The Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is an independent agency in the judicial branch of state government. Recognizing that “the provision of civil legal aid services to indigent persons is an important component of the state's responsibility to provide for the proper and effective administration of civil and criminal justice,” the Washington State Legislature established OCLA in 2005 to manage the then-small state investment in civil legal aid services to low-income people in Washington State. In the years since, the Legislature has greatly expanded the scope of OCLA’s responsibilities.
Consistent with The Washington State Supreme Court’s June 4, 2020 Statement to the Legal Community, OCLA acknowledges that it and its contracted civil legal aid providers operate in a law and justice system historically grounded in racism and that time and again has administered justice differentially depending on the racial identities of those involved. OCLA was an initial subscriber to the Washington Race Equity and Justice Acknowledgments and Commitments. As outlined in its own Race Equity and Justice Statement of Purpose, OCLA is committed to being an active partner in carrying out the Washington State judicial branch’s commitment to ensuring equity and justice for people and communities throughout our state.
OCLA’s Children’s Representation Program (CRP) underwrites and oversees the delivery of effective, standards-based and equity-informed representation for children and youth for whom attorneys are appointed under state law. The CRP is committed to fostering fundamental change in Washington State’s child welfare and juvenile court practices, which have historically and continue to cause disproportionate harm to BIPOC children and youth, as well as children and youth who have a range of learning and related disabilities; who suffer multiple and compounding traumas; who identify and/or present as gender or sex non-conforming; and who lack a legal voice in the process.
The CRP is currently seeking exceptional contract attorneys with a passion for equity and justice for children and youth involved in the child welfare system to accept appointments made under RCW 13.34.212(3) to provide legal representation for children 8-17 subject to dependency proceedings; 0-17 subject to both termination and dependency proceedings; and youth 18-21 participating in the extended foster care program in Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Skamania, Klickitat, Adams, and Yakima, Counties.
Applications will be accepted until positions are filled. To apply, please email the following information to email@example.com with the county or counties of interest in the subject line.
Complete applications include all of the following application materials:
- Letter of interest which includes the following details:
o Each of your qualifications as per above;
o The nature of your current practice, including caseload capacity
o Experience, if any, representing children and youth in the child welfare system;
o History of demonstrated commitment to principles of equity and social justice and willingness to support the commitments outlined in OCLA’s Race Equity and Justice Statement of Purpose and The Washington State Supreme Court’s June 4, 2020 Statement to the Legal Community; and
o County or counties of interest
- Three professional references to include at least one former employer
- Redacted, self-authored legal writing sample.
OCLA reserves the right to amend this Request for Qualifications and/or to refrain from contracting with any or all applicants. The request for qualifications does not obligate the State of Washington or OCLA to contract for the services specified.