A Guide to Using the Gallagher Law Library for Members of the Public: Forms

Updated July 2, 2009.
Prepared by Mary Whisner and updated by Rachel Turpin (2009).

The Law Library does not sell or distribute blank forms but many sample forms are found in materials in the Library. We cannot provide assistance with filling out forms, nor do we have examples of real forms used in litigation or commerce.

This guide identifies print and online sources of forms.


Stationery Stores

Many stationery stores sell blank forms you can fill in, including forms such as residential leases, bills of sale, and powers of attorney. For instance, the University Book Store stocks some legal forms in its office supplies department.

Another source for blank forms for Washington is the Attorney's Information Bureau. They sell kits and forms for a variety of legal transactions, including annulment, divorce, eviction, garnishment, guardianship, probate, and separation. Some of these kits come with instructions.

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Formbooks

Formbooks are reference books that provide sample forms for attorneys to use in drafting legal documents. Some are limited to one special area of the law, and some are very broad, covering many aspects of law practice and many subjects. Some are tailored to one jurisdiction, and some are national in scope.

Please be aware that formbooks are just samples to help you with drafting. Even though they were drafted by very capable attorneys, the authors did not know you or the particular facts of your situation. The authors may not have researched the law of your jurisdiction, and they could not foresee what changes in the law there would be in the years after their formbooks were published. Even if you use a published form to get you started, you may need to adapt it to fit your needs.

Several sets of general formbooks are found at KF170 in the Reference Area. Formbooks relating to practice and procedure are under call number KF8835.

The Washington Lawyers Practice Manual is a very useful set which includes forms tailored to Washington State.
KFW80.W27 1986 at Reference Area 

Treatises, practice manuals, and continuing legal education (CLE) materials often include relevant forms. To find these, search the Law Library catalog under the subject you want. Hint: books that have a lot of forms are cataloged with the subheadings "forms" in the subject heading, for instance: Bankruptcy -- United States -- Forms. So use the word "forms" as one of your search terms.

See the Gallagher guide on Drafting Contracts: Formbooks and Drafting Resources for a list of many useful sources available in the Law Library.

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Online

Many government agencies and organizations make forms available on the Web. Note that many of these forms are available as word processed documents and/or Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF).

Washington State

Courts

Washington Courts, Washington State Court Forms includes a large number of family law forms (divorce, child support and custody, domestic violence, parenting plans, etc) and other forms dealing with bankruptcy, criminal law, garnishment, name change,  juvenile offenders, and small claims.

King County Superior Court Forms includes forms for selected motions. 

King County District Court provides forms for anti-harassment actions, civil actions, criminal history releases, deferred prosecution, domestic violence, traffic infractions, and other matters.

Pierce County Superior Court Forms includes forms for selected motions.

Washington LawHelp > More Legal Information > Court Forms, contains more than 50 forms, in addition to those provided by the Washington Courts website.

Agencies

WA Labor and Industries Dep't, Get a Form or Publication is searchable by title and number.

WA Licensing Dep't has information about and forms for business, commercial drivers, drivers, and professional and occupational licenses; Uniform Commercial Code forms; and public disclosure forms. The site also includes a list of forms by form number.

WA Revenue Dep't Forms provides forms in an alphabetic list, by category, and tax returns.

WA Secretary of State includes forms for establishing and registering corporations, limited liability companies, nonprofits, and professional service corporations.

WA Social and Health Services Dep't, Electronic DSHS Forms includes dozens of forms, many of which are translated into Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Spanish, and/or Vietnamese.

Federal

Forms.gov is "the U.S. Government's official hub for federal forms." Searched by form number or agency.

The U.S. Courts website provides official bankruptcy forms.

Citizenship and Immigration Services website provides forms and filing fee information.

Copyright Office includes copyright forms and fact sheets.

Internal Revenue Service provides an extensive list of tax forms, instructions, and publications for the current year and previous years (back to 1990).

Patent and Trademark Office provides forms for business transactions, patents, and trademarks.

Small Business Administration provides forms for disaster, financial, and technical assistance.

Social Security Administration offers benefit claim and other forms.

Veterans Affairs Department provides a searchable collection of forms. Search by form number, title, or keyword.

Other Sources

WashingtonLawHelp has forms on a wide variety of legal issues, including consumer law, family law, and housing law. Most of the forms are written by lawyers at the Northwest Justice Project or other nonprofit groups. Many of them are translated into other languages.

Federation of Tax Administrators' state tax forms.

Dozens of commercial sites offer sample forms. Often they provide a small number of free forms and then a larger number of forms for sale. Washburn University's Legal Forms page links to many of these websites. Examples include:

  • LexisOne includes more than 6,000 free forms on topics including contracts for legal services, bankruptcy, criminal law, family law, leases, licensing, living wills and powers of attorney, real estate, social security, and workers' compensation.
  • Nolo's EForms are available on business and human resources, family law, immigration, property and money, rights and disputes, and wills and estate planning.
  • Legal Forms provides free forms dealing with adoption, corporations, employment, financial issues, medical issues, real estate, rental agreements, service agreements, vehicles, and wills and estates.

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