State law generally prohibits the Attorney General's Office from representing private citizens in court, either to bring an action on behalf of an individual or to defend an individual. Similarly, the office is not authorized to provide legal advice to private citizens on personal matters. Any private citizen needing legal representation should consult a private attorney.
There are a number of resources, however, available to assist veterans, military personnel, and their families regarding their legal rights, some of which are highlighted below:
Armed Forces Legal Assistance Program - For active duty 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 branch of the Armed Forces 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.
Northwest Justice Project - The Northwest Justice Project’s Veterans Program 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.
Washington State Bar Asscociation (WSBA) - The WSBA recently launched a "Call to Duty" designed to involve volunteer attorneys in meeting the legal needs of veterans and their families. Referrals and access to free or reduced-fee legal help for those who are low-income is available on the WSBA’s website, which also includes links to local county bar associations, many of which offer local lawyer referral services.The WSBA's Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Section also provides links to resources specific to veterans and military personnel.
WashingtonLawHelp.org - WashingtonLawHelp.org is an online guide to free civil legal services and provides basic information on a number of legal issues, including specific information for veterans and miltiary service members. In some cases there are detailed instructions and forms to help individuals represent themselves in court.
ABA Home Front - The American Bar Association’s Home Front is an online resource to help military service members, 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 - Stateside Legal provides legal information, including interactive forms and videos, and self-help tools for service members, veterans, and their families.
Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program - 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.
National Veterans Legal Services - 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.
WA Vets Will Clinic - The WA Vets Will Clinic provides free estate planning documents to eligible veterans of the Armed Forces. Clinic events are by appointment only.