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Office of Civil Legal Aid - About Us





“The provision of civil legal aid services to indigent persons is an important component of the state's responsibility to provide for the proper and effective administration of civil and criminal justice”  RCW 2.53.005

The Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is an independent judicial branch agency.  It is responsible for administration and oversight of state funds that are appropriated by the Legislature to provide civil (not criminal) legal aid services to low income people in Washington State. 

Supporting the Provision of Civil Legal Aid Services

If you are low income and need help with a civil legal problem, please click here.

The Office of Civil Legal Aid does not provide civil legal aid services directly.  It is a contracting and oversight agency.  The Office of Civil Legal Aid contracts with the Northwest Justice Project for the efficient and effective delivery of civil legal aid services to eligible low income clients throughout the state.

  • Domestic relations and family law matters
  • Public assistance and health care
  • Housing and utilities
  • Social security
  • Mortgage foreclosures
  • Home protection bankruptcies
  • Consumer fraud and unfair sales practices
  • Rights of residents of long-term care facilities
  • Wills, estates, and living wills
  • Elder abuse
  • Guardianship

The Northwest Justice Project uses state funds to:

  • Operate a statewide toll-free client intake, advice and referral system (CLEAR)
  • Providing direct civil legal aid services through regional and satellite civil legal aid offices in 17 locations throughout the state
  • Help support 17 local programs that recruit and support the ability of thousands of private attorneys to provide volunteer or pro bono legal aid services to low income people throughout the state and five specialized providers of civil legal aid services
  • Provide statewide training, support and assistance for staff attorneys and cooperating volunteer attorneys working to provide civil legal aid services to low income Washingtonians.

Bipartisan Oversight

The activities of the Office of Civil Legal Aid are overseen by an 11-member bipartisan Civil Legal Aid Oversight Committee.


The Office of Civil Legal Aid ensures that state-appropriated civil legal aid funding is used for the purposes for which it has been appropriated and that the services provided are delivered efficiently, effectively and consistently throughout the state.  The OCLA monitors the activities of state-funded legal aid providers and ensures fiscal accountability and compliance with the statute governing the use of state-appropriated civil legal aid funding. 


If you have questions about the Office of Civil Legal Aid or the services funded through it, please feel free to contact us

Other Important Information

The Office Of Civil Legal Aid's Policy on Public Records

Judicial Branch Whistleblower Protection Applies to Office of Civil Legal Aid

Click Here For Information on How to File a Whistleblower Complaint



 Last Updated 02/14/12








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