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Columbia Legal Services


Who We Are

At Columbia Legal Services (CLS), we believe that justice is for everyone – not just people who can afford it. We are committed to working to end structural racism and achieve racial equity. CLS primarily represents low-income clients and groups with critical legal needs in cases involving severe and broad scale problems that impact large groups of people. 

CLS specializes in cases involving prisoners or people who have been involved with the criminal justice system and  agricultural workers. CLS considers representation in cases involving broad scale abuse, exploitation, denial of basic human rights, discrimination, opportunities to prevent or challenge the underlying causes of poverty and promote lasting economic security, and cases that help ensure meaningful political representation. 

CLS generally does not take direct client referrals or represent single clients. New clients are asked to first contact CLEAR at 1-888-201-1014. 

The Basic Human Needs Project at Columbia Legal Services safeguards access to food, healthcare, childcare, emergency financial assistance, safe and accessible housing, and protection from exploitation or abuse. Social service providers, community partners, or legal services advocates with potential referrals may contact Ann LoGerfo at ann.logerfo@columbialegal.org or by telephone at (206) 287-8615.

The Children and Youth Project at Columbia Legal Services does systemic advocacy regarding foster care, homelessness, education, the juvenile justice system, race equity, and healthcare. Social service providers, community partners, or legal services advocates with potential referrals may contact Sujatha Jagadeesh Branch at Sujatha.branch@columbialegal.org or by telephone at (206) 464-5911.

The Economic Justice Project at Columbia Legal Services seeks to promote lasting economic security and opportunity for marginalized communities. When communities and individuals have access to resources and when they are free from economic exploitation, they can prosper and thrive. We recognize that in order to address the consequences of the financial crisis, we must take up the related issues of medical debt, student loan debt, and financial issues affecting consumers, housing stability, and meaningful political representation to ensure that low-income communities have a fair opportunity to build economic stability. Social service providers, community partners, or legal services advocates with potential referrals may contact Annabell Joya at (206) 464-5933 x 124 or  1-800-542-0794, x 124.

The Institutions Project at Columbia Legal Services represents people whose lives have been effected by the criminal justice system. We provide legal advice, representation and referrals to people confined in Washington's jails, prisons, youth detention facilities, mental health facilities, and facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities. Our representation focuses on institutional conditions of confinement, discrimination, sentencing and placement, alternatives to institutionalization, and access to courts, as well as issues related to rehabilitation, reentry, and reductions in recidivism including housing, employment and legal financial obligations.  The Institutions Project can be reached through our collect intake line at 206-382-3399 from all jails, prisons and facilities at no cost.

The Working Families Project at Columbia Legal Services engages in policy advocacy and litigation on behalf of groups to protect and improve the right of farm workers and immigrant workers by improving conditions of employment, eliminating unlawful discrimination, and promoting full inclusion in the rights and responsibilities of our society. We generally do not represent individual clients with individual claims. Community partners are welcome to contact Lori Isley at lori.isley@columbialegal.org or 509-575-5593 x. 217

Who We Serve

Language(s) Spoken
  • Spanish / Español
Cirumstances and languages in which interpreters are provided

Translation and interpretive services provided as needed.

Income Guidelines

Your family’s income should be at or below the following percentage of the federal poverty level: 150% to 225% (depending on other circumstances). For those who are 60 years of age or older living in King County, there are no prescribed percentages, but the mission of CLS is to serve those who are low-income and cannot afford other services.

Your family's income should be at or below the following percentage of the federal poverty level
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Type of Help

This group provides the following types of services based on your legal needs and its resources:
  • Full Legal Representation
  • Other
Description of Services

Advice and Council through a reentry clinic for people with legal issues related to access housing and employment for people with a criminal record or needing advice about dealing with debts related to that criminal record.

Emergency Instructions

What is an Emergency? Severe, imminent threats to the health or safety of a group of low income people because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, immigration status, national origin, language, or status as low wage workers, low income or incarceration.

How to Get Help

You can contact this organization by:

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Cases or projects are developed through collaboration with community partners and contacts. CLS does not have the staff to screen individual client calls. Therefore, potential clients will generally need to be referred to CLS by agency staff, community advocates or by another legal services provider. Potential individual clients are asked to contact CLEAR at 1-888-201-1014. Possible referrals or questions concerning institutionalized people may be directed to CLS's Institutions Project.

General Contact Information

Columbia Legal Services
101 Yesler Way, Suite 300 (map)
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 464-5933
Toll Free
(206) 382-3386
Last Review and Update: Sep 11, 2017

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