Carol Bailey, Seattle Divorce Attorney

“I founded Integrative Family Law to bring together lawyers who want to help families solve problems, not create them.”

Carol Bailey

Founder, Retired

Carol Bailey is the founder of Integrative Family Law. She brings more than three decades of experience in divorce and family law practice to the firm. Throughout her career, Carol has enthusiastically represented men and women to help them solve problems in divorce and family law matters. She is well known for her ability to quickly essentialize the most important issues in complex divorce cases, and focus on her clients’ need for privacy, early resolution of their legal issues, and furthering the well-being of her clients and their families.

Carol believes in being a part of the solution for clients and their families rather than compounding existing conflict as often happens through the legal system and attorneys not trained in conflict management. Carol knows both from personal and years of professional experience that increased conflict can cause irreparable psychological damage to clients, not to mention unnecessarily increasing legal fees.

Carol has extensive experience in conflict resolution, mediation, and collaborative law. She frequently mediates with couples without their attorneys present, which can result in quicker, less contentious settlements.

In addition to running Integrative Family Law, Carol has used the curriculum she wrote to train future attorneys in essential communication and conflict management skills at Seattle University School of Law.  She has served on the Women’s Leadership Board at The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Plymouth Housing Group’s Board of Directors in Seattle.

Carol is married to Seattle surgeon Steve Medwell. They have four children in a blended family. When she’s not handling divorce cases, writing or teaching, you can find her traveling the world, or in her kitchen enjoying life with family and friends.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Washington State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Bailey served on the Women’s Leadership Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and is serving an eight year term on the Board of Trustees of the Plymouth Housing Group.


  • University of Texas at Austin, BA with honors, Art History
  • University of Texas at Austin, BA with honors, Art History
  • Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Juris DoctorateCarol undertook a massive multi-disciplinary educational effort to understand and learn conflict resolution skills. This process included studying at Harvard University with Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen, authors of the book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most; reading and studying more than 30 books on conflict management, and taking mediation and negotiation trainings.

To augment her studies, Carol embarked on an independent inquiry into the philosophical, legal, and practical effects of human conflict and human communication to learn skills that could help make divorces easier for children and families.

Prior Experience

Early in her career, Carol clerked for a federal district court judge in Houston for two years and then practiced commercial litigation before moving to Seattle in 1991.

  • KL Gates, Divorce and Family Law Attorney, 1992-2000 – Representing clients with complex estates and child custody issues
  • Private Practice, Family Law, 1996 – Serving as a Guardian ad Litem in complex divorce and family law cases.
  • Founder of Carol Bailey & Associates, PLLC in 2006 which became a partnership in 2013 and renamed Integrative Family Law, PLLC


Carol writes frequently for various legal  publications on the topic of Civility and has been recognized in the media for her holistic approach to divorce and family law. For a complete list of Carol’s published work and media appearances, visit our In the News page and our Blog.

Click here to see Carol’s most recent project:

Carol also wrote the chapter on Civility in the Washington State Bar Association Family Law Deskbook