An alumna of the University of Washington Immigration Law Clinic, Signe Dortch has dedicated her legal career to defending immigrants and refugees. She worked as a staff attorney at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) from 1999 until 2002, representing immigrant survivors of domestic violence. From 2002 to 2007, she worked as an associate attorney at Gibbs Houston Pauw. There, Dortch represented clients in removal cases before the Immigration Court and in appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She also represented clients in filing affirmative applications with the Department of Homeland Security.
Dortch has presented at many conferences on, among other topics, immigration options for immigrant survivors of domestic violence, asylum law, and relief for long-time lawful permanent residents facing removal from the U.S. In 1998, she was named NWIRP's Student Volunteer of the Year.
In 2004, Dortch, along with other members of the Laura Luis Hernandez defense team, was awarded the Daniel Levy Award by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. In 2005, she was an inaugural inductee into the UW Public Interest Law Association Hall of Fame.
Dortch holds a B.A. from Willamette University and a J.D. from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Washington State Bar, and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.