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APPOINTED COUNSEL PROGRAM, snohomish county legal services



2021 changes to the Landlord-Tenant Act create a right to a FREE attorney for most tenants who cannot afford one to fight an eviction. The Washington state Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) makes the rules about how the project works. The Snohomish County Superior court set up local court rules about the Appointed Counsel Program and how to get a free lawyer.

How to Get Counsel

Any tenant who gets certain public assistance, like social security, or who makes less than 2 times the Federal Poverty Level should qualify. Citizenship status does not matter.

Are you facing eviction? Learn more about your rights.

If you are being evicted, call the SCLS ACP team, 425-258-9283 and fill out the intake form.

ACP hours: Monday through Friday 9:00am-4:00pm

Alternatively, you can call Northwest Justice Project ACP screening hotline: 1-855-657-8387, Monday through Friday 9am-1pm and 2pm-4pm. You can ask for your case to be assigned to Snohomish County Legal Services.

For either organization, you will be asked questions about your situation and be connected to an Appointed Counsel Program attorney.

Other housing issues? See how we can help.

Is it Too Late?

When you get any legal documents, it is very important that you read them carefully. If those documents say there is a court date, do not miss the date, even if you have not called the screening line. If you come to an eviction hearing without a lawyer, the court will ask you if you think you should get a free lawyer, and then give you some time to call and meet with a lawyer.

What to Expect From a Free Lawyer?

Your housing justice lawyer will be your advocate. They will give you advice and help you enforce your rights as a tenant.  This work may include drafting documents, court appearances and, representing you at trial. The lawyer’s services may also include legal research, meetings, phone calls, and other legal work. The appointed counsel program does not include any other legal work against the landlord or claims that are not part of the eviction case. The appointed counsel program does not cover to appeals. If you lose case and you want to appeal, ACP will not represent you for those activities.   

What If I Don’t Qualify For a Lawyer with SCLS?

If you don’t qualify for a lawyer in the Snohomish County Legal Services ACP program, you should try to find legal representation. Having a lawyer greatly increases your chance of a successful outcome for every type of legal case.

Here are other resources you may try:

Washington State Bar Association Moderate Means Program

1-855-741-6930 or apply ONLINE

Snohomish County Bar Association – Lawyer Referral Service


washington law help org is a project of the Northwest justice Project supported by the Washington State Courts, the Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid, the national Legal Services Corporation and the Alliance for Equal Justice. It is a reliable source for legal information.

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