LEGAL HELP FOR SNOHOMISH COUNTY RESIDENTS
Snohomish County Legal Services (SCLS) provides free civil legal aid services to eligible low-income residents of Snohomish County, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. If you have a civil legal issue or do not know if your situation requires legal assistance, SCLS can provide advice and assistance to help you understand your legal rights, empowering you in self-advocacy and self-sufficiency. Our main areas of focus are Family Law, Housing and Wills for Seniors. All clients must qualify for services; an Intake Form will be provided to each prospective client to complete and ensure eligibility. For those with limited English proficiency, we have the ability to provide interpreter services at no cost to the client.
FAMILY LAW SERVICES
SCLS has staff and volunteer attorneys that serve the practice of family law. They provide direct and indirect services to clients. We offer several clinics and workshops to assist with divorce (dissolution), custody or parenting plans, protection orders, and more.
Family Law Clinic – Our staff and volunteer attorneys provide pro se advice and counsel that will empower our clients to more effectively and confidently represent themselves in court. The attorneys may use clinic time to provide brief services by drafting legal documents or letters for the client. Representation for court hearings cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, cases may be referred to staff or volunteer attorneys, or our community partners for additional services. Our volunteer attorneys may offer supplemental or limited services not covered by SCLS on a case by case basis. Pre-registration is required. To be referred to Snohomish County Legal Services for Family Law Clinic, please contact our community partner CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral) at 1-888-201-1014 weekdays between 9:15a-12:15p and ask to be referred to Snohomish County Legal Services. Or apply online through our community partner at https://nwjustice.org/apply-online.
Dissolution Classes– Our Dissolution Classes, also known as DiSCO (Divorce in Snohomish County), are offered twice a month in a two part series. Staff or volunteer attorneys provide instruction and an educational presentation of the divorce process in Snohomish County. Clients are provided with the initial paperwork that is needed to file a dissolution (divorce) action. Clients will not receive legal advice specific to their individual case at these classes, but may be referred to a Family Law Clinic for follow up if additional services are needed. Our current bi-month classes are being conducted via Zoom. Once a client is verified as eligible for services, a staff member will reach out to schedule an appointment. Attendance is by appointment only.
To apply for Dissolution Class visit the DiSCO event on our Events Calendar
chapter 7 bankruptcy
SCLS can provide counsel and advice to assist clients in filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on their own or “pro se”, or to otherwise advise clients regarding debt issues. This generally does not include representing the client for the purposes of filing the petition or any adversary proceedings or appeal that may arise from that process. However, a staff or volunteer attorney may be able to represent a client who needs to file emergency petitions or who are unable to proceed successfully on their own. Refer to the event calendar for a list of General Legal clinics to schedule an appointment.
You can also find self-help information under “Filing Without an Attorney” at https://www.wawb.uscourts.gov/.
housing justice project
The SCLS Housing Justice Project (HJP) provides a wide range of services, including information about the eviction process, referrals to other agencies or lawyers, legal advice negotiation with the landlord’s attorney, and helping prepare for an Unlawful Detainer Action (eviction), or Show Cause hearing, Orders of Limited Dissemination (OLD) which limits the information about an eviction that can be publicly disclosed, and other landlord-tenant issues such as security deposit or damages disputes. The SCLS HJP operates the local HJP walk-up Clinic at the Snohomish County Courthouse, and also provides services through the Appointed Counsel Program in Snohomish County. See Eviction Services for additional information about services, available resources and how to get help.
Ways to Apply:
Online – You can complete our intake paperwork online at this link SCLS HJP Intake.
Print – print and complete the attached intake form HJP Intake (Print) Then, take a picture or scan it, and email it back firstname.lastname@example.org
In-person (by appointment) – contact our office if you need assistance at (425) 258-9283 ex 0; Visiting our HJP walk-up clinic – located at the Snohomish County Superior Court. The HJP clinic is open from 9:00 – 11:00 AM, Tuesday-Friday.
APPOINTED COUNSEL PROGRAM
Tenants in Washington State are entitled to an attorney at no cost. Many people think of it like a public defender, but for evictions. Snohomish County Legal Services has a contract to provide these ‘Tenants Appointed Counsel Program’ (ACP) eviction lawyers in Snohomish County. To receive ACP services, a tenant must qualify, such as have low income or receive specific benefits.
Our Appointed Counsel Program Department has a team of experienced full time staff attorneys, and contractor lawyers to serve the community. We provide the full spectrum of legal services for all of our ACP clients. Our clients can expect their assigned lawyer to be expert in the landlord-tenant laws, prepare and file in court all of the written documents, and appear on the client’s behalf at all hearings. If an eviction case goes to trial, our whole team of expert trial lawyers will help to prepare the case for trial. While cases are often fought in the courtroom, many of the cases are resolved by negotiations. These negotiations are important and we approach them with your goals and tenant protections in mind. If an eviction case goes to trial – we will be there with you all along the way.
See EVICTION SERVICES for additional information about services, available resources and how to get help.
wills for seniors
The Wills Clinic for Seniors is offered quarterly to low-income seniors (age 60+) residents of Snohomish County. Staff and volunteer attorneys will work with seniors to prepare documents including Simple Wills, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Directives. During the clinic, a Notary Public will be on hand for formal signing of documents, so that the clients leave with completed and fully executed documents.
See our events calendar for dates. For information or to register for an upcoming event, contact us.
LEGAL HELP — WHAT WE DO
- Full Legal Representation – SCLS may work clients in need of full representation. Our family law staff attorneys may sometimes provide full legal representation to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault in protection orders and family law cases (divorce, legal separation and paternity). Our Housing Justice Project or Appointed Counsel Program staff attorneys may provide full representation for eviction cases. Many cases include special circumstances, such as a client who has limited English proficiency or has a physical or mental disability, where the opposing party is represented by counsel, and/or where there is a risk to the children involved.
- Direct Representation – Going to court can be very intimidating, especially when important rights are at risk and the client may have limited understanding of the court process, and may face other barriers to access the legal system. Our staff and volunteer attorneys are sensitive to the needs of our clients. We represent many of our most vulnerable clients in court so they can help themselves. Our family law staff attorneys can provide emergency legal services to victims of domestic violence through entry of protection orders and emergency temporary orders in family law matters. Housing Justice Project staff attorneys may also provide assistance through our Appointed Counsel Program.
- Unbundled Legal Services – Our staff attorneys also provide unbundled civil legal services in family law; Housing Justice Project, e.g., eviction or landlord-tenant issues; by representing clients at hearings, negotiating with opposing counsel or landlords, or writing letters on behalf of the client.
- Advice and Counsel – Most of our clients are able to proceed on their own (pro se) with the help of an attorney in drafting paperwork and giving legal advice and procedural directions. Clients who do not proceed pro se are encouraged to return for review of the documents they plan to file and continuing assessment of the case for appropriateness and availability of referral. We also provide clients with information about community resources that will help them with problems associated with their legal problem. This may include referrals for emergency or shelter housing, mental health services, respite care, volunteer dental services, low- or no-cost parenting classes, domestic violence support groups, drug and alcohol evaluation and treatment and other services.
CONTACT SNOHOMISH COUNTY LEGAL SERVICES
“We generally respond within 48 business hours depending on your situation. Due to volume and capacity it may take longer to receive a response. We appreciate your patience.”
DISCLAIMER: No Attorney-Client Relationship Created by Use of this Website: Neither your receipt of information from this website, nor your use of this website to contact SCLS or one of its attorneys creates an attorney-client relationship between you and SCLS. No Legal Advice Intended: The website includes information about legal issues and legal developments. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems. Third Party Websites; As a convenience, this website may provide links to third-party websites. Such linked websites are not under the control of SCLS and SCLS assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the contents of such websites.