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The Legal Action Center achieves its mission of reducing homelessness by preventing illegal or unnecessary evictions of low income residents of King County. We use volunteer attorneys and student legal assistance to help people with legal challenges to housing or rights as consumers. Legal action empowers individuals to understand and apply their legal rights to ensure due process in eviction cases.
The Legal Action Center (LAC) screens clients over the phone to make appointments or refer to other appropriate agencies. Appointments are made in the Advice Plus Program at five conveniently located neighborhood intake sites. A volunteer attorney offers preventive advice in landlord-tenant, debtor-creditor, and consumer protection matters. The attorney encourages the self-empowerment of clients to use their knowledge of legal rights and responsibilities to resolve their own problems. If more than advice is needed, the student who accompanies the volunteer to the intake site follows up on the matter, working under the supervision of staff attorneys. This early intervention is effective in accomplishing out-of-court resolutions of client disputes and preventing problems from escalating. If litigation is necessary in non-eviction cases, LAC makes direct referrals to the King County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Program. In addition to back up of the Advice Plus Program, LAC staff provides crisis intervention when tenants are faced with eviction from housing in King County (or Pierce County on a limited basis). Staff provides self-help information, court representation, or referral. Providing information and referrals to conveniently accessible sister CCS programs, or other social service agencies is an important part of the caring and comprehensive approach taken by LAC to prevent homelessness. Legal assistance alone can sometimes solve the problem. However, often the legal problem is only part of the solution and provides a point that facilitates their access to other services, such as emergency rent programs, public benefits programs, counseling, or medical care.
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