Legal Fellow - Yakima

Program Description

Columbia Legal Services (CLS) represents communities facing poverty and oppression, and we use every legal tool available on their behalf. CLS has a special responsibility to serve people whose access to free legal services is restricted, due to institutionalization or immigration status. Through impact litigation, policy reform, and innovative partnerships, our staff works together to further our mission to achieve social and economic justice for all, and to reveal and end actions that harm the communities we serve. We share a deep commitment to serve and advocate alongside our clients as we seek justice together.

Our vision of justice: when people have the necessary tools and opportunity to achieve social and economic justice, a more equitable and inclusive society is possible. The ideal candidate for any position at Columbia Legal Services will be able to articulate their role in the achievement of that vision.

Position Description

Columbia Legal Services seeks a full-time Legal Fellow to work in our Working Families Project for a two-year fellowship, located in our Yakima office. This position will provide systemic, multi-forum legal advocacy to advance a broad range of legal issues affecting farm and other low-wage workers and their families in Washington. This position will focus primarily on employment, as well as related civil rights matters and access to equal opportunities in our communities.


  • Work with a team of attorneys and legal workers on complex trial and appellate litigation, class actions, and legislative advocacy.
  • Creatively investigate and pursue new opportunities and identify practices and laws that adversely affect the rights and diminish the benefits of low-wage workers and devise creative strategies for addressing these problems.
  • Assist with the development of campaigns and strategies to advance the goals of the project team.
  • Coordinate with other advocacy groups, legal services organizations, and the private bar to identify opportunities and execute strategies to advance the law for low-income populations.
  • Be available to travel occasionally around the state and work flexible hours. May include travel to Olympia during the legislative session.


  • Bilingual skills in Spanish/English are required.
  • Law degree and license to practice in Washington, or ability to take next Washington bar exam.
  • Ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative, practical systemic solutions.
  • Excellent written and oral communication, research, negotiation, and analytical skills; superior attention to detail.
  • Willingness to work well independently and on a team, prioritize responsibilities, and meet deadlines on time-sensitive projects.
  • Experience in complex litigation or appellate advocacy a plus.
  • Cultural competence; experience working with low-income client communities, or immigrant and indigenous populations a plus.

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee.


CLS offers a competitive and comprehensive compensation package including generous holiday and paid time off, excellent employee health care benefits, paid parental leave, and a transportation benefit. Salary is commensurate with years of experience, and includes an annual cost-of-living adjustment. The entry-level salary for this position is $55,932. This is a bargaining unit position and is eligible for representation by Washington Legal Workers, our in-house labor union and is considered an adjunct position.


Position is open until filled. Please note that due to the volume of applications received, CLS is unable to respond to every application. CLS will contact you if we decide to pursue your application. If e-mailed, please make Legal Fellow your subject line. If you are interested in this position, send a cover letter, resume, a legal writing sample and a completed Equity Statement to:

Trisa Kern, Director of Program Administration
Columbia Legal Services
101 Yesler Way Suite 300
Seattle, Washington, 98104

Program Policy

Columbia Legal Services is committed to a policy of pluralism and equal opportunity in an environment free of barriers and discriminatory practices for its client communities, Board and staff. Pluralism refers to the active promotion of mutual respect, acceptance, teamwork and productivity among people who are diverse in work background, experience, education, race, color, national origin, sex, age, religious preference, marital status, sexual orientation, sensory, mental and physical abilities, veteran status, or any other perceived differences. The resulting diversity is both a source of program strength and a matter of fundamental human fairness. If you need a reasonable accommodation for the application process, contact us at 206-464-1122 or