Pro bono efforts in Washington State are coordinated through a network that includes bar associations, volunteer lawyer programs, legal aid organizations, law firms, governmental law offices, corporate counsel offices, bar sections, and specialty and minority bar associations.
Table of Contents
Who is the Washington Pro Bono Network?
The entities in the Washington State Pro Bono Network include:
- Volunteer Lawyer Programs
- Staff Attorney Programs
- Bar Associations
- Law Firm Pro Bono Coordinators and Counsels
Volunteer Lawyer Programs
Volunteer lawyer programs provide free legal services to low income clients primarily through the use of volunteer attorneys. Some programs also have staff attorneys to provide direct services and work with volunteers. They may be a stand-alone nonprofit organization or be coordinated through a local county bar association or a community organization. Some are regional, serving the low-income people in their region, while others are issue-based, providing legal services in a particular area of law.
Learn more about volunteer lawyer programs at www.advocateresourcecenter.org or click on the volunteer lawyer programs below.
- Benton-Franklin Legal Aid Society
- Blue Mountain Action Council Volunteer Attorney Program
- Chelan-Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services
- Clallam-Jefferson County Pro Bono Lawyers
- Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program
- Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Legal Aid
- Eastside Legal Assistance Program
- Grant-Adams Volunteer Legal Services (GAVLS)
- King County Bar Foundation Community Volunteer Legal Services
- Kitsap Legal Services
- Legal Assistance by Whatcom (LAW) Advocates
- Lewis County Bar Legal Aid
- Skagit County Community Action Agency Volunteer Legal Services Program
- Snohomish County Legal Services
- Spokane County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer Program
- Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Program
- Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services Foundation
- Volunteer Lawyer Program of Island County
- Whitman County Legal Services Community Action Center
- Yakima County Volunteer Attorney Services
- Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant Justice
- Washington Attorneys Assisting Community Organizations
Staff Attorney Programs
Staff attorney programs provide free legal services for low-income people and are staffed by attorneys who provide those legal services. Some also use volunteer attorneys doing pro bono work. To find out more information about legal aid organizations, go to www.advocateresourcecenter.org or click on the organization below:
- Center for Justice
- Columbia Legal Services
- Legal Action Center
- Northwest Health Law Advocates
- Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
- Northwest Justice Project
- Seattle Community Law Center
- Solid Ground
- Unemployment Law Project
Many lawyers’ associations support pro bono projects. Often, their projects will be conveniently listed at www.advocateresourcecenter.org but, if not, you may have to check each association’s web site:
- Asian Bar Association Of Washington (ABAW)
- Cardozo Society
- Federal Bar Association
- Filipino Lawyers of Washington (FLOW)
- GLBT Bar Association of Washington (QLaw)
- Korean-American Bar Association of Washington (KABA)
- Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW)
- Loren Miller Bar Association (LMBA)
- Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington (MELAW)
- Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of Seattle (MAMAS)
- Northwest Indian Bar Association (NIBA)
- Pierce County Minority Bar Association (PCMBA)
- South Asian Bar Association of Washington (SABAW)
- Vietnamese American Bar Association of Washington (VABAW)
- Washington Association of Attorneys With Disabilities
- Washington Women Lawyers
- Washington State Bar Association (WSBA)
- County and Regional Bar Associations
- Specialty Bar Associations
Pro Bono Coordinators and Counsels
Some private law firms, corporations, and government agencies coordinate their own pro bono projects. To find out whether your organization has a pro bono project you can get involved with, you should contact its Pro Bono Coordinator or Pro Bono Counsel. Some organizations in Washington State with Pro Bono Coordinators or Counsel include:
- Cozen & O’Connor
- Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP
- Dorsey & Whitney
- Fenwick & West
- Foster Pepper PLLC
- Garvey, Schubert & Barer
- Global Law Partners
- Graham & Dunn, PC
- K&L Gates
- Lane Powell
- Miller Nash LLP
- Patterson, Buchanan, Fobes, Leitch & Kalzer, Inc., P.S.
- Perkins Coie LLP
- Preg, O’Donnell & Gillett, PLLC
- Riddell Williams, P.S.
- Ryan Swanson PLLC
- Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
- Stafford Frey Cooper
- Starbucks Coffee Company
- Stoel Rives LLP
- Stokes Lawrence, P.S.
- Washington Office of Attorney General
- Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC
Other Pro Bono Networks
Some of the groups described above are part of larger regional or statewide networks through which they share information, coordinate events and trainings, or collaborate on larger pro bono projects.
These statewide and local networks include:
- Access to Justice Board
- Alliance for Equal Justice
- Regional Planning Groups
- Law Firm Pro Bono Coordinators and Counsel
- Corporate Pro Bono
Access to Justice Board
The Washington State Access to Justice Board was established by the Washington State Supreme Court. Its mission is to:
- Provide leadership on issues facing the delivery of civil legal services,
- Oversee the implementation of its Revised Plan for the Delivery of Civil Legal Services to Low Income People in Washington State (State Plan),
- Oversee the work of its committees,
- Ensure that the annual Access to Justice Conference Recommendations are implemented, and
- Coordinate closely with the work of the Washington State Bar Association’s Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee on its implementation of the Volunteer Attorney Legal Services Action Plan (VALS Plan) and the Council on Public Legal Education.
The Board meets monthly.
Alliance for Equal Justice
The Alliance for Equal Justice of Washington State is an umbrella network of all civil legal aid programs in the state, formed in 2004 to create efficiency, provide support, and foster collaboration among members.
- Alliance members are organizations whose predominant mission is to provide civil legal aid to Washington State’s low-income and vulnerable people.
- The Alliance has a broad base of supporters within the greater community.
Regional Planning Groups
As part of the Revised Plan for the Delivery of Civil Legal Services to Low Income People in Washington State (“State Plan”) described above, organizations that provide free and low-cost legal services engage in regional planning by meeting on a regular basis to coordinate efforts and collaborate on addressing unmet legal needs. There are regional planning groups across the state, such as the King County Civil Legal Services Regional Planning Group.
Law Firm Pro Bono Coordinators and Counsels
The Law Firm Pro Bono Coordinators and Counsels Group is an active group of law firm pro bono coordinators, legal advocates, representatives from statewide and other nonprofit legal service providers, corporate lawyers, social service agencies, and other members of the community interested in promoting pro bono legal advocacy for people of limited means and enhancing access to justice.
The Group meets quarterly at local law firms. For more information, please contact Joanna Plichta Boisen, Pro Bono Counsel, Foster Pepper PLLC, BoisJ@foster.com, (206) 447-5144.
Corporate Pro Bono
Corporate Pro Bono is a national partnership between the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Pro Bono Institute to assist in-house counsel who want to establish or improve their legal departments’ pro bono efforts.