👋 Hi, I'm Joel

Thanks for visiting. This is my personal website. I hit eject on most social media and built this little home base on the open web instead. So far, so good.

I'm a software engineer/lawyer in Bellingham, Washington, where I live with my partner and our two rescue dogs.

Recently, I've been focusing my efforts on helping people work more internationally. I've been especially interested in work visa laws, cultural exchange programs, and technology-empowered community building. I'm also a big open source software fan.

I currently work on the technology team at Legalpad.io. Aside from that, I handle a small number of legal matters and social/political causes at https://worklaw.io/joel. I am also constantly hacking on a personal project called CreativeVisas.com (free collection of primary source research materials for O, P, and Q classification US work visas).

15-Second Bio

  • Joel (he/him)
  • 39 years old
  • Born in Southern California, grew up in Wisconsin
  • BA Poli Sci, UW-Milwaukee, 2004 / JD, California Western School of Law, 2008
  • Taught myself to code in college but never did it professionally
  • Practiced employee rights law for 13 years in Portland, Oregon
  • Continued self-teaching code from 2016-present on nights and weekends (projects, freelance)
  • Now doing tech-forward, positive sum projects



  • Different perspectives
  • Nonliner thinking
  • Music, writing, visual art
  • Gardening, hiking, cycling


  • Documentation, standardization, testing, automation
  • Business processes
  • Ruby on Rails, Javascript, HTML/CSS
  • No-code
  • Natural language AI
  • Experience design