Michele Wasson

Michele Wasson

Of Counsel




Services & Industries


J.D., Lewis & Clark Law School 2006
B.A., Philosophy, University of California, Berkeley, 1999

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar
Washington State Bar Association

Michele is an attorney in Tonkon Torp’s Nonprofit Organizations Practice Group. She concentrates her practice on providing legal counsel to and advocacy for nonprofit organizations, including trade associations, social clubs, professional groups, advocacy groups, public charities, private foundations, and other nonprofit entities. She has extensive experience with many of the major legal issues affecting nonprofit organizations, including tax-exemption, fundraising and cause marketing, commercial joint ventures, governance, lobbying and political activity, unrelated business income tax, and the private foundation excise taxes. Clients rely on her for compliance guidance and strategic planning. She is forward looking and helps clients take proactive steps toward achieving their missions.

Michele also works with high net wealth clients to provide wealth management and estate planning solutions incorporating family wealth transfers in a manner that promotes tax efficiency, cohesive family relationships, and charitable giving. She is adept with income, gift, and estate taxes and works closely with a family’s trusted advisors to structure plans that benefit future generations and support charitable giving plans. Her clients are family business owners and real estate investors with tax concerns.

Michele joined Tonkon Torp from Riverview Trust Company, where she led the trust officer team, and oversaw all charitable services. She also worked for over a decade as an attorney at Stoel Rives, where, in addition to her estate planning work, she assisted tax-exempt clients in navigating complex laws and regulations in all aspects of governance, compliance, and tax-related matters. Michele has worked with a wide range of public charities, private foundations, and other nonprofits on issues including fundraising, governance, advocacy, scholarships, endowment management, formation, and related matters.

She is the current Board Treasurer for the Estate Planning Counsel of Portland, and is an Adjunct Professor at Lewis & Clark Law School.

Michele’s interests outside of work include spending time with her family, gardening, horses, cooking, running, and yoga.

Community Involvement & Activities

Estate Planning Council of Portland
Board of Directors, Vice Chair

Oregon State Bar, Nonprofit Law Section
Past Chair

Lewis & Clark Law School
Adjunct Professor

Professional Memberships

Estate Planning Council of Portland
Multnomah Bar Association
Oregon Women Lawyers

Tonkon Torp Welcomes Estate Planning Attorney Michele Wasson

Tonkon Torp LLP welcomes attorney Michele Wasson to its Business Department, where she will practice in the Estate Planning & Advocacy and Nonprofit practice groups.

Publications & Presentations

“Oregon Nonprofits: Stages, Cycles, and Changes,” Oregon State Bar, November 2022

“Advanced Estate Planning 2021,” Oregon State Bar, June 2021

“Advanced Advising and Advocacy for Nonprofit Entities,” Oregon State Bar, February 2020

“Nonprofit Formation and Operations: A Primer,” Oregon State Bar, September 2018