Civil Legal Aid

OCLA is the largest underwriter of civil legal aid services in Washington State.  “Civil Legal Aid” refers to legal and law related services designed to help low income individuals, families and communities solve civil (non-criminal) legal problems that they experience.  Civil Legal Aid helps low income people defend and assert important legal rights that often involve the most fundamental aspects of life – personal and family safety, home ownership and shelter protection, economic security, health care and shelter.  OCLA administers and oversees the use of state-appropriated funds for civil legal aid services.

Civil Legal Aid to Victims of Crime

With funding made available from the federal Office of Victims of Crime, OCLA operates a program that provides civil legal assistance crime victims who experience civil legal problems as a direct consequence of their criminal victimization.  The Civil Legal Aid to Crime Victims Program contracts with five civil legal aid providers to offer legal aid to victims experiencing legal problems ranging from the need for domestic violence protection, protection of privacy, adjustment to immigration status, housing and homelessness.

Children’s Legal Representation

OCLA operates a Children’s Representation Program to contract for and oversee attorneys who represent “legally free” children in dependency cases.  A child is “legally free” when his or her parents’ legal rights have been terminated by a court.  Under RCW 13.34.212(1), courts must appoint attorneys for legally free children if they are still in the dependency system six months following the termination of their parents’ legal rights. The Children’s Representation Program also contracts for and oversees attorneys who represent children 8-17 in dependencies; 0-17 in termination proceedings (in addition to the underlying dependency); and youth 18-21 participating in the Extended Foster Care program pursuant to RCW 13.34.212(3).

Eviction Defense Services

OCLA administers Washington State’s appointed attorney program for low-income tenants against whom judicial eviction proceedings have been started.  This “Right to Counsel” or “RTC” program serves tenants in every judicial district in Washington State.

In addition, OCLA operates a program to provide information, outreach, advice, and representation for tenants who are threatened with eviction but are not yet involved in court eviction proceedings.

For more information, go to our Eviction Defense Programs page.