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. Please do not leave voicemail to request assistance, we are unable to return calls. Instead, please call us during the hours below, fill out our online form, or send us a letter to PO Box 2728, Seattle WA 98111.

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

Contacting Us Online

The best way to contact the ACLU-WA’s IRP with legal issues is through our online information and referral request form. The online form gives you the opportunity to provide information and important details about your legal issue, and for the ACLU-WA’s IRP to respond to you with relevant literature and resources via email. Response times varies, but typically range from one to two weeks.

 

Get Help By Phone

Contacting Us By Phone

IRP counselors answer calls on the IRP line 206.624.2180, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Please note that we do not accept voicemail messages or return calls on the IRP line.

The counselor may be able to provide general legal information and referrals to other organizations over the phone but may also send information via email or mail. Depending on the issues you raise, the counselor may ask you to send additional information.

Contact Us By Mail

Contacting Us By Mail

Write the ACLU-WA’s IRP at the following address:

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington
Information and Referral Program
PO Box 2728
Seattle, WA 98111-2728
United States
 
We only respond to letters that are written to the ACLU-WA. 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 include it in your letter. Please see below for other information to include in your letter.

Other Legal Resources

The following are issues that the ACLU-WA cannot take on as cases but the Information and Referral Program may have legal information and referrals to provide for them:  
Criminal Defense & Appeals Landlord-Tenant Disputes Family Law Cases (divorce, custody, etc.)
Building Code Issues Property Disputes Complaints about Lawyers or Judges
Tax Problems Immigration Defense Personal Injury Lawsuits
Domestic Violence cases Sexual Assault cases Benefits cases (SSA, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, etc.)










To assist you with legal information and referrals, the ACLU-WA 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.
  • Please note whether you are presently represented by an attorney in the legal matter you are writing about.
  • Briefly describe your legal problem or issue. Please include any relevant dates and give the names of individuals or organizations involved in the matter.
  • Briefly describe any documentation of the legal matter. If there are relevant documents, please attach copies (not originals) to your letter.
  • Briefly describe any steps you took to resolve this issue (for instance: filed a grievance, contacted another agency or organization, or gone through an appeals process). Please include information on where you filed, what you filed and the result.
  • Describe your desired outcome or what you would like to have happen concerning the legal issue or matter.
  • Your gender and race [optional, for statistical purposes only]
The ACLU of Washington 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.
 

Other Legal Resources

If you need help with an issue that the ACLU cannot help with, 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.
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 including family law, evictions, consumer, and benefits 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.
Lawyer Referral Services in SW Washington (Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum), King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties. makes county-specific attorney referrals for a modest fee (usually $35 - $75), which typically includes a 30-minute initial consultation. Please note after the first consultation or the first 30 minutes, the attorneys charge their regular fees.
Moderate Means Program connects people with legal professionals offering sliding scale fees. The program has financial eligibility guidelines (gross income must be between 200% and 400% of the Federal Poverty level) and the program only handles family, consumer, housing, and unemployment benefit cases.