Follow these steps to get help with your legal issue:
Step One: ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS

 Is your gross income (before taxes) below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level?

Federal Poverty Levels

 Is the legal issue you need help with a civil issue?

Civil legal issues are non-criminal matters like family law (divorce, parenting plans, visitation, child support, etc), protection orders, wills and estate matters, landlord-tenant, and some employment or consumer issues.

 Do you already have an attorney for this issue?

We cannot advise you if you have already have another attorney working with you on your legal issue.


Are you a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault?
If you are dealing with domestic violence or sexual assault, you can get free legal advice at our clinics no matter how much you earn.  There is a drop in clinic for those dealing with domestic violence at SafePlace on the first or third Thursday of each month.  SafePlace is located in downtown Olympia at 314 Legion Way South (near the corner of Franklin Street).

SafePlace has a 24 hour crisis line at (360) 754-6300.   Call 911 if you have an emergency.

Step Two: Call CLEAR 

Call CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral) toll-free at 1-888-201-1014. CLEAR’s limited staff only answer phones between 9:15 am and 12:15 pm, Monday through Friday.  Start calling right at 9:15 a.m.!  You might have to try several times over a couple of days before you get through to CLEAR staff.

If you are over 60, CLEAR Senior is your first step toward legal advice.  That toll-free number is 1-888-387-7111.  You do not have to be low income to get advice from CLEAR Senior. However, if they refer you to us, your monthly income has to be less than 200% of Federal Poverty to get free legal advice.

When you call CLEAR, you may be able to talk to an attorney over the phone who will link you with the best free legal resource for your situation.  This might be Northwest Justice Project, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, or it might be Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services.  If CLEAR refers  you to us, we will call you and schedule you an appointment for a free legal clinic.

If you live in Grays Harbor County, call us before you call CLEAR!   (360) 705-8194 or toll-free 1-844-211-6916.

Don’t speak English?  Don’t worry!  Both CLEAR and TCVLS can get an interpretor!  

Si usted habla español, por favor llámenos al (360) 705-8194 o gratis 1-844-211-6916.

Step Three: We will Call You 

When CLEAR refers you to us, we will call you to schedule an appointment for a legal clinic.  You can also call us at (360) 705-8194 or toll-free at 1-844-211-6916.

HAVE QUESTIONS?

Frequently Asked Questions

I CAN’T GET THROUGH TO CLEAR!  WHAT DO I DO?
SOMETIMES NO ONE ANSWERS THE PHONE AT YOUR OFFICE EITHER.  WHY?
DO YOU HAVE A FREE LAWYER WHO CAN REPRESENT ME IN COURT?
WHAT HAPPENS AT A LEGAL ADVICE CLINIC WORK?
CAN I COME TO CLINIC MORE THAN ONCE?
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE CLINIC?
WHERE CAN I GET PAPERWORK?
CAN TCVLS GIVE ME LEGAL ADVICE OVER THE PHONE?
I WANT TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY.  WHAT DO I DO?
MY LEGAL ISSUE IS FOR A CRIME.  WHO DO I CALL?
I NEED A LAWYER FOR A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT.  WHO DO I CALL?
I AM CONFUSED AND DON’T KNOW WHAT I NEED TO DO!


I CAN’T GET THROUGH TO CLEAR!  WHAT DO I DO?

Keep trying!  CLEAR has staff available between 9:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m..   When you get through to CLEAR you might be able to talk to an attorney, which will save you time! CLEAR will also mail you the court forms you need so that you don’t have to pay for it at the Courthouse.  CLEAR also figures out the best legal organization for you to contact based on your legal issues.   If you have an emergency and need urgent legal advice, you can get it from CLEAR much sooner than if we scheduled you for one of our clinics.  If after trying multiple times, please call our office at (360) 705-8194 or toll-free at 1-844-211-6916.

SOMETIMES NO ONE ANSWERS THE PHONE AT YOUR OFFICE EITHER.  WHY?

Most of our clinics happen in the evening, so our staff work non-traditional hours.  If no one answers, please leave a phone message and we will call you back as soon as we can!   During clinics, we can’t answer the phones because we are helping other people.  Our phone number is (360) 705-8194 or toll-free at 1-844-211-6916.

DO YOU HAVE A FREE LAWYER WHO CAN REPRESENT ME IN COURT?

If you live in Thurston County and  have been served papers saying that your landlord is trying to evict you, we offer free legal representation for your court hearing at Thurston County Superior Court.  We call this the Housing Justice Project.  Volunteer attorneys will negotiate a settlement with your landlord’s representative or will represent you before the judge.  If you are being evicted, please come to the Housing Justice Project at 8:30 am on Friday mornings.

For other types of civil legal issues, it is not often that we have a lawyer who will represent you.  Our legal advice clinics help you take the steps you need to take to represent yourself.

WHAT HAPPENS AT A LEGAL ADVICE CLINIC WORK?

When you get to the clinic, you will have an intake interview with someone who is not a lawyer.  This is when we find out if your income is under 200% of the Federal Poverty guidelines and that you are eligible to receive free legal consultation.   After this, a volunteer attorney will be assigned to your case.  The attorney will interview you about your legal issue and will give you legal advice.   Because lawyers have specialties that may not match your specific issue, the lawyer will consult with a “Mentor” who is a seasoned lawyer with many years of experience representing clients in lots of different areas.

When you leave the clinic, you will have a plan to follow to take the next step or steps in your legal case.

CAN I COME TO CLINIC MORE THAN ONCE?

YES!  As long as its the same legal issue, you are welcome to come back again and again until the issue is resolved!  When you leave each clinic, you will be asked if you want to schedule another appointment.  You can also call our office at (360) 705-8194 or toll-free 1-844-211-6916 and we will schedule you for the next available clinic appointment.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE CLINIC?

Bring ALL the paperwork you have regarding your legal issue.  For example, if you have a landlord-tenant issue bring your lease and any notices that you have received.   If it is a family law issue, bring any prior court orders or other legal documents.

WHERE CAN I GET PAPERWORK?

CLEAR will send you the paperwork you need.   Another useful site to get forms is  www.WashingtonLawHelp.org.   Your local court might also have the forms available but will likely charge you to cover printing and delivery costs.   We have forms at the clinics as well.

CAN TCVLS GIVE ME LEGAL ADVICE OVER THE PHONE?

Staff at TCVLS are not  attorneys and are not allowed to give legal advice.  We do not have any attorneys on staff nor do we have access to volunteer attorneys outside of clinic hours.   CLEAR does have attorneys on staff who can advise you over the phone.   CLEAR’s phone number is 888-201-1014.

I WANT TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY.  WHAT DO I DO?

Since the federal bankruptcy court is in Pierce County, we refer bankruptcy questions to the Volunteer Legal Services Program at the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association.   That phone number is (253) 572-5134.

MY LEGAL ISSUE IS FOR A CRIME.  WHO DO I CALL?

TCVLS is not able to help you with criminal cases.   Each county court has attorneys who provide defense for those who cannot afford private attorneys.

Grays Harbor Superior Court (360) 249-3842
Mason County Public Defense (360) 427-9670
Pacific County Superior Court (360) 875-9351
Thurston County Office of Assigned Counsel (360) 754-4897

I NEED A LAWYER FOR A PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT.  WHO DO I CALL?

Check with  your local Bar Association or the Yellow Pages or the internet for attorneys who specialize in these types of legal cases.

I AM CONFUSED AND DON’T KNOW WHAT I NEED TO DO!

Call our office at (360) 705-8194  or  toll-free at 1-888-211-6916.  We’ll help point you in the right direction.

 

 

Christa LenssenSteps