Shawn Harju is a native of Nantucket Island who has spent more of her life in the Pacific Northwest than anywhere else. Shawn’s favorite part of practicing law is getting to know her clients and their businesses and helping them be proactive and practical in their risk management and problem-solving, a skill that Shawn honed early in her working life.
She began her legal career nearly 30 years ago when she worked in her grandfather’s law office while earning her undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Shawn returned to the west coast and worked as a legal secretary and paralegal while obtaining her law degree from Seattle University School of Law. Shawn then became an associate with a Seattle firm she had worked for during law school, focusing primarily on construction law, contracts and collections and creditors’ rights, and ultimately became a shareholder. While in private practice, Shawn worked with construction and business clients to refine their contracts to appropriately protect their rights, limit or deter litigation, and ensure their ability to collect payment in a cost-effective manner should the need arise. Shawn also assisted clients in the filing and foreclosure of liens.
Shawn’s ability to develop close working relationships with her clients at the law firm led her to a position as General Counsel for a multi-regional specialty industrial painting company with whom she had worked in private practice for a number of years. As General Counsel, Shawn was a member of the company’s executive team, providing her business and legal perspective on issues ranging from overall operations to contract negotiations to employment issues to environmental compliance. She worked closely with employees at all levels of the organization to prepare bids, negotiate master service agreements, purchase orders, vendor agreements, lease agreements, and other miscellaneous contracts, address employment matters, ensure compliance with customer contract requirements and applicable regulations, and collect accounts receivable.
When Shawn is not in the office, she is trying to keep up with her young daughter and her various activities ranging from karate to swimming. Although an island dweller for many years of her life, Shawn has spent the last year learning to swim. She is also quite skilled in self defense tactics. Having spent the first 14 years of her life living and working on a vegetable farm on Nantucket, she (along with her husband) have made a hobby of recreating a miniature farm in their suburban backyard.
“I enjoy educating people on how attorneys can help, rather than hinder, them in the pursuit of their business goals.”