About Getting Help

The ACLU of Washington addresses only matters that occur in Washington state. But the ACLU is nationwide; so if you are concerned about an issue from another state, find your state’s ACLU office here.
 

Know Your Rights:  Free Legal and Self-Help Information

Look here for legal information on a broad range of civil liberties and civil rights.  We hope these materials help you stand up for your rights.
 

Contact Us for Information

We provide information in response to specific inquiries; we coach people about how to assert their rights, and share information about other organizations and agencies that can help. 
 
The ACLU-WA takes on a relatively small number of cases – cases that will have a big impact on a large number of people.  In most ACLU cases, we challenge unconstitutional or illegal actions by the government.  The ACLU-WA is a private non-profit organization and receives no government funds. 
 
There are some things the ACLU does not assist with:
 
There are some things the ACLU does not assist with:
  • Criminal Defense or Appeals
  • Landlord-Tenant Disputes
  • Family Law Cases (divorce, custody, etc.)
  • Building Code Issues
  • Property Disputes
  • Complaints about Lawyers or Judges
  • Tax Problems
 

Get Help Online

Contact Us Online

The best way to contact the ACLU with legal questions and issues is through our online intake form. The online form gives you the opportunity to provide complete information about important details of your issue, and for the ACLU to respond to you with relevant literature and resources via email.

Get Help By Phone

To Contact Us By Phone

Volunteer counselors answer calls on the ACLU Intake and Referral Line at 206.624.2180, from 10:00—3:00, Tuesday through Thursday. Please note that we do not accept voicemail messages or return calls.

The counselor may be able to provide general information over the phone. Depending on the issues you raise, the counselor may ask you to send additional information. If the ACLU cannot help you, the counselor will try to refer you to an organization that can.

Contact Us By Mail

To Contact Us By Mail

Use the guidelines below to write the ACLU at the following address:

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington
901 Fifth Avenue, Suite 630
Seattle, WA 98164

We only respond to letters sent that are written to the ACLU. We do not respond to copies of letters sent to other groups. Response time varies, but typically ranges between two to four weeks. E-mail responses are more prompt; if you have an e-mail address, please list it in your letter.

In order to assist you, the ACLU needs the following information:

  • Your name and, mailing address, telephone and e-mail address (if available)
  • If you are writing on behalf of another person, please provide the person's name. Also state your relationship to the person and provide any contact information you have for the person.
  • Are you presently represented by an attorney in the matter you are writing about?
  • Briefly describe the problem or issue about which you are contacting the ACLU. Please include any relevant dates and give the names of individuals or organizations involved in the matter.
  • Do you have any documentation of this matter? If so, please describe it. If there are relevant documents, please attach copies (not originals) to your letter
  • Have you taken any steps to resolve this issue (for instance: filed a grievance, contacted another agency or organization, or gone through an appeals process)?
  • If yes, where and what did you file, and what was the result?
  • What would you like the ACLU to do concerning this matter?
  • Your gender and race [optional, for statistical purposes only]

The ACLU of Washington Foundation maintains the confidentiality of all information we receive. We may wish to share this information with other legal organizations while investigating complaints, but we will always seek your permission before doing so.

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To Contact Us Using SecureDrop

Although we use baseline security measures to protect our online request system, the ACLU of Washington maintains a SecureDrop server for individuals who want to contact us using alternative, more secure communications.

Temporarily unavailable. Coming soon.

Other Legal Resources

If you need help with an issue that the ACLU cannot help with as noted above, there are a number of other legal resource organizations that may be better situated to provide legal information or assistance:
 
WSBA Legal Resources Page: The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) provides a list of legal resources available throughout Washington here.
 
CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education Advice & Referral) provides civil legal services for Washingtonians with limited incomes on a wide range of civil (non-criminal) legal issues.
 
Washington Law Help provides legal education materials and tools that give you basic information on a number of legal problems, and in some cases, detailed instructions and forms to help you represent yourself in court.
 
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) is a statewide agency that advises low-income clients of any nationality on immigration matters. NWIRP provides some pro bono assistance in both asylum and general deportation cases.
 
King County Bar Association (KCBA) Neighborhood Legal Clinics offer free, limited legal advice and referrals to King County residents and Washington State residents with legal issues in King County. The clinics provide FREE 30-minute consultations with an attorney at 34 locations across King County. Attorneys determine whether the client has a legal problem, suggest possible options, and provide appropriate referrals; attorneys do not, however, provide direct legal representation.