Hiring Policy Statement

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.


Columbia Legal Services recruits nationally for all attorney positions by notifying law schools around the country, the Washington State Bar, specialty bar associations and other legal services programs and organizations in Washington. Columbia Legal Services staff participate at various public interest career fairs.


Staff Attorneys at CLS provide multi-dimensional civil legal representation in many areas of law and are expected to monitor developments and initiate related client representation projects in other areas of importance to people in need. Program attorneys may also focus on unique issues involving youth, seniors, Native Americans, people in institutions or farmworkers. Staff attorneys are expected to use the full range of potential forums to address relevant issues for clients (including litigation, administrative or legislative representation, alternative dispute resolution, etc.). Staff attorneys pay special attention to identifying legal solutions for those who suffer from disparate treatment or who shoulder disproportionate burdens of poverty because of special needs, disability, race, ethnicity, language barriers or other obstacles.

In addition to direct client representation, attorneys are expected to work to expand access to justice for low income persons through varied activities such as community legal education, outreach, training, technical assistance, and collaboration with the private bar, local community and client organizers, human and social service agencies, local justice systems and government, and other members of the Washington State Equal Justice Network. The work is highly challenging and demanding, and it is addressed in a collegial atmosphere that emphasizes teamwork.


Salary based on experience. Excellent benefits package. Most positions are governed by a collective bargaining agreement. We are a union shop.