All items on this page, except those owned or otherwise subject to the copyright restrictions of other parties, are provided for use by Columbia Legal Services under the Creative Commons BY-NC license for non-commercial use with attribution to originating authors.  


Cover of report, hands holding a house

Fair, accessible renting practices are an important aspect of a successful reentry for people who have been incarcerated. FARE Chances, Strong Communities examines why and suggests policies that would help create fairer chances for people who are reentering the community.

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Quick Guide to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

With the surge of migration of undocumented youth into the U.S., there is an increase in demand for attorneys to assist youth in obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). However, before a youth can seek SIJS, certain state court findings are necessary. This quick guide developed by Columbia Legal Services is designed to help attorneys obtain those findings in Washington State. Updated July 2015.


Download the Quick Guide to SIJS

Our Report to the Community covers the past year at Columbia Legal Services (CLS). We continued expanding pathways out of poverty and helped support lives of dignity and stability for some of the most disadvantaged communities in Washington. With primary funding from the Legal Foundation of Washington, supporting grants from a number of grantors, and partnerships within the Alliance for Equal Justice, CLS continued a tradition of high-impact advocacy to achieve results with the highest return on investments for justice.

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The CLS Communications Team tackles the whys and hows of social media and metrics for legal aid organizations. Published in the MIE Journal, Spring 2015.

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Columbia Legal Services (CLS) Director of Program Administration Trisa Kern covers transition memos as a key tool for creating continuity when an employee transitions to a new opportunity. Published in the MIE Journal, Winter 2014.

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Columbia Legal Services (CLS) Director Aurora Martin gathered with Advocacy Director John Midgley and Attorney Katara Jordan to discuss mentoring and working across three generations of legal services attorneys. Published in the MIE Journal, Fall 2014.

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By Casey Trupin. Originally published in Changing lives: lawyers fighting for children, edited by Rosado, L.
© 2014 by the American Bar Association.

A Matter of Survival: Representing Runaway and Homeless Youth
Prisoner's Hands

Columbia Legal Services (CLS) and the ACLU of Washington issued a report in February 2014 examining a counter-productive system of court-ordered debts imposed on poor people that, at its worst, results in poor people being locked up because they lack the means to debts imposed by the justice-system.

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Prepared by Melissa Lee with assitance from Beth Colgan.

This report examines the three strikes law in Washington, and those sentenced under it, to determine how the state's limited criminal justice resources are best deployed.

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This report documents the observations of Disability Rights Washington, Columbia Legal Services, and nationally-recognized abuse and neglect response experts. The report finds that the Washington Department of Social and Health Services does not adequately investigate and effectively respond to abuse and neglect allegations.


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Prepared by Amy Clark of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance as part of a CFED grant awarded to CLS for work with manufactured homeowners.

Preserving a manufactured home community requires legal help, funding, and a lot of organization. But with the right guidance and support—and a well-organized homeowner association—manufactured home parks can be saved.

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By Beth Colgan and the Washington Coalition for the Just Treatment of Youth, published February 2009. Implications of New Findings about Juvenile Recidivism and Adolescent Brain Development.

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Produced by Robin Zukoski, Diana Garcia and Lucas Cuellar in collaboration with the Access to Justice Project at Seattle University Law School. Completed February, 2009. This video contains the personal stories of Washington residents who relied on the GA-U assistance program to get through some difficult times in their lives.

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by Matt Geyman, published in the PCC Sound Consumer, April, 2008

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By Beth Colgan, first published in Clearinghouse Review, July-August 2007. Does a person represented by a unqualified, inexperienced, untrained, unsupervised, understaffed, and overworked lawyer have a well-grounded fear that he will not get effective legal assistance?

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By Ishbel Dickens, first published in Clearinghouse Review, March-April 2007.

Ownership of a home without owning the underlying land can be a nightmare for owners of manufactured homes when landlords may seel the property without regarde to the fate of the tenants.

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by Corey Fitzpatrick and Casey Trupin, first published in Lawyers Working to End Homelessness, 2006, published by the American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. Copyright © 2006 by the American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission.

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by Beth A. Colgan. First published in the Seattle Journal for Social Justice, Vol. 5, Issue 1 (Fall/Winter 2006).

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by Casey Trupin. First published in Lawyers Working to End Homelessness, 2006. Published by the Amercian Bar Association Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. Copyright © 2006 by the American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission.

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By Casey Trupin and Richard A. Wayman, first published in Clearinghouse Review, July-August 2005.

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