chrisvanvechtenChris Van Vechten moved to Tacoma from Portland in 2004 to attend the University of Puget Sound.  He studied history, volunteered in the community, worked as a legislative staff member for a state representative and later a state senator, and even personally ran for school board before enrolling in Seattle University School of Law.

Prior to launching the Law Office of Chris Van Vechten, Chris worked as a Rule 9 prosecuting attorney with the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office and later with the Lakewood City Attorney’s Office.  In addition, he interned with the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Civil Division and externed with Superior Court Judge James Dixon.  Chris has also volunteered his services on behalf of tenants via the Pierce County Neighborhood Legal Clinic and briefly volunteered with the Northwest Justice Project’s Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation program.

Chris’ most famous case involved him proving that a 15 year-old student at Shelton High School was framed by a classmate for bringing a cocked and loaded handgun to school in a case that was originally prosecuted and reported as a botched school shooting.

Chris lives with his wife, daughter, and two famous cats in Hilltop, Tacoma.  He also occasionally does stand-up comedy at local clubs and bars.


  • Washington State Bar Association (5/14 – Present)
  • Pierce County Bar Association (5/14 – Present)
  • Washington Defender Association (10/14 – Present)
  • Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (7/14 – 9/15)
  • Appointed member of the Tacoma Community Redevelopment Authority (12/13 – 11/14)
  • Volunteer, Tacoma-Pierce County Neighborhood Legal Clinic (9/13-1/14)
  • Volunteer, Northwest Justice Project Housing Foreclosure Mediation Program (9/12-12/12)
  • Member, Parents and Friends of Tacoma Public Schools (2012 – Present)
  • Member, Mayor Strickland’s Education Task Force (appointed 2/11- 3/13)
  • Elected Councilman on Tacoma’s North End Neighborhood Council (elected 11/09 to 7/12)
  • The Honorable Robert J. Bryan American Inn of Court (9/10-12/11)
  • Commissioner on the Pierce County Arts Commission (appointed 4/08 to 6/10)
  • Math Tutor at Peace Community Center (06-07)
  • Fundraiser for the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County (06-08)