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What We Do
NJP is a statewide not for profit law firm that employs just over 100 lawyers working in 17 locations throughout Washington. NJP also has several specialized units or programs that serve particularly vulnerable and targeted populations, including farm workers, Native Americans, Western State Hospital patients, survivors of domestic violence and persons over 60 years old. NJP staff lawyers are not engaged in the “private” practice of law, but work solely for NJP eligible clients.
In addition, NJP contracts with several private attorneys around the state who have agreed to accept cases for eligible clients if NJP lawyers in that region are not able to handle the case. These lawyers are paid by NJP (not the client) at a highly reduced rate from what they would normally charge for their services.
NJP generally handles civil legal problems facing low income people due to lack of income, problems with education, employment or loss of employment, disabilities, discrimination, consumer abuse or illegal business practices, physical or family safety, barriers they have in seeking help, services or accessing the courts or other means of resolving disputes or addressing their needs.
These problems often occur in situations involving domestic violence, eviction or other loss of housing, job conditions or lost wages, educational barriers, lack of access to or loss of government benefits or health care, debt collection, transportation needs, language or cultural barriers to accessing social services or justice systems, etc.
In addition to individual case work, NJP helps community groups and non-profit organizations working with low income families and individuals understand legal rights and obligations through community education presentations, trainings and consultation on legal problems community groups are addressing for themselves, their members or client constituencies. For example, NJP has helped public housing and mobile home park resident associations solve disputes with housing authorities and other landlords; worked with disabilities support groups to address discrimination or obtain reasonable accommodations; initiated collaborations with court-based entities to address language access needs for limited-English speakers; helped create community-based food banks; and, among other things, works with local partners to identify financial security and planning options for low income persons.
NJP also maintains a free legal resource web site – www.washingtonlawhelp.org – with up to date legal information, forms and instructions. Persons seeking legal help outside King County are asked to call NJP’s CLEAR intake line, or in King County dial 211, for case screening and appropriate referral to NJP local offices or other civil legal aid providers in their community.