John McKay

Professor from Practice and Externship Associate Director

Professor McKay will be on leave from June 2013 to December 2014.


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

Prof. 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, Prof. McKay has served as President of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C. and as litigation and managing partner of Seattle law firms before his appointment as United States Attorney.

Prof. McKay attended the University of Washington, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1978. After working as an aide to Congressman Joel Pritchard (R-WA) in 1978 -79, he earned his law degree at Creighton University.

During his legal career, Prof. McKay has been a member of both the ABA Board of Governors and House of Delegates, and has served on the Washington State Bar Association's task forces on Opportunities for Minorities in the Legal Profession and on Governance, and as a member of the King County Bar Assoc. Board of Trustees. In 1995, the Washington State Bar Association named Prof. McKay Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year; in 2001 he received the Association's Award of Merit, its highest honor, and following his dismissal as U.S. Attorney, the Courageous Award in 2007. In February, 2008, Prof. 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.


Seattle University School of Law
Location: SLLH-410
Phone: (206) 398-4051


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


  • National Security Law and Constitutional Law of Terrorism