Finding Legal Help
To connect Washington's military service members and veterans to available legal services and resources, the Attorney General's Office maintains a registry of programs offering free legal assistance to military service members, veterans, and their families. See below for more information:
- Armed Forces Legal Assistance Program --- 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 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. You can find the nearest military legal assistance office online at http://legalassistance.law.af.mil/content/locator.php.
- Northwest Justice Program's Veterans Program --- The Northwest Justice Project's Veterans Program provides free legal services to Washington's financially eligible low-income and homeless veterans for civil (not criminal) legal probelms that are barriers to housing, employment, and self-sufficiency. They can provide legal advice, referrals, and, in some cases, direct representation on a variety of civil legal issues, such as child support and discharge upgrades. You can contact the Veterans Program by calling toll-free at 1-888-201-1012. More information is also available online at www.nwjustice.org.
- WA Vets Wills Clinic --- The WA Vets Wills Clinic provides free estate planning documents to eligible veterans of the Armed Forces. Clinic events are by appointment only. More information about eligibility criteria and how to get notice for upcoming events is at www.wavetswillclinic.com.
- WashingtonLawHelp.org --- WashingtonLawHelp.org is an online guide to free civil legal services for low-income persons and seniors in Washington. The site provides basic information on a number of legal issues and, in some cases, detailed instructions and forms to help Washington residents represent themselves in court. It includes specific information for veterans and military service members at www.washingtonlawhelp.org/issues/veterans-military.
- Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association's Volunteer Legal Services Clinics --- The Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association's Volunteer Legal Services Program offers help to veterans, active military service members, and their families through three regular legal clinics. You can get more information by calling 1-253-572-5134 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- USO Transition Services (formerly RallyPoint/6) Legal Clinic: Open to ALL veterans, active service members and their families for any civil legal issues, including discharge upgrades and VA benefit questions. Held on the first and third Thursdays of each month from 6-8 p.m. at USO Transition Services, 9881 Bridgeport Way SW, Lakewood, WA 98499.
- Disabled Veterans Clinic at American Lake: For residents enrolled in programs at the American Lake Domiciliary. Held twice monthly on Wednesday evenings.
- Pierce County Prosecutor's Family Law Clinic for Veterans: Volunteers from the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office provide help to veterans or military service members with family law matters. Held in the evening on the second Wednesday of each month at 621 Tacoma Avenue S, Suite 303, Tacoma, WA 98402.
- National Veterans Legal Services --- The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) works to ensure that our nation's veterans and military personnel get the benefits to which they are entitled due to diabilities resulting from their military service. NVLSP may be able to provide or connect veterans to free legal help. Visit www.nvlsp.org for information on the programs and services offered.
- The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program --- The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program provides free legal represenation to eligible unrepresented veterans on their appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. You my be eligible for hlep if you are a veteran who has received an adverse decision from the Board of Veterans' Appeals, you have appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, you are not represented by an attorney, and you meet the program's financial eligibility guidelines. For more information you can call the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program toll-free at 1-888-838-7727 or visit www.vetsprobono.org.
- Stateside Legal --- Stateside Legal provides legal information, including interactive forms and videos, and self-help tools for service members, veterans, and their families. Visit www.statesidelegal.org.
- Home Front: Legal Resources for Military Families --- 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. It also features a national directory of resources and programs for military families. Visit www.americanbar.org/portals/public_resources/aba_home_front.html.
If you want to seek legal assistance through any of these programs, please visit the appropriate link or use the contact information provided above.
The Attorney General's Office works to keep the registry as accurate and up to date as possible. If you have questions, you may also contact the Pro Bono Manager of the Attorney General's Office of Military and Veteran Legal Assistance by using the online contact form.
While the Attorney General's Office works to connect members of the public to legal assistance, state law otherwise generally prohibits the Attorney General's Office from representing private individuals in court, whether it is to bring an action on behalf of a private individual or to defend a private individual. Similarly, while the office may answer questions of a general nature, the office is not authorized to provide direct legal advice to individuals on personal matters.
Persons needing legal representation should consult a private attorney, potentially accessed through the programs listed on the registry above. If you need to talk with an lawyer but do not know an attorney in your area, you may access the Washington State Bar Association's (WSBA) Lawyer Directory to search by city. WSBA's website also include information on lawyer referral services and a reduced-fee legal help program.
In collaboration with partners across Washington, the Attorney General's Office is actively encouraging attorneys and other members of the legal community to volunteer their time to meet the legal needs of our military service members and veterans. If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities to help Washington's military service members and veterans, please contact the Attorney General's Pro Bono Manager, who will follow up with you to discuss the opportunities available.