NJP is a statewide not for profit law firm that employs just over 125 lawyers working in over 15 locations throughout Washington. NJP also has specialized units or projects that serve particularly vulnerable populations, including farm workers, Native Americans, Western State Hospital patients, veterans, victims of crime, survivors of domestic violence and persons over 60 years old. NJP services are free for eligible clients (NJP staff lawyers work solely for NJP eligible clients and are not in the “private” practice of law).
NJP operates CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral), a legal hotline for low income people. Persons seeking legal help outside King County are asked to call the CLEAR hotline, or in King County dial 211, for case screening and appropriate referral to NJP local offices or other civil legal aid and Alliance for Equal Justice providers in their community.
NJP also maintains a free legal resource website – WashingtonLawHelp.org – with "know your rights" information, videos, self-help packets and do-it-yourself forms covering many common civil legal issues.
NJP generally handles civil legal problems facing low income people due to lack of income. 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 casework, 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. 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; as well as working with local partners to identify financial security and planning options for low income persons.
NJP also 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.