Sources of Free Legal Information on
Washington State Law

Updated June 2, 2014.
Prepared by Mary Whisner. Updated by Cheryl Nyberg (2014); Rachel Turpin (2008-09); Chris O'Byrne (2005-06).

This list identifies free Internet sources of information on Washington State law, organized by subject. This page supplements the content available at Washington LawHelp.

Additional sources include:

For Internet sources of Washington laws, cases, and regulations, see our Free Law Online page.


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Administrative Law

Public Law Library of King County > Administrative Appeals Guide

Alternative Dispute Resolution (Arbitration, Mediation, Negotiation)

Washington Courts >  Washington State Dispute Resolution Centers (a directory)

Washington State Bar Association > Alternatives to Court

Public Law Library of King County > Alternative Dispute Resolution Guide

Dispute Resolution Washington (a directory)

Animals & Pets

Animal Legal and Historical Center > Washington (statutes, regulations, and ordinances)

Public Law Library of King County > Animal Law Guide

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Bankruptcy

Washington LawHelp > Consumer & Debt > Bankruptcy

Public Law Library of King County > Bankruptcy Guide

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Business Organizations

Access Washington >  Doing Business in Washington (starting a business, changing business status, growing a business, licenses & permits, hiring & managing employees, taxes, doing business with the state, and finding laws & regulations)

Washington Attorney General > Antitrust/Unfair Trade Practices

Washington Secretary of State >  Corporations  (the registration process & fees for corporations, limited liability companies, nonprofits, partnerships & professional service corporations, and a searchable directory)

Washington Department of Licensing

U.S.  Small Business Association, Washington District Office > counseling & training, a startup kit, and information about financing & business opportunities.

Seattle Office of Economic Development >  Doing Business in Seattle ( environmental programs, financial support, infrastructure, licensing, taxes, technical assistance, utilities & the workforce)

King County Bar Association > How to Form and Maintain a a Nonprofit Corporation in Washington State

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Charities

Washington Attorney General >  Charities (disputes, fund-raising & registration)

Washington Secretary of State > Consumer Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

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Civil Rights

Washington LawHelp > Civil Rights (Americans with Disabilities Act, discrimination, prisoners' rights  & other topics)
Washington LawHelp >  Housing Discrimination

Washington Human Rights Commission

King County Civil Rights Commission

King County Office of Civil Rights (fair employment, fair housing, public accommodations & fair contracting ordinances in unincorporated King County)

Public Law Library of King County >  Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation Research Guide

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Computers & Internet

Washington Attorney General > Internet Safety (spam, Internet auctions, file-sharing, and kids & the Internet)

King County Prosecuting Attorney >  Computer Crime Prevention (how to protect yourself & what to do if you suspect you are victim)

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Consumer Information & Protection

Washington LawHelp > Consumer & Debt (contracts, credit denial, credit reporting problems, debt collection, fraud & unfair sales practices, and loans)

Washington State Library > Find-It! Consumer (searchable)

Washington Attorney General > Consumer Issues A-Z (cell phones, contractors, franchises, identity theft, junk mail, pyramid schemes, senior fraud &  other topics)

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries > Hiring a Contractor (searchable database of licensing contractors, electricians & plumbers)

Washington State Bar Association >  Signing Documents

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Crime Victims

Washington Labor and Industries Dep't > Help for Crime Victims (victim compensation program & forms)

King County Prosecuting Attorney >  Victim Assistance (victim advocacy & rights, interpreters, notice, restitution & information for witnesses)

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Criminal Law

Washington LawHelp > Criminal (expungement of criminal records and prisoners' rights)

The Washington State Office of Public Defense > Brief Bank (copies of appellate briefs filed for indigent clients; free, but registration required) 

Seattle Police Department (fingerprinting, filing complaints, crime information, safety & prevention, and citizen & victim rights)

King County Prosecuting Attorney > computer crime, employee theft & insurance fraud

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington > Police Practices, What to Do If You Are Stopped by the Police & You and the Police

Washington State Bar Association > Criminal Law

Washington State Bar Association Leadership Institute, Police & Your Community: What You Need to Know to Challenge Actions and Change Policy in Washington State

Public Law Library of King County > Clearing Criminal Records Guide

Washington Courts > Criminal History and Criminal Records: A Guide on When and How to Challenge, Seal, Vacate or Expunge

King County Dep't of Adult and Juvenile Detention > Resource Guide (guide to assist those leaving detention and returning to the community)

See also Domestic Violence.

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Debts

Public Law Library of King County > Debt Collection Lawsuit Guide

Divorce

Washington LawHelp > Family Law (child support, divorce (called dissolution of marriage), do-it-yourself packets, parenting plans & relocation)

Washington State Bar Association > Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

King County Prosecuting Attorney >  Family Support Division

Public Law Library of King County > Divorce in Washington Guide

Seattle University School of Law Library > Community Property

See also Family Law and Marriage.

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Domestic Violence

Washington LawHelp > Domestic Violence & Antiharassment

Washington Secretary of State > Address Confidentiality (victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking)

King County > Domestic Violence Information Page

King County Prosecuting Attorney > Domestic Violence & Protection Order Advocacy Program

Public Law Library of King County Law Library > Domestic Violence Guide

Washington Courts

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Education

Washington LawHelp > Youth Law & Education (public education & schools, school discipline, special education & student loans)

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington State

Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Education

King County Prosecutor > truancy law (including "the Becca Bill")

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Elder Law

Washington LawHelp > Aging / Elder Law (guardianship & power of attorney, kinship care, long-term care assistance, Medicaid & Medicare, medical & mental health issues for seniors, Social Security & Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and wills & probate)

Washington Attorney General > Protecting Seniors (dealing with death, Medicaid and other fraud, prescription drug prices)

King County Prosecuting Attorney >  Elder Abuse Project

Washington State Bar Association >  Elder Law

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Elections & Voting

Washington Secretary of State > Elections & Voting

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington > How Ex-Felons Can Restore Their Right to Vote in Washington & Restoring the Right to Vote in Washington

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Family Law

Washington LawHelp > Family Law (child protection system, do-it-yourself packets, paternity & parentage, unmarried & same-sex couples, divorce, domestic violence, and marriage)

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries > Washington State Family Leave Act Q&A, Family Leave Insurance

King County Prosecutor > Family Support

Public Law Library of King County > Family Law Guide Index (links to pages on alternative dispute resolution, annulment, divorce, domestic violence, and guardians ad litem)

The Family Law Handbook for Washington State (prenuptial agreements, ending a marriage, community property, alimony, shared parenting, relocation, child support, domestic violence, child abuse & neglect, and community resources)

See also see Divorce, Domestic Violence, Marriage, and Minors.

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Foreclosure

Northwest Justice Project > Foreclosure Mediation in Washington State (video)

Washington State Bar Association > Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project

Freedom of Expression

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington >  Street Speech: Your Rights in Washington to Parade, Picket, and Leaflet

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Gay Men & Lesbians

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington > The Rights of Gays and Lesbians and the Work of the ACLU of Washington

Washington Human Rights Commission > Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Lambda Legal > Publications (anti-discrimination resources, marriage equality, etc.) and Help Desk (responds to community members seeking legal information or attorney referrals)

Housing & Mortgages for Gay & Lesbian Couples

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

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Government Assistance

Washington LawHelp > Government Benefits (appeals & hearings, cash assistance for families (TANF) & people with disabilities (GA & SSI), child care, Dep't of Social & Health Services programs & problems, emergency & food assistance, benefits for immigrants & refugees, health care assistance (Medicaid & Medicare), long-term care assistance, public & subsidized housing, unemployment compensation, veterans' benefits, and energy assistance). See also Housing > Emergency Shelter & Assistance.

Northwest Justice Project > Fair Hearing Basics in Washington State (video)

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Hate Crimes

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington >  Hate Crimes: Current Laws and Policy Recommendations

Washington Human Rights Commission > Hate Incidents/Crimes

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Health Care

WashingtonLawHelp > Health (basic rights of health care consumers, children's & seniors' medical & mental health care issues, obtaining & maintaining medical coverage, and the rights of the insured & uninsured)

American Civil Liberties Union in Washington > A Guide to Washington's Medical Marijuana Law and What You Should Know about Reproductive Freedom in Washington State

Northwest Health Law Advocates (information for Washington residents on low income medical insurance, individual health insurance, health insurance programs for children)

Northwest Justice Project > Public Healthcare for Children & Youth in Washington State (video)

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Immigration

WashingtonLawHelp > Immigration (becoming a permanent resident or US citizen, government assistance, issues for children & minors, visa petitions, and other immigration issues)

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Insurance

Washington Insurance Commissioner > consumer information page. Consumers with questions can call the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) HelpLine at 1-800-397-4422 or the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) Consumer Hot Line at 1-800-562-6900.

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Jury Duty

Washington Courts >  Welcome to Jury Duty (frequently asked questions, do's & don'ts, information for employers, links to local juror websites, a glossary of terms, and a juror's guide)

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Labor & Employment

Washington LawHelp > Employment / Farm Worker Rights (discrimination, health in the workplace, pensions, termination, unemployment compensation, wage claims & workers' compensation)

Washington Human Rights Commission > (discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit & and insurance) 

Washington Department of Licensing > Professional Licensing

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries

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Landlord &Tenant

Washington LawHelp > Housing (evictions, housing discrimination, mobile home park tenants, public & subsidized housing, and tenants' rights)

Washington Attorney General > Landlord - Tenant

Washington State Bar Association > Landlord/Tenant Rights

Public Law Library of King County > Landlord Tenant Guide and Eviction Process Guide

Washington Human Rights Commission > Fair Housing

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Lawyers & Legal Services

Washington LawHelp > More Legal Information > Representing Yourself / Additional Court Procedures (depositions, in forma pauperis motions, obtaining a name change, preparing for a hearing or trial, sealing or vacating criminal records, subpoenaing documents & witnesses, and other matters)

Washington State Bar Association

Washington State Practice of Law Board (filing a complaint for the unauthorized practice of law)

Washington State Access to Justice Board > county-based lawyer referral services

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Marriage

See also Divorce, Domestic Violence, and Family Law.

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Minors

Washington Law Help > Youth Law & Education (emancipation, foster care, homelessness, immigration issues, juvenile offenders, medical & mental health issues, public education & schools, school discipline, special education, and student loans)

King County Prosecuting Attorney >  Truancy

Columbia Legal Services, Homeless Youth Handbook: Legal Issues and Options (2013) (options for safety and stability, status offenses, foster care, housing, LGBTQ, education, employment, criminal law, health care, mental health and substance abuse, pregnancy and parenting, domestic violence, identification, public benefits, lawsuits, immigration).

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington >  Student/Youth Rights

King County Bar Association >  On Your Own: Your Legal Rights (driver's rights & responsibilities, jobs, tenant's rights & duties, money & credit, freedom of expression, crimes, marriage & children, your day in court, and working with a lawyer)

Northwest Justice Project > Juvenile Record Sealing in Washington State (video)
Northwest Justice Project > Public Healthcare for Children & Youth in Washington State (video)

See also Education and Family Law.

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Motor Vehicles

Washington Law Help > Consumer & Debt > Auto: Purchasing, Repairs, Towing & Insurance and Drivers and Professional Licenses.

Washington Attorney General > Lemon Law

Washington Department of Licensing

Public Law Library of King County > Traffic Infractions Guide

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Name Change

Washington LawHelp > More Legal Information > Representing Yourself / Additional Court Procedures > Name Change

Public Law Library of King County >  Name Change Guide

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Native Americans

Washington LawHelp > Native American Issues (discrimination & economic development, government benefits, the Indian Child Welfare Act, treaty rights, tribal acknowledgement, tribal law, and tribal land issues)

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Open Meetings & Public Records

Washington Attorney General > Open Government (open meetings, public disclosure and records)

American Civil Liberties Union > How to Get Government Records

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Power of Attorney

See Washington LawHelp > Health > Guardianships & Power of Attorney.

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Real Estate

Washington LawHelp > Consumer & Debt (buying & selling real estate, buying a manufactured home, filing complaints against contractors, foreclosure, forfeiture, predatory lending, quit claim deeds & reverse mortgages)

See also Foreclosure

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Small Claims

Washington LawHelp > Consumer & Debt > Small Claims Court

Washington Courts > An Introduction to Small Claims Court

Washington Attorney General > Disputes (small claims court, arbitration)

Public Law Library of King County > Small Claims Court Guide

How to Win the Small Claims Game by Mark Rahner, Seattle Times (Jan. 26, 2003).

King County Bar Association > King County Small Claims Courts: A Guide on How to Use the Small Claims Courts and How to Collect Small Claims Judgments

King County Small Claims Court

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Utilities

Washington LawHelp > Consumer & Debt > Energy Assistance, Utilities & Telecommunications

Washington Attorney General > Utilities

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Wills, Probate & Estate Planning

Washington LawHelp > Aging / Elder Law > Wills, Probate & Alternatives

Washington State Bar Association > Revocable Living Trusts

Washington State Probate (forms, instructions, and procedures)

Public Law Library of King County > Estate Planning Guide and Probate Law Guide

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Women

American Civil Liberties Union of Washington State > What You Should Know about Reproductive Freedom in Washington State

See also Divorce, Domestic Violence, Family Law, and Marriage.

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