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Our Impact

We solve legal problems for our community

Every year we provide free legal help and resources to thousands of people throughout King County. We work with individuals and families in our region who can’t afford a lawyer, including domestic violence survivors, veterans, seniors, immigrants, and people just like you.

“I will always be thankful for the help that ELAP has given me.
Not only to see a brighter future for myself but for my son as well.”

A family of three is engaging with a tablet together on a couch, exuding a sense of warmth and togetherness.

Our Results In One Year

People impacted by ELAP last year
People received free legal advice
People participated in free ELAP webinars or info sessions
People served through our free virtual legal clinics
Domestic violence survivors empowered
People helped through our Housing Stability Program
People received assistance through our Medical-Legal Partnership
People connected with legal assistance through Project Safety
People received free legal advice through our Contract Attorney Network
People served through our five staff attorneys

Missy’s Story: Power and Control in Domestic Violence

Watch Missy’s story of empowerment after surviving domestic violence.

Diana’s Story: The Right to a Safe Place to Live

When Diana* moved into her low-income housing unit, she did not expect that she would get sick because of it. Her doctors couldn’t figure out what was causing her illness until her apartment tested positive for mold. On top of being diagnosed with a severe lung infection, Diana was forced to throw away most of her belongings.

Looking for help, Diana made an appointment at one of ELAP’s free legal clinics, but her infection was so severe that her family had to come to the meeting in her place. 

A smiling woman sitting comfortably on a couch with a window in the background.

They met with Larry, a volunteer ELAP attorney, to find out if Diana could recover the money she had spent on medical treatment and replacing her belongings. Larry helped Diana and her parents come up with a strategy to get her issues resolved through King County District Court for small claims.

Legal advice from a trained attorney is critical for people like Diana who need to navigate a path forward from an unjust and dangerous situation.

*Name has been changed and the photo is for illustrative purpose
A person is holding their neck, possibly indicating pain or discomfort.

David’s Story: The Intersection of Housing and Domestic Violence

David shares a house with five other people close to the University of Washington. In 2019, one of his housemates, Noelle*, began harassing David and another housemate. The harassment and hostility continued for about a year. Then, on a frightening evening in May 2020, Noelle pulled a gun on David and another housemate and threatened to kill them.

Traumatized by the assault, David found that the civil protection order process was nearly as stressful. Because David and Noelle were housemates—not intimate partners or family members—he was not eligible for court assistance. It was difficult and confusing to figure out the legal system alone. This was also early in the pandemic, and the courts and protection order process were frequently changing.

David was referred to ELAP to get free legal help. His case involved both housing and domestic violence, so having access to ELAP staff attorneys experienced in both issues was a relief. Shane, ELAP housing attorney, provided answers to his landlord-tenant questions, and Rochelle, ELAP domestic violence attorney, advised him on his protection order case.

Over five months, David spent countless hours gathering evidence of Noelle’s threats, navigating the court procedures and filing system, and represented himself at numerous court hearings. Despite overwhelming evidence to support his petition, the decision in David’s case was repeatedly delayed against his wishes— because Noelle had filed a counter-protection order against David that he had to first defend himself against. Finally, with Rochelle’s help, David received a one-year Domestic Violence Protection Order.

*Names have been changed and the photo is for illustrative purpose
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