News & Updates

The Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) seeks Eviction Defense Program Counsel
January 9, 2023 | Chinami Arai

Position: Eviction Defense Program Counsel
Agency: Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid
Salary: $102,000 to $107,000 DOE
Location: Washington State
Travel: Travel is required
Open: January 1, 2023
Close: Until Filled; OCLA reserves the right to close the recruitment at any time
Start Date: February 15, 2023 or as soon thereafter as possible


The Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) seeks a highly motivated individual to support effective continued implementation of the nation’s first (and still only) program for court-appointed counsel program to represent indigent tenants in unlawful detainer (eviction)proceedings.

This position will also help support programs dedicated to providing civil relief for individuals entitled to relief as a result of the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Blake and those reentering civil society from incarceration. OCLA is the independent judicial branch agency that manages and oversees state appropriations
for civil legal aid in Washington State. Upon legislative directive, OCLA established and now operates the nation’s first appointed counsel program for indigent tenants facing eviction. In addition, OCLA funds a wide range of civil legal aid programs and projects focused on ensuring equity of access to the civil justice system for low-income people in Washington State.

These include (a) a general statewide civil legal aid program, (b) a program providing appointed counsel for children and youth in the child welfare system, (c) a program providing civil legal assistance to victims of crime, (d) programs providing civil legal help to persons adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and (e) a number of smaller niche programs including programs to provide civil legal assistance to individuals reentering civil society following
incarceration and those eligible for civil relief as a result of the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Blake.

Primary Activities
The Eviction Defense Program Counsel will work under the supervision of the Eviction Defense Program Manager to support the Eviction Defense program. Principal responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
1. Monitoring contract compliance and performance of Eviction Defense Program contractors, including in-person and virtual observation of eviction defense dockets throughout the state.
2. Providing technical assistance, support to, and coordination with eviction defense attorneys, courts, and other stakeholders.
3. Coordinating with statewide advocacy and training staff to ensure meaningful access to technical assistance and support for eviction defense providers and attorneys.
4. Drafting contracts and scopes of work relating to provision of eviction defense services.
5. Developing and drafting policies and guidance for contractors and courts on effective implementation of the program.
6. Ensuring accountability to OCLA’s and contractors’ race equity commitments in the administration and execution of this program.
7. Performing such other duties that, in consultation and under the supervision of the Eviction Defense Program Manager or OCLA Director or the Director’s designee may require

Additional Duties
The Eviction Defense Program Counsel will also support administration and oversight of OCLA’s programs and contractors involved in the provision of reentry related civil legal assistance and legal assistance to individuals eligible for civil relief under the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision in State v. Blake. These activities are also supervised by the Eviction Defense Program Manager. They may comprise up to 25% of the Program Counsel’s time.
Skills and Background
1. Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Public Administration (MPA), or related professional, administrative, and/or lived experience that demonstrates the capacity to perform the essential functions of the position (required)

2. Direct or administrative service in civil legal aid, public defense, or other appointed counsel program (required)

3. Demonstrated understanding of the impact of race, bias, discrimination, and differential
treatment of communities disproportionately composed of Black, Indigenous, and people of color, individuals who identify as LGBTQIA2S or other sexual minorities, individuals with disabilities, immigrants, limited English speaking persons, and others who have been historically marginalized in rental housing markets and in the law and justice
system. (required)

4. Knowledge and understanding of courts, court systems, and landlord-tenant law(preferably Washington State landlord-tenant law) (required)

5. Excellent written and verbal communication skills. (required)

6. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite applications (esp. Word, Excel, PowerPoint) (required)

The EDP Program Counsel reports to the EDP Program Manager
Compensation and Benefits
Location: OCLA operates predominately as a virtual agency; preference for location in the
Puget Sound region of western Washington
Salary: $102,000 to $107,000 DOE
Benefits: Paid medical/dental, life insurance, and long term disability insurance programs
Leave: Paid vacation and sick leave benefits
Retirement: Employer contributions to state retirement benefits
Click here for more benefits information.

Application Procedure
Applications must be emailed to and should include the subject heading Statement of Interest — Eviction Defense Program Counsel.
Submissions must include:
• A cover letter and resume outlining the applicant’s credentials and professional/lived experience that is responsive to the skills and background outlined in this Notice
• A list of at least three (3) peer professional references
• A self-edited writing sample
• A completed application for state employment (MS Word file)

CLOSING DATE: The announcement will remain open until filled, and applications will be
accepted until the position is filled. OCLA reserves the right to close the recruitment at any time.

For more information, click here.