Legal Voice secures legal protections for women and families, but we know those rights have little impact if individuals do not know how to use them to advocate for themselves and their families. To help you better understand your rights and the legal system, we offer a variety of tools and resources, including free know-your-rights materials about several legal issues.

Some of our publications are available in Spanish, Chinese, and/or Russian. At this time, our publications are limited to Washington State law only.

What does Legal Voice do?


Legal Voice defends and protects the civil rights of women and LGBTQ people in the Northwest. We bring a limited number of cases that have the potential to change the law or create new law, and that will have a broad impact on as many people as possible. This is called “impact litigation.” We also work on changing the law through the state legislative process, and we provide know-your-rights information for the public. Learn more about our work




What does Legal Voice NOT do?


Legal Voice does not have a direct legal services program. We do not give legal advice or referrals to lawyers.




Can Legal Voice help me with my case?


Legal Voice has a small staff and does not have the capacity to review requests for help from the public. Our cases come from working with our nonprofit and legal community partners on specific issues within our area of expertise. See “What Does Legal Voice Do?” above.




Is there anywhere I can get free legal help?


Maybe. It depends on the kind of case and your financial resources. The Right to a Free Lawyer If you have been charged with a crime, or Washington State child protective services has filed a petition against you as a parent, you have the right to a free lawyer if you cannot afford to pay for one yourself. Children and people with disabilities also have the right to a free lawyer in certain civil cases. For example, if you are a sexual assault survivor and you have filed a petition or a sexual assault protection order, the law gives you the right to have a lawyer appointed for you if you cannot afford to pay one. Legal Services for Low-Income People in Washington State The CLEAR hotline provides free legal advice and assistance for people who live outside King County and qualify as low-income. The hotline also gives referrals for free legal representation in certain types of cases if you are eligible (for example, they help people facing eviction or foreclosure; they represent domestic violence survivors with children in some family law matters; and more). If you live in King County, you can also get referrals to legal services through the Washington Information Network (2-1-1). It can be difficult to get through on these hotlines; keep trying, and leave a message when you can. NOTE: If you are low-income and are a domestic violence or sexual assault survivor working with an advocate, and you need legal advice or representation, ask your domestic violence or sexual assault victim advocate to refer you directly to CLEAR. If you don’t have an advocate, and would like to work with one, contact your local domestic violence program to request assistance. If You Have Limited Resources to Pay for Legal Help The Washington State Bar Association’s Moderate Means Program offers reduced-fee legal help in family, housing, and consumer law cases. Also, Limited Licensed Legal Technicians (LLLTs) can give legal advice and help with paperwork in family law cases for a lower hourly rate than lawyers. For information about how to get help through these programs or find a Limited Licensed Legal Technician, see the resource list below, and use our publication How to Find a Lawyer and Other Legal Resources in Washington State. If You Can Afford to Hire a Lawyer Some counties offer lawyer referral services to help match you with a lawyer. Visit the Washington State Bar Association website for links to all county bar associations, as well as other information about finding an attorney.




What if I can't find a lawyer to help me?


You can represent yourself in court. There are resources available for people representing themselves, including do-it-yourself forms and instructions. See the resource list below, including our publication How to Find a Lawyer and Other Legal Resources in Washington State.




Why is it so hard to find free or low-cost legal help?


It is a huge problem. In 2015, a Washington State study showed that seven in ten low-income households face at least one significant legal problem every year. Even more troubling, low-income people will experience on average more than nine legal problems for which almost none will get help. Funding is not the only problem. The law grants people the right to a free lawyer in only a few kinds of cases, such as criminal cases. But Legal Voice and many of our allies believe that people should have the right to a free lawyer in other important cases, like custody cases where there is domestic violence, and evictions. Legal Voice supports efforts to increase access to the courts – often called “access to justice.” Legal Voice continues to work with our community to find new ways to help meet the legal needs of people in our state. How can you help? You can contact your state senator and representatives and urge them to increase funding for legal aid and expand the right to a free lawyer. Your voice matters!





 
Resources

General Legal Information and Referral Services

 

  • CLEAR Hotline: For low-income people outside King County. (King County residents, call 2-1-1)
    By phone: 1-888-201-1014 (M-F 9:15 am to 12:15 pm)
     

  • CLEAR*Sr: For all Washington State residents age 60+. No income or county restrictions.

  • By phone: 1-888-387-7111
     

  • Washington LawHelp: Legal information and do-it-yourself instructions and forms on a wide range of legal issues.
     

  • Washington Information Network 2-1-1: For health and human service information and referrals and other assistance to meet your needs, including legal services.
    By phone: 2-1-1; toll-free 1-877-211-9274
     

  • "Legal Help” – Chapter 14 of Handbook for Washington Seniors: Legal Rights and Resources, by Legal Voice: Lists legal services in Washington State as well as information on representing yourself. Information is relevant to people of all ages.

 

Lower-Cost Legal Help

 

 

Lawyers and Legal Clinics

 

Civil Rights and Discrimination Help

Also see General Legal Information and Referral Services

 

 

Consumer Help

Also see General Legal Information and Referral Services

 

  • “Consumer Guide” – Chapter 6 of Handbook for Washington Seniors: Legal Rights and Resources, by Legal Voice: Lists legal services in Washington State as well as information on representing yourself. Information is relevant to people of all ages.

 

 

Family Law Help

Also see General Legal Information and Referral Services

 

 

  • “Family Relationships” – Chapter 8 of Handbook for Washington Seniors: Legal Rights and Resources, by Legal Voice: Lists legal services in Washington State as well as information on representing yourself. Information is relevant to people of all ages.

 

 

Gender-Based Violence Help

Also see General Legal Information and Referral Services

 

  • API Chaya: Advocacy and support services for API survivors of abuse.

 

 

  • “Elder Abuse” – Chapter 11 of Handbook for Washington Seniors: Legal Rights and Resources, by Legal Voice: Lists legal services in Washington State as well as information on representing yourself. Information is relevant to people of all ages.
     

 

 

  • NW Network: Offers support services to LGBTQ survivors of abuse.

 

 

 

 

Housing Help

Also see General Legal Information and Referral Services

 

 

Immigration Help

Also see General Legal Information and Referral Services

 

 

 

Public Benefits Help

Also see General Legal Information and Referral Services

 

  • “Financial Benefit Programs” – Chapter 3 of Handbook for Washington Seniors: Legal Rights and Resources, by Legal Voice: Lists legal services in Washington State as well as information on representing yourself. Information is relevant to people of all ages.

 

  • Seattle Community Law Center: Helps people with disabilities obtain and maintain the Social Security benefits they are entitled to, with a focus on those who are a facing the risks and reality of homelessness.

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