State law prohibits the Attorney General, deputy attorneys general, and assistant attorneys general from engaging in the private practice of law. This means that they cannot represent private citizens in court either to bring an action on behalf of an individual, or to defend an individual. Any private citizen needing such representation should consult a private attorney.
There are, however, a number of resources available to assist veterans, military personnel and their families regarding their legal rights.
For military personnel and their families, the Armed Forces Legal Assistance Program serves as a source of legal information, including free legal services and attorney advice. Each Service branch has specific regulations explaining the legal services they provide. Specific services may vary by installation based on available resources and expertise of the legal assistance attorneys.
The Northwest Justice Project’s Veterans Project provides free legal services to financially eligible low-income and homeless veterans for civil (not criminal) legal problems that are barriers to housing, employment and self-sufficiency. They provide legal advice, representation and referrals on a variety of civil legal issues, including child support, consumer law and vacating criminal records.
Referrals and access to free or reduced-fee legal help for those who are low-income is available on the Washington State Bar Association’s website. The WSBA’s Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section also provides links to resources specific to veterans and military personnel.
The American Bar Association’s Home Front is an online resource to help military servicemembers, veterans and their families find information about a variety of legal issues military families may encounter. It also features a national directory of resources and programs for military families.
Stateside Legal provides legal information, including interactive forms and videos, and self-help tools for servicemembers, veterans and their families.
The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program provides free legal representation to eligible unrepresented veterans on their appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
The National Veterans Legal Services Program works to ensure that our nation’s veterans and military personnel get the benefits to which they are entitled due to disabilities resulting from their military service. They may be able to provide or connect veterans to free legal help.
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