As part of the UW School of Law’s commitment to public service and access to justice efforts, we provide free legal representation to under-represented clients. Many clinics can only take clients through referral from other organizations due to limited resources.
These clinics take cases from the public without referral:
- Children and Youth Advocacy (CAYAC): The CAYAC accepts cases from the general public only if they involve denial of representation for a child or teenager in the child abuse and neglect system.
- Entrepreneurial Law Clinic: The ELC teams law and MBA students with pro bono attorneys expert in business law. Teams provide legal advice to low-income microentrepreneurs, entrepreneurs in economically distressed communities, and pre-funded high-tech start ups.
- Federal Tax Clinic: The clinic represents taxpayers who have ongoing disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers who earn from $26,000 per year (for single taxpayers) to $62,000
per year (for a family of five) can receive representation from the clinic free of charge.
- Innocence Project Northwest Clinic (IPNW): The IPNW Clinic selects cases based on a number of factors. To submit a case for consideration, a prisoner must first fill out an application and mail it to the IPNW Clinic. Download a printable version of the IPNW Application for Assistance.
In order to qualify for representation, a prisoner must:
- Be wrongly convicted of crimes in Washington (for help in other states, please see a list of other innocence projects);
- Be unable to afford counsel;
- No longer have the right to appointed counsel;
- Have completed the direct appeals process;
- Have at least three years of prison time remaining to be served;
- Have a claim of actual innocence that can be proven through DNA testing or other newly discovered evidence; and
- Have no involvement in the crime whatsoever (The IPNW Clinic will not take cases in which the prisoner claims an affirmative defense such as self-defense, insanity or accidental death, or cases in which the prisoner seeks a reduction of his or her sentence).
- Mediation Clinic: The Mediation Clinic helps parties settle disputes without going to court.
Check the other clinics' client pages for information about the types of cases and referrals they take: