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Columbia Legal Services

Columbia Legal Services

Columbia Legal Services (CLS) is a not-for-profit organization that provides civil (not criminal) legal services to people who are low-income or have special legal needs throughout Washington State. Some examples of the type of cases CLS works on include: domestic violence, family law, housing, welfare, Medicaid, and social security. CLS does not charge eligible clients for services.

Columbia Legal Services is a member of the Washington State Access to Justice Network. Acting under the guidance of the Supreme Court appointed Access to Justice Board, CLS works closely with other legal services and volunteer attorney programs, thousands of volunteer attorneys, law school clinical programs and many others throughout the state to develop and maintain a comprehensive system for those who cannot afford legal assistance.

Columbia's mission is to help low-income people or people in need to define, assert, promote, and enforce a full range of legal rights and interests within the civil justice system. CLS provides our clients with legal education, advice and representation in a full range of civil justice forums, such as courts and administrative agencies. In so doing, the program works to ensure that our clients can secure and exercise those rights and meet those responsibilities that are necessary for them to enjoy the benefits of a just society.

Columbia provides legal help to eligible individuals and organizations from eight regional offices located throughout the state of Washington.

In addition, Columbia has special programs designed to address the civil legal needs of people who face exceptional barriers that limit their ability to obtain effective legal assistance. These include:

  • Migrant and seasonal farm workers and their families
  • Residents of long term care (nursing homes, adult family homes, boarding homes) juvenile and correctional facilities
  • Native Americans
  • Seniors with unmet legal needs
  • Victims of domestic violence with emphasis on people with cultural, language or other special needs.

Columbia Legal Services is a member of the Washington State Access to Justice Network. Acting under the guidance of the Supreme Court-appointed Access to Justice Board, CLS works closely with other legal services and volunteer attorney programs, thousands of volunteer attorneys, law school clinical programs and many others throughout the state to develop and maintain a comprehensive delivery system for those who cannot otherwise afford legal assistance.


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Helping Low-Income People Find Solutions to Civil Legal Problems