Local Legal Resources

Seattle University’s Homeless Rights Advocacy Project does not represent individuals. It does advocate for legal and policy changes that keep homeless individuals out of the criminal justice system, and provides them with the housing and services they need.

The resources below will help people who are experiencing homelessness or facing the threat of homelessness find legal help.

We've also compiled other resources on criminalization:

Are you Homeless or Facing the Threat
of Homelessness and Need Legal Help?

Depending upon the type of legal problem or problems you have, and where you are, there may be attorneys who can help. Criminal and civil legal service providers are listed separately.

General Legal Information

Washington Law Help offers helpful basic legal information on a broad range of issues at: http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/.

For Help with Criminal Issues in King County

If you are low income person and have an outstanding warrant or have been charged with a crime, or are in jail, and need an attorney to defend you, contact:

King County Department of Public Defense
dpd@kingcounty.gov
Phone: (206)-296-7662
Fax: (206)-296-0587
TTY: 711 Relay Service

The King County Department of Public Defense website has information on eligibility for an attorney, where its screening offices are (and what you need to bring to screening meetings). The information on the website can help you determine if you are eligible for an attorney and find a screening office.

City of Seattle- Municipal Court Indigent Screening Program
Seattle Justice Center
600 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104-1900
(206) 615-0705

For Help with Civil Legal Issues in King County

2-1-1
2-1-1 is a call service that connects those who qualify with legal aid providers. The number is open for callers Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. From a pay/public phone, call 1-800-621-4636.

The King County Bar Association’s Neighborhood Legal Clinics
These clinics are staffed by volunteer lawyers who provide a 30-minute free consultations to low income individuals with civil legal problems in King County. Attorneys will:

  • Provide legal advice for civil legal issues. They cannot help with criminal legal issues.
  • Help answering papers, summons and requests.
  • Provide referral and resource information. They will not represent you in court.

Referrals are offered (for qualifying individuals) for:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Consumer debt problems
  • Family law issues
  • Domestic violence
  • Social security overpayments
  • Vacation of criminal records


You have to make an appointment before attending a clinic. To make an appointment call 206-267-7070 Tuesday - Thursday from 9:00am- 12:00 pm. Appointments are scheduled no more than 7 days in advance. The scheduling line receives a high volume of calls so you may experience wait times between 5 to 10 minutes.

For more information on clinic locations and times go to:
http://www.kcba.org/pbs/NLC.aspx#nlcpage4


Open Door Legal Clinic
Staff and volunteer lawyers at this clinic provide people experiencing homelessness with advice on legal and financial issues, such as:

  • Child support and visitation
  • Criminal warrants
  • Debts
  • Court fines and re-licensing

The Clinic holds 4 weekly legal clinics for residents of the Union Gospel Mission's shelters or other partner organizations around the region, as well as weekly walk-in clinics for anyone who needs help. The Clinic has locations in Downtown Seattle, Bellevue, and Everett.

Contact David Mace — 206-682-4642 or dmace@ugm.org — to find out more.

For Help with Specific Legal Problems in King County

Landlord Tenant/Eviction

      1. If you are low income person having landlord tenant problems, including falling behind on rent, the King County Bar Association’s Housing Justice Project is a walk-in clinic with volunteer attorneys. Priority service is given to renters facing eviction. Call: 206-267-7090. The Clinic is open Monday–Friday, 8–10:30 am, in the King County Courthouse in Seattle and Kent Regional Justice Center. The Seattle location also open Monday, 3:45-4:45 pm.
      2. Low income renters facing eviction, repair problems, deposit loss, subsidy termination, lockouts and other issues can call Catholic Community Services’ Legal Action Center. Call: (206)-324-6890.
      3. Low income renters can receive counseling about their rights (but not legal representation) from the Seattle Tenants’ Union through its Tenants’ Rights Hotline or walk-in clinics.
        Tenants’ Rights Hotline number: 206-723-0500. Calls to the hotline are answered during the following times.
        • Monday: 10am-12:30pm and 1:30-4pm
        • Tuesday: 10am-12:30pm and 1:30-4pm
        • Wednesday: 10am-12:30pm and 1:30pm-4pm
        • Thursday: 10am – 12:30pm and 1:30pm – 4pm

The Tenants’ Union also holds walk-in clinics at the following times and places:

        • Columbia City Clinic
          Tenants’ Union Office
          5425 Rainier Avenue S Ste. B
          Seattle, WA 98118

          Hours of operation: Monday and Tuesday 1:30 – 4:00pm Interpretation is available in many languages.
        • Northeast Clinic
          North Helpline Food Bank
          12736 33rd Ave NE
          Seattle, WA 98125

          Hours of operation: Thursdays 4:00 – 6:00pm
          Bring any paperwork on your housing problem that you have received with you to the clinic!

King County Public Benefits

Solid Ground’s Family Assistance Program provides information, advice, referrals, and direct legal representation to individuals who have had their state public assistance benefits (e.g., Basic Food/food stamps, Medicaid, ADATSA, TANF, Disability Lifeline) reduced, terminated, or denied. The program advocates on behalf of clients with DSHS caseworkers, represents clients in administrative hearings, and advises clients representing themselves.

Phone:
(206) 694-6742 (TTY: 7.1.1)

Email:
familyassistance@solid-ground.org

Fax:
(206) 694-6737

Address:
Family Assistance at Solid Ground
1501 North 45th Street
Seattle, WA 98103-6708

http://www.solid-ground.org/Programs/Legal/Family/Pages/default.aspx

Outside King County

If You are Outside King County and Need Help With Criminal Issues

If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, you may ask the court to appoint a public defense attorney to represent you. The determination of eligibility for a court appointed attorney is handled by the local court.

The following counties and cities outside of King County provide local public defender agencies to represent adults and juveniles who are accused of a crime and cannot afford to pay a lawyer. These agencies may be reached at the phone numbers listed. To find public defense help in a county or city not listed below, contact the court in which the charges are filed.

  • Benton & Franklin Counties Office of Public Defense
    7122 W Okanogan Pl, Bldg. A
    Kennewick, WA 99336
    (509) 222-3700

  • Clallam Public Defender
    516 E. Front Street
    Port Angeles, WA 98362
    (360) 452-3307

  • Clark County Indigent Defense Coordinator
    1408 Franklin St. Room 106
    P.O. Box 5000
    Vancouver, WA 98666
    (360) 397-2175

  • Cowlitz County Office of Public Defense
    1801 1st Ave Ste. 1A
    Longview, WA 98632
    (360)578-7430

  • Grant County Public Defense
    35 C Street NW, Suite 401
    P.O. Box 37
    Ephrata, WA 98823
    (509) 754-6027
    1-800-572-0119

  • Kitsap County Office of Public Defense
    614 Division Street, MS-40
    Port Orchard, WA 98366
    (360) 337-7015

  • Kitsap County Office of Public Defense
    614 Division Street, MS-40
    Port Orchard, WA 98366
    (360) 337-7015

  • Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel
    (also serves municipal courts of Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Fircrest)
    949 Market Street, Suite 334
    Tacoma, WA 98402-2194
    (253)798-6062

  • Skagit County Office of Assigned Counsel
    121 Broadway
    Mount Vernon, WA 98273
    (360) 336-9405

  • Snohomish County Office of Public Defense
    3000 Rockefeller Avenue M/S 209
    Everett, WA 98201
    (425) 388-3500

  • Spokane County Public Defender Office
    1033 West Gardner
    Spokane, WA 99260
    (509) 477-4246

  • City of Spokane Public Defender
    824 North Monroe
    Spokane, WA 99201
    (509) 835-5955

  • Thurston County Office of Assigned Counsel
    1520 Irving Street
    Olympia, WA 98502
    (360) 754-4897

  • Whatcom County Public Defender
    215 North Commercial Street
    Bellingham, WA 98225
    (360) 676-6670

  • Yakima County Department of Assigned Counsel
    104 North 1st Street
    Yakima, WA 98901
    (509) 574-1160

For more information: http://www.opd.wa.gov/index.php/public-defender-offices

You can also get more information via the Northwest Justice Project’s toll-free hotline. The Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral or CLEAR hotline is open for calls from low-income individuals Monday-Friday from 9:15 am to 12:15 pm, at 1-888-201-1014.
If you cannot get through, the CLEAR line will record your phone number. You will receive a call back.

For further information, go to: https://nwjustice.org/get-legal-help

Statewide Legal Resources

Immigration

The Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project (NIRP) provides advice and direct legal help to immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees, regardless of immigration status throughout Washington. Eligibility depends upon several factors. NIRP has offices statewide.

http://www.nwirp.org/get-help/

  • Western Washington Office
    615 2nd Ave #400
    Seattle WA 98104

    Hours: Monday to Friday 9:30AM - 12:00PM and 1:00PM - 4:00PM
    Phone: 206.587.4009
    Toll Free: 800.445.5771

  • Granger Office
    This office serves Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Kittitas, Klickitat, Walla Walla Whitman & Yakima counties.

    121 Sunnyside Ave.
    Granger, WA 98932

    Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30AM - 12:00PM and 1:00PM - 4:30PM

    Phone: 509.854.2100
    Toll Free: 888.756.3641

  • Wenatchee Office
    This office serves Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane & Stevens counties.

    37 South Wenatchee Ave.
    Wenatchee, WA 98801

    Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM

    Phone: 509.570.0054
    Toll Free: 866.271.2084

    Please note: The Wenatchee office does not have a receptionist. In order to reach them, leave a detailed message with your NAME and PHONE NUMBER as well as a BRIEF EXPLANATION of your immigration issue, and a staff member will return your call.