How can I get legal help for my COVID-19 related issue? Or for other legal issues with courts closed or limited by COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting all kinds of legal issues requiring pro bono legal assistance in areas including employment, evictions, immigration, public benefits, paid leave, etc. Below are a set of links with guidance, services, and connections to Washington State Resources. In addition, other legal issues like child custody planning may be derailed by closed courts or limited hours.
Washington State Bar Association
The Washington State Bar Association has a very detailed page that could be your first stop to find the right source for legal aid: COVID-19 Legal Resources & Information for the Public. Their page includes resources for free civil legal help and reduced-free civil legal help in King County and Statewide as well as criminal defense legal help and legal information and resources.
Northwest Justice Project
The Northwest Justice Project is “Washington’s largest publicly funded legal aid program. Each year NJP provides critical civil legal assistance and representation to thousands of low-income people in cases affecting basic human needs such as family safety and security, housing preservation, protection of income, access to health care, education and other basic needs. NJP provides legal assistance to eligible low-income families and individuals needing help with civil (non-criminal) legal problems in Washington state. Resources can be accessed by the numbers below or through the CLEAR online application for help. To support the Northwest Justice Project, DONATE HERE.
- Outside of King County, call the CLEAR Hotline at 1-888-201-1014 weekdays between 9:15 am and 12:15 pm.
- In King County call 2-1-1. 2 1 1 is open weekdays 8:00 am – 6:00 pm. 2 1 1 will identify and refer you to the appropriate legal aid provider.
- Seniors (age 60 and over) can also call CLEAR*Sr at 1-888-387-7111 (statewide)
- Facing Foreclosure? Call 1-800-606-4819
- Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired callers can call CLEAR or 2-1-1 (or toll-free 1-877-211-9274) using the relay service of their choice.
- 2 1 1 and CLEAR will provide interpreters.
Washington Law Help
Washington Law Help is a non-profit resource a guide to free civil legal services for low-income persons and seniors in Washington. This site provides legal education materials and tools that give you basic information on a number of legal problems, and in some cases, detailed instructions and forms to help you represent yourself in court. Washington Law Help is a project of the Northwest Justice Project.
- The website has a page devoted to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Info with 43 pieces of content from various sources. Subjects include Evictions, Unemployment, Paid Leave, Immigration, Insurance and home loans.
QLaw Foundation of Washington: LGBTQ+ Aid
QLaw Foundation of Washington promotes the dignity and respect of LGBTQ+ Washingtonians within the legal system through advocacy, education, and legal assistance. QLaw offers Offers FREE consultation with a volunteer attorney on LGBTQ+ issues by phone on the first and third Thursday of each month . In addition, QLaw has posted a rich page of COVID-19 Resources with FAQs addressing issues of legal help, unemployment, insurance, housing security, and more. To support QLaw, DONATE HERE.
Unemployment Law Project
The Unemployment Law Project is a non-profit legal aid firm that supplies very low-cost and free help with unemployment benefits appeals to low or moderate income workers throughout Washington state. ULP attorneys represent claimants at hundreds of administrative hearings every year. The ULP phone in Seattle is 206-441-9178 and the Spokane Office can be reached (509) 624-9178. The Unemployment Law Project needs VOLUNTEER attorneys. To support ULP, DONATE HERE.
- ULP has an actively updated page regarding Covid-19 & Unemployment Benefits
Communities Rise: Nonprofit and Small Business Help
- Communities Rise provides pro bono legal representation for nonprofits and small business owners on legal transactional matters through direct representation, legal clinics, and webinars. They have a frequently updated COVID-19 Resources page that includes an inquiry form. Resources include emergency funding opportunities, general resources, employer resources, and CARES Act information. To support Communities Rise, DONATE HERE.
Benefits Law Center: Helping People with Disabilities Access Public Benefits.
- The Benefits Law Center provides provides accessible legal advocacy to people living with physical and mental disabilities so that they may obtain the resources necessary to overcome barriers to financial and medical stability. They can be reached at (206) 686 – 7252 and [email protected]. BLC needs your help as more people than ever are seeking public benefits, to support their mission, DONATE HERE.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
- The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project promotes justice by defending and advancing the rights of immigrants through direct legal services, systemic advocacy, and community education. Their attorneys and professional staff can assist with issues such as citizenship, domestic violence, asylum, immigration, your issues, and other legal challenges. They can be reached at their regional offices by phone: Seattle: 206-587-4009/ 800-445-5771;
Granger: 509-854-2100/ 888-756-3641; Wenatchee: 509-570-0054/ 866-271-2084; and Tacoma: 206-816-3893, To support NWIRP, DONATE HERE.
Help for Youth: TeamChild
- TeamChild upholds the rights of youth involved, or at risk of being involved, in the juvenile justice system to help them secure the education, healthcare, housing and other supports they need to achieve positive outcomes in their lives. TeamChild’s legal advice and representation can help a youth get onto an education or employment track, secure stable and safe housing, build support for health and well-being, and reduce more episodes of incarceration and juvenile court involvement. TeamChild can be contacted at offices in King, Pierce, Spokane, and Yakima counties. To support TeamChild, DONATE HERE.
Help for Youth: Legal Counsel for Youth and Children
- Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC) improves the well-being of young people by advancing their legal rights. They provide direct representation, strong community partnerships, and systemic advocacy in the areas of child welfare, juvenile court, immigrant youth and families, and youth homelessness.
- LCYC notes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the stressors on families and the needs of young people struggling with homelessness, family conflict, court, and child welfare systems are more acute than ever before. Additionally, the public systems that serve families, children, and youth are stretched even more thin than they were before and trying to respond to a public health crisis that seems to shift every day. Contact LCYC at (206) 494-0323 and [email protected] To support their mission, DONATE HERE.
HKM Employment Attorneys LLP
Free legal advice. A local Seattle employment law firm, HKM, is offering a legal advice hotline free of charge to employees in Seattle with questions regarding the novel coronavirus and their work. Anyone can call 206-889-6358 or email [email protected] to get answers, which will be posted on the company’s site.
Brumley Law Firm
Brumley law firm is a private Seattle law firm practicing personal injury, family, criminal, and business law in Washington State. The firm has a page of free letter templates for various COVID-19 related issues, COVID-19 Legal Resources, such as work from home, credit card assistance, and mortgage assistance.