News & Updates

Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid seeks contract attorneys in Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Skamania, Klickitat, Adams & Yakima counties
May 5, 2023 | Chinami Arai

OCLA’s Children’s Representation Program (CRP) underwrites and oversees the delivery of effective, standards-based and equity-informed representation for children and youth for whom attorneys are appointed under state law. The CRP is committed to fostering fundamental change in Washington State’s child welfare and juvenile court practices, which have historically and continue to cause disproportionate harm to BIPOC children and youth, as well as children and youth who have a range of learning and related disabilities; who suffer multiple and compounding traumas; who identify and/or present as gender or sex non-conforming; and who lack a legal voice in the process.

The CRP is currently seeking exceptional contract attorneys with a passion for equity and justice for children and youth involved in the child welfare system to accept appointments made under RCW 13.34.212(3) to provide legal representation for children 8-17 subject to dependency proceedings; 0-17 subject to both termination and dependency proceedings; and youth 18-21 participating in the extended foster care program in Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, Pacific, Skamania, Klickitat, Adams, and Yakima, Counties.


Compensation: The compensation rate for a full-time contract is set at a range of $158,000-$168,480 annually DOQ. Full-time contracts consist of a maximum caseload of 45 dependency clients and up to 15 additional collateral cases related to the underlying dependency (e.g. termination proceedings) for a total of 60 cases. Part-time contracts are compensated as a percentage of a full-time contract on the basis of caseload. Contracted compensation is intended to cover a contracted attorney’s salary as well as the attorney’s business operating expenses (e.g. office rent, supplies, support staff).

Support: CRP-contracted attorneys have access to funds for expert services, pursuant to OCLA’s expert services policy, as well as access to technical support from CRP staff. The CRP also coordinates and hosts a number of CLEs annually to ensure contractors can meet contractual training requirements.

• Licensed member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association.
• One to three years (1-3 years) experience practicing public interest law, especially child welfare law, is preferred.
• Ability and willingness to meet OCLA’s Children’s Representation Program Standards for Attorney, including:

  •  Participation in OCLA’s case activity and outcome tracking requirements and use of OCLA’s Case Activity, Reporting and Oversight System (CAROS).
  •  Completion of OCLA CRP’s web-based foundational training series.
  •  Participation in eight (8) hours of child welfare-related trainings and CLEs on an annual basis, including two (2) hours of training related specifically to issues of equity in the child welfare system
  •  Maintaining professional liability insurance.
  •  Submitting to semi-annual reviews by CRP staff as part of the CRP’s oversight function.
  •  Engaging in regular consultation with CRP Program Counsel on issues relating to the provision of contracted legal representation.
  •  Demonstrated commitment to providing standards-based, culturally sensitive, and equity-informed representation to children and youth.
  • Ability to employ effective, trauma-informed communication with children and youth consistent with their developmental ability to understand.
  •  Demonstrated commitment to investigating and raising issues relating to racial inequities and systemic biases that are prejudicial to the child or youth, in consultation with the child or youth.
  •  Be or become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or petition for a religious or disability-based exemption.
    For new attorneys or attorneys with limited experience representing children in dependencies, the following conditions are required in addition to those listed above:
  •  Willingness to actively participate in regional Communities of Practice and engage with designated CRP Attorney Mentors.
  •  Participation in regional orientation trainings.

For more information, click here.