Resources available for civil legal problems in Washington state

Representing yourself or a family member in a civil court can be an overwhelming challenge. First, you must understand the complexities of your legal issue and any related legalities, such as courtroom procedures and filing documents. The problem is that a lack of knowledge about what’s involved means your civil case could turn into a drastic event, such as losing your home or custody of your children.

Fortunately, the following resources are available to low-income people in Washington state to help get civil cases resolved.

Northwest Justice Project

The Northwest Justice Project offers free legal assistance to low-income people. The organization also provides self-help resources and free legal information as well as attorney advice and assistance. They also offer a Foreclosure Prevention Unit to help people who face home foreclosure. If you live in King County, visit this page to get contact information. Otherwise, if you live outside of King County, visit the CLEAR Hotline website page or call 1-888-201-1014.

Washington Web Lawyer

This online resource provides free legal advice to low-income people with civil legal problems. Volunteer attorneys provide the legal advice to those who post their questions in the website’s forum. Simply register as a new user and answer some questions about yourself, your income and legal issue to see if you qualify for the free help. If so, you’ll set up an account, then post your questions so one of the volunteer attorneys can answer. Click here to learn more.

Housing Justice Project

Many counties in Washington have set up homelessness prevention programs to offer volunteer-based legal services for tenants facing eviction. Click on one of the counties listed below to get more information about available programs:

King County

Pierce County

Skagit County

Snohomish County

Thurston County

Volunteer Lawyer Program

The Advocate Resource Center program relies on volunteer law firms to provide legal help to low-income people. Visit their website to find participating volunteer lawyers by county.

Columbia Legal Services

This not-for-profit organization focuses on providing civil legal services to low-income people or those with special legal needs. Columbia Legal Services provides legal education, advice and representation to help enforce your legal rights. The group also has special programs for migrant and seasonal farm workers, residents of long-term care, Native Americans and victims of domestic violence. Visit their website for more information.

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