worked full time as a Certified Paralegal while putting herself through law school at night.

Mary Katherine brings a unique perspective to both the emotional and legal aspects of adoption and parenting; having been an adopted child and now as an adoptive parent herself. As a former teacher and later an advocate for people with special needs (both kids and adults), she understands and values the dynamics of many different kinds of families.

As a mediator, Mary Katherine is experienced in working with people of diverse communities, cultures and backgrounds, and realizes that there is no such thing as “one size fits all” approach to parenting, financial planning law or family issues. Making her home in Olympia since 2006, Mary Katherine has fallen in love with Washington State. Her interests include music, hiking, classic literature, and environmental advocacy.


 

Rachel da Silva received her JD from the University of Washington School of Law in 2001 and then worked for ten years in legal services and community organizing. She received her mediation training from the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County and continues to serve as a volunteer mediator and conciliator for the DRC. Rachel believes that teaching and practicing mediation skills builds more peaceful communities and happier, more successful children and adults.

Prior to beginning her law career, Rachel founded and managed several small businesses in the fields of printing, publishing and women’s outdoor adventure travel. Rachel co-founded the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Legal Issues (SOGILI) section of the Washington State Bar Association in 2005 and currently serves as Treasurer on the section’s Executive Committee. She also serves on the Boards of Olympia Community School and CIELO in Olympia, and volunteers for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

Rachel grew up in New York City but has lived in the Pacific Northwest for most of her life. She lives with her partner and family in Olympia. She enjoys backpacking, baking, biking and actively supporting her children’s schools.
  

 
 
 

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