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					                                    WASHINGTON STATE
                                  ACCESS TO JUSTICE BOARD

                       Revi sed Plan for the Delivery of Civil Legal Services
                           to Low Income People in Washington State

                                     ADOPTED SEPTEM BER 16, 1999



                                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. DESCRIPTION OF PLANNING PROCESS AND PROCEDURES ............................ Page 1

   A. BASIC APPROACH.................................................................................................. Page 1
   B. BACKGROUND OF CURRENT PLAN AND PROCEDURES .............................. Page 3
   C. EXPLANATION OF CURRENT REVIEW ............................................................. Page 3

II. SUBSTANTIVE AREAS OF CIVIL EQUAL JUSTICE PLANNING FOCUS ........... Page 6

   A. INTAKE, ADVICE AND REFERRAL..................................................................... Page 6
   1. Application of LSC State Planning Considerations .................................................. Page 6
   2. Additional State Planning Considerations ................................................................ Page 9
   3. Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed ........... Page 9
   4. New/Reformulated Goals....................................................................................... Page 10
   5. Major Steps and Timetable .................................................................................... Page 11

   B.        TECHNOLOGY ............................................................................................... Page 12

   1.   Application of LSC State Planning Considerations ................................................ Page 12
   2.   Additional State Planning Considerations .............................................................. Page 17
   3.   Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed ......... Page 17
   4.   New/Reformulated Goals........................................................................................ Page 18
   5.   Major Steps, Responsibilities and Initial Timetable ............................................... Page 19

   C. ACCESS TO THE COURTS, SELF-HELP AND PREVENTIVE EDUCATION Page 20

   1.   Application of LSC State Planning Considerations ................................................ Page 20
   2.   Additional State Planning Considerations .............................................................. Page 25
   3.   Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed ......... Page 25
   4.   New/Reformulated Goals........................................................................................ Page 26
   5.   Major Steps and Timetable ..................................................................................... Page 26

   D. COORDINATION OF LEGAL WORK, TRAINING, INFORMATION AND
   EXPERT ASSISTANCE .............................................................................................. Page 27

   1. Application of LSC State Planning Consideration ................................................. Page 27
   2. Additional State Planning Considerations .............................................................. Page 31


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     3. Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed ......... Page 32
     4. New/Reformulated Goals........................................................................................ Page 33
     5. Major Steps and Timetable ..................................................................................... Page 34

E.         PRIVATE ATTORNEY INVOLVEMENT .......................................................... Page 34

     1.   LSC State Planning Considerations ........................................................................ Page 34
     2.   Additional State Planning Considerations .............................................................. Page 41
     3.   Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed ......... Page 42
     4.   New/Reformulated Goals........................................................................................ Page 43
     5.   Major Steps and Initial Timetable........................................................................... Page 44

F.     DIVERSIFIED FUNDING AND COORDINATION OF RESOURCE
     DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS ....................................................................................... Page 46

     1. LSC State Planning Considerations ........................................................................ Page 46
     2. Additional State Planning Considerations .............................................................. Page 54
     3. Assessment of Strengths and Weaknesses of Washington‟s Resource
        Development and Coordination Capabilities .......................................................... Page 55
     4. New/Reformulated Goals........................................................................................ Page 56
     5. Major Steps to be Taken, Responsibilities and Timetable...................................... Page 57

G.        SYSTEM CONFIGURATION ............................................................................... Page 58

     1.   LSC State Planning Considerations ........................................................................ Page 58
     2.   Additional State Planning Considerations .............................................................. Page 64
     3.   Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed ......... Page 65
     4.   New/Reformulated Goals........................................................................................ Page 65
     5.   Major Steps, Responsibilities and Timetable.......................................................... Page 67

H.        ADDITIONAL STATE PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS ................................. Page 68

     1. Develop a litigation strategy to firmly establish a jurisprudence of
        access to justice ....................................................................................................... Page 68
     2. Promote (or oppose) laws, regulation and court rules that impact
        access to justice ....................................................................................................... Page 69
     3. Educate clients, the public, community leaders and opinion- makers about
        the law, the legal system and the importance of access to justice .......................... Page 69
     4. Remove system impediments to access to justice................................................... Page 70
     5. Remove status impediments to access to justice..................................................... Page 70
     6. Other recommendations .......................................................................................... Page 70

I.   ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING THE STATE PLAN
GENERATED BY THE STATE PLAN EVALUATION SURVEY ................................ Page 70

     1. Suggestions to preserve and increase funding ........................................................ Page 71



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     2. Suggestions to improve communication and coordination among key players and
     stakeholders................................................................................................................... Page 71
     3. Suggestions to increase community support for access to justice principles .......... Page 72
     4. Suggestions to reduce expenses or use our limited resources more effectively and
     efficiently ...................................................................................................................... Page 72
     5. Suggestions to improve the work of the ATJ Board ............................................... Page 73
     Suggestions to educate the client populations, the general community, elected
     officials and opinion- makers......................................................................................... Page 73
     6. Suggestions to increase support ............................................................................. Page 73

III. THE FUTURE .............................................................................................................. Page 75




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I.      DESCRIPTION OF PLANNING PROCESS AND PROCEDURES

A.      BASIC APPROACH

Central to the development, implementation and evaluation of Washington‟s State Plan
have been the guiding principles set out in the Hallmarks of an Effective Statewide Civil
Legal Services Delivery System (Hallmarks) (Exhibit A), adopted by the Access to
Justice Board (ATJ Board) in July 1995. The Hallmarks set forth the vision, values and
core capacities of Washington State‟s overall civil equal justice delivery system. They
provided the framework for constructing the 1995 Plan for the Delivery of Civil Legal
Services to Low Income People in Washington State (State Plan) (Exhibit B), served as a
guidepost for the 1999 evaluation process and this Report, and will continue to provide
this community with a common set of values and principles in the ongoing assessment of
the plan into the future.

The mission articulated in the Hallmarks is to create a civil legal services delivery system
that will:

    Protect the individual rights of low income clients;
    Oppose laws, regulations, policies and practices that operate unfairly against low
     income individuals and groups;
    Develop and implement laws, regulations, policies and practices that directly affect
     the quality of life of low income individuals and groups;
    Employ a broad range of legal advocacy approaches to expand the legal rights of low
     income individuals and groups where to do so is consistent with fundamental
     considerations of human dignity; and
    Assist low income individuals and groups in understanding and effectively asserting
     their legal rights and interests within the civil justice system, with or without the
     assistance of legal counsel.

This delivery system will in turn be shaped and defined by a set of core values and core
capacities:

    It must be client centered;
    It must promote and secure full and meaningful access to justice for all low income
     people regardless of barriers or obstacles, including geographic barriers, physical or
     mental limitations or disabilities, barriers or disproportionate burdens of poverty
     resulting from disparate treatment due to race, ethnicity, cultural, language or other
     perceived differences, etc.;
    It must work to ensure the highest and best use of all resources and all capacities in
     coordinated service to the mission;
    It must be accountable to clients, funders and other stakeholders.
    The ATJ Board‟s approach to the planning and evaluation processes has been
     premised on several key principles:



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   Planning from a statewide perspective is appropriate because the delivery of civil
    legal assistance and those laws and institutions that support it are largely state-based.
    Furthermore, there has been an increasing devolution to the states by the federal
    government, including the Legal Services Corporation, to expand their roles in the
    support of equal justice. The Washington State Supreme Court-established ATJ
    Board is a statewide entity whose mandate (Exhibit C) clearly encompasses state
    planning as a vehicle for improving the delivery of civil legal services to vulnerable
    and low income people.

Planning is critical in order to both anticipate and accommodate the rapid and far-
reaching changes in the way legal services are delivered and the way the legal profession
operates. For example, the explosion in technology means that both advocates and
clients must learn to avail themselves of these tools, which can enhance service delivery
and improve the dissemination of information. These technological innovations may in
turn redefine the roles of attorney and non-attorney advocates, as this community has
experienced first-hand the past three years as a direct result of the implementation of
CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral) (Exhibit D).

Effective planning is possible only with informed and active participation from as broad a
network of “stakeholders” as possible. The ATJ Board has sought to cast an ever-
widening web throughout the state to develop an identifiable “Access to Justice Network”
of supporters of equal justice and advocates for low income people. Effective state
planning is more than an analysis of the structure and function of a delivery system; it
also must include building a base of support for, and understanding of, the system, so
there is no question but that the constitutional guarantees of civil equal access must be
honored and respected.

Planning is not a static process. The ATJ Board and the greater Access to Justice
Network have institutionalized a number of mechanisms to enable regular input and
evaluation from a large number of stakeholders. These include the current state plan
evaluation process (discussed below); the solicitation at the annual Access to Justice
Conferences of detailed recommendations that build on the State Plan, and which are
assigned to “Responsible Access to Justice Network Members” for implementation
(Exhibit E); open and accessible ATJ Board and ATJ Board committee meetings; and a
commitment to respond appropriately to changing conditions which may dictate a shift in
an aspect of the existing State Plan.


B. BACKGROUND OF CURRENT PLAN AND PROCEDURES

The State Plan was adopted in October 1995 (revised in November 1995) by the ATJ
Board. The Board, newly established by the Washington State Supreme Court Order on
May 18, 1994, was identified as the appropriate entity to convene a state planning process
given its mandate to do the following:

       The ATJ Board shall work to: secure adequate funding for civil access to Justice;
       coordinate civil access to justice and foster the development of a statewide,


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       integrated, non-duplicative, civil legal services delivery system; serve as a
       repository of information relating to civil legal services issues; develop and
       implement policy initiatives and criteria which enhance the availability of
       resources; develop and implement new programs designed to expand access to
       justice opportunities; and address existing and proposed laws and regulations
       which may affect meaningful access to justice. The ATJ Board may adopt rules
       pertinent to these powers and duties, subject to approval by the Supreme Court.

Consistent with that charge, and in accord with Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
Program Letter 95-1, the ATJ Board convened a state planning process in August 1995.
The ATJ Board initiated this planning process through a letter (Exhibit F) to more than
165 “stakeholders” soliciting their input “both in response to current developments and
for the long term.” These stakeholders included legal services and pro bono legal
services providers; state, county, specialty and minority bar leaders; members of the
Supreme Court, and superior, district, municipal court judges and administrative law
judges; court clerks, administrators and courthouse facilitators; law-related organizations,
and law school deans and faculty. The ATJ Board received more than 50 responses in
writing and at hearings before the ATJ Board. Guided by the Hallmarks, the ATJ Board
developed its current State Plan with 18 specific recommendations, discussed in greater
detail below.

A copy of the State Plan was transmitted to LSC in November 1995 and has served as the
“blueprint” for numerous subsequent decisions, recommendations or initiatives. As noted
above, the ATJ Board and the Washington State Access to Justice Network have
continued to build on and revise the State Plan through the development and
implementation of recommendations at Washington State‟s annual Access to Justice
Conferences. The ATJ Board has played an oversight role in the implementation of the
State Plan recommendations as well as the Access to Justice Conference
recommendations. The ATJ Board reports every six months to the Washington State
Supreme Court and the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors regarding
its activities, including the status of the implementation of the State Plan’s
recommendations.

C. EXPLANATION OF CURRENT REVIEW

Consistent with the ATJ Board‟s previously articulated operating principles regarding its
state planning and evaluation processes, the ATJ Board agreed in May 1998 to undertake
an evaluation of its State Plan. This action was suggested by the executive director of
Washington state‟s LSC grantee, the Northwest Justice Project, in response to LSC
Program Letter 98-1. He noted that LSC‟s request presented “an excellent and timely
opportunity for the ATJ Board and all members of our Washington State civil equal
justice community to evaluate and discuss those aspects of our ambitious and highly
respected State Plan that are working more or less as planned, as well as to consider
which, if any, aspects, ought to be rethought or differently approached.” (Exhibit G)
In a September 29, 1998 letter (Exhibit H), ATJ Board Chair Kenneth H. Davidson
advised LSC of the progress made by the Northwest Justice Project in its efforts to
comply with LSC Program Letters 95-1, 98-1, and 98-6 (State Planning Considerations).


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The letter also advised LSC of the ATJ Board‟s decision to conduct a comprehensive
review of the effectiveness of the State Plan to determine whether adjustments were
appropriate “in light of changed circumstances, new realities, or lessons learned.” The
letter noted that evaluation was a critical next step, notwithstanding the significant strides
taken under the State Plan and the existence of structures and procedures to monitor and
enhance it. Finally, the letter indicated that, although the executive director of the
Northwest Justice Project would be a substantial contributor to this evaluation, he would
not be solely or primarily responsible given the nature of the process, which is to evaluate
and address matters involving all aspects of Washington‟s statewide comprehensive,
integrated civil legal services delivery system, including those beyond the immediate
concerns of LSC.

The ATJ Board convened a State Plan Evaluation Committee in May 1998, for the
purpose of designing a comprehensive, inclusive, and meaningful process that would
result in a set of recommendations for improving and enhancing the State Plan.
Members of this committee included representatives from the ATJ Board, the two
statewide legal services providers, the pro bono community, specialty legal services
providers and the Legal Foundation of Washington. 1 The committee outlined the process
as one consisting of: (1) an intensified, somewhat tightly structured review of the overall
plan; (2) reexamination of each of the 18 specific recommendations in terms of the actual
progress made and to be made toward its full realization; (3) reexamination of each of the
18 specific recommendation in terms of its continuing utility, viability and vitality – with
a particular focus on its demonstrated capacity (or lack thereof) to serve and promote
identified values; (4) reaffirmation, reordering or revision, as may be found appropriate,
of identified underlying values; and (5) formulation and disse mination of an
appropriately revised action plan.

The committee devised a survey instrument (Exhibit I) to solicit comments on the
overall plan and each specific recommendation, as well as to obtain suggestions for
implementing State Plan recommendations (e.g., suggestions for preserving and
increasing funding; improving communication and coordination; increasing community
support; improving the work of the ATJ Board; educating the client population and
opinion- makers). The survey was mailed to more than 700 stakeholders in Washington
State and nationally on January 12, 1999, along with a packet of materials which included
a detailed cover letter (Exhibit J), a synopsis of the Hallmarks (Exhibit K), and a list of
State Planning Resources (Exhibit L) available from the ATJ Board. The survey also
was available on-line on the Equal Justice Coalition Web Site at www.ejc.org. The
planning process and the web site address were advertised in the Washington State Bar
Association Bar News magazine in the fall of 1998. Stakeholders were encouraged to
respond to the survey either in writing or on- line, or by attending special meetings of the
ATJ Board on January 2, 1999 in Seattle and on January 28, 1999 in Spokane.
1
 Hon. Pau l Bastine, Chair (Access to Justice Board); Patrick McIntyre (Northwes t Justice Project; Barbara
Clark (Legal Foundation of Washington); Cait lin Davis -Carlson (Legal Foundation of Washington); Oliv ia
Dennis (Kitsap County Volunteer Attorney Services); Lisa Stone (Northwest Women‟s Law Center);
Michele Jones (University of Washington Clinical Law Program and Access to Justice Board); Scott A.
Smith (Seattle attorney and Access to Justice Board), Jim Bamberger (Colu mbia Legal Serv ices); and Joan
Fairbanks (Washington State Bar Association and Access to Justice Board).


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Stakeholders also were provided the names and telephone numbers of individual ATJ
Board members if they chose to have a private conversation.
The ATJ Board received seventy survey responses, and a total of twelve stakeholders
testified at the Seattle and Spokane meetings (Exhibit M). Subsequently, the State Plan
Evaluation Committee expanded its membership significantly 2 and changed its name to
the State Plan Drafting Group. The 24 members of this group were divided into seven
drafting committees, each one charged with responding to one of the seven q uestions
posed by LSC in its State Planning Considerations (LSC Program Letter 98-6). Group
members were provided copies of the following: summary of responses to the State Plan
Evaluation Survey; relevant sections of ATJ Board Minutes covering the testimony of
stakeholders; LSC Program Letter 98-6, State Planning Considerations and Report
Format; 1988 Access to Justice Conference Recommendations; State Plan and
Hallmarks; and other relevant documents. A timetable was established to ensure the draft
State Plan would be ready for distribution at the annual Access to Justice Conference on
June 25-27, 1999.

The ATJ Board reviewed drafts of these individual sections of the State Plan at its May
21, 1999 meeting. After subsequent review by the State Plan Dra fting Committee, a
second draft was prepared and placed at the registration table at the June 25-27, 1999
Access to Justice Conference, along with a response form to be completed by conference
attendees. This draft State Plan was one of two topics discussed in the final conference
plenary: “Current Access to Justice Issues”. Comments were received and incorporated
into the draft State Plan, and the ATJ Board approved and adopted it on September 16,
1999.

The balance of this Report generally follows the format of the LSC Program Letters, and
is broken into the substantive areas of planning focus identified in those letters and the
State Planning Considerations. Additional sections shave been added to expand the
discussion to the full- range of considerations relevant to Washington state‟s civil equal
justice planning and service delivery activities.

Within each substantive area of planning focus, the discussion evaluates the context,
values and goals sought to be achieved by the 1995 State Planning Recommendations;
capacities that were created, expanded or preserved through implementation of the State
Planning Recommendations; indicators relating to the success of the initiatives;
observations of the strengths and weaknesses of the current situation in relation to the
initial values and goals; new or reformulated goals that should guide efforts in the future;
and an identification of major steps, responsibilities, and timelines for achieving the
new/reformulated goals.




2
 Ken Davidson, Hon. Marlin Appelwick, Isabel Safora, Phyllis Selinker, Hon. T.W. “Chip” Small,
Christine Allen, Pete Dewell, Pam Feinstein, Joyce Raby, Joan Kleinberg, Robin Lester, Jan Drye, Bob
Stalker, Ada Shen-Jaffe; Lauren Moore.


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II.    SUBSTANTIVE AREAS OF CIVIL EQUAL JUSTICE PLANNING FOCUS

The following subsections describe past, current and prospective civil equal justice
activities in each of the substantive areas of planning focus outlined in the LSC Program
Letters.

A.     INTAKE, ADVICE AND REFERRAL

This section focuses on efforts to develop statewide intake systems that timely and
effectively connect clients with civil equal justice network resources that can deliver civil
legal assistance in a manner most responsive to the degree and intensity of the client's
legal need.

1.     Application of LSC State Planning Considerations

The LSC Planning Considerations focus primarily on the utility of "hotline" intake
systems in providing expanded access to the delivery system for larger numbers of
clients. In Washington State, these objectives are further refined and focused by the
values outlined in the Hallmarks, and are set forth below.

       a. Initial State wide Planning Objectives

       The Hallmarks envision a delivery system that:

          Empowers low income individuals and groups to understand and effectively
           assert their legal rights and interests within the civil justice system, with or
           without the assistance of legal counsel.
          Effectively employs strategies (e.g., self- help programs, advice programs,
           community legal education, client outreach, hotlines, ADR programs, etc.)
           that support and enhance the ability of low income clients and client
           communities to control their own lives.
          Avoids duplication of capacities and administration; develops and maintains
           coordinated and accessible client intake, case evaluation and referral systems;
           and strives to maintain organizational relationships and structures that
           maximize economies of scale and promote the effective use of existing and
           emerging technologies.
          Makes decisions about service delivery and resource allocation in the context
           of what will best serve client needs statewide.
          Effectively addresses barriers or obstacles, such as geographic barriers,
           physical or mental limitations or disabilities, disparate treatment based on
           race, ethnicity, cultural, language or other perceived differences.

       b. Capacities to be Created, Expanded or Preserved

       The State Plan specifically recommends that the LSC-funded program (Northwest
       Justice Project or "NJP") serve as the primary client entry point into the legal



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services delivery system, employing existing and emerging technologies to
expand and integrate statewide client intake, screening and referral capacities to
serve all primary service delivery components in the system. This course is
consistent with and has to some extent been motivated and reinforced by the LSC
bidding criteria and LSC/OIG's 1996 report – Increasing Legal Services Delivery
Capacity Through Information Technology.

In furtherance of this vision, NJP has worked to establish the Coordinated Legal
Education, Advice and Referral system (CLEAR), a statewide telephone service
delivery model that provides client intake, advice, education, referral and brief
service. CLEAR is a single point of entry for clients able and willing to utilize
toll- free telephones, and coordinates referrals to other legal services providers in
the state through use of a detailed database of information regarding capacities,
priorities and staffing. During 1998, CLEAR provided direct assistance to more
than 20,000 eligible callers. In addition, CLEAR has taken on the responsibility
for creation and coordination of legal information publications that are now used
by all components of the legal services delivery network statewide and also for
volunteer lawyer training. Many of these publications – now numbering over 200
- contain forms and instructions for clients acting pro se.
The usefulness of these legal information publications quickly led to their wide
dissemination at accessible locations, which led in turn to concerns about ensuring
that users were reading the most up-to-date versions. Additional concerns
involved the relatively high costs of mailing and storage, and the frequent need
for expeditious transmission of material. In response, NJP launched a web site
featuring an electronic library containing all of the legal information publications
(www.nwjustice.org). The web site is currently accessible by all participants in
the Access to Justice community, including newly recognized partners such as
law librarians, public librarians and court clerks. The web site thus weaves all
participants into the fabric of the legal services delivery network. For the month
of May 1999, the web site received more than 80,000 "hits" – up from an average
of approximately 33-35,000 "hits" in late 1998.

Much of the continuing work of implementing the State Plan and Hallmarks
occurs in Access to Justice Board committees, one of which is the
Communications and Technology (ComTech) Committee. That committee has
produced a comprehensive plan to enhance communication among legal services
providers and to achieve improvements and efficiencies in the delivery of legal
services, enlisting the active support of Microsoft, the Washington State Bar
Association and the Legal Foundation of Washington. Among its tasks for 1999,
the committee will facilitate the connection of the volunteer lawyer and specialty
legal services programs to the Internet. When all members of the Washington
State Access to Justice community are connected, the web site will be the primary
source of substantive information on legal issues of importance to low income
people as well as a greatly enhanced means of communication among all legal
services providers in the state. Over time, the NJP web site will incorporate links
to sites hosted by entities that have specialized substantive legal resources or



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    maintain a specialized client constituency focus, to ensure its maximum utility to
    all low- income people in need of civil legal information.

    These systems are intended and have been thoughtfully designed to use scarce
    resources efficiently and, in close conjunction with other components of the
    statewide network, to overcome barriers caused by geographic isolation,
    language, disability, age and inaccessibility o f a necessarily limited number of
    local service offices. All partners in the network continually strive to recognize
    and to be as responsive as possible to clients with distinct and often particularly
    difficult-to- meet needs, such as the homeless, elderly, institutionalized,
    immigrants, farm workers, and Native Americans. As but one example of the
    ongoing efforts to attempt to address these needs in a highly coordinated and
    complimentary fashion, some 25% of the publications are now available in
    Spanish and 5% are available in Russian. Translation of publications into non-
    English languages is a continuing process, the pace of which depends on the
    availability of financial resources and connection to qualified linguistic resources.

    Among the specific capacities that have been fostered or significantly advanced
    by the intake, referral and advice system are;

   Maximization of client access, efficient delivery, and high quality legal
    assistance.
   Highly coordinated efforts to obtain and utilize new and emerging technology to
    assure compatibility, promote efficiency, improve quality and expand services.
   Highly coordinated efforts to expand access, enhance self- help opportunities and
    assure the broad availability of preventive legal education materials.
   Extensive coordination and collaboration with a highly involved private bar.
   Programmatic configuration that is appropriately flexible and forward looking.

c. Relevant Indicators

Primary positive indicators include:
 Intake, advice and referral is largely centralized and handled by highly skilled
   personnel whose work is regularly reviewed.
 Relative evenness of access for those able to navigate a telephonic intake, advice
   and referral system.
 Extensive and effective use of technology.
 All components work together to recognize and overcome barriers.

d. Relationship to Systems Configuration

Because there is also a statewide, non-LSC funded program with the capacity to
utilize a full-range of advocacy tools, NJP, as the federal partner, is able to play a
fully permissible yet vital role. The knowledge that their efforts are an important part
of a larger system, which assures that no client is effectively barred from the justice



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     system, is a key motivator for NJP staff who otherwise labor under difficult
     conditions.

2.      Additional State Planning Considerations

Washington is essentially a rural state with a few relatively highly populated urban areas.
This fact produces a certain degree of suspicion and resentment stemming from the
perceived dangers of too much "Seattle control." Additional "tensions" are forthrightly
discussed in the section of the report that addresses private attorney involvement. A
similar dynamic characterizes some aspects of the relationships between the state and
various local bar associations. It is also significant that the state has nearly 30 volunteer
attorney programs, nearly all of which have existed and acted largely autonomously for
more than a decade. These factors have had and will continue to have a significant
impact on efforts to centralize intake services and to make them more uniform.
On another front, serious questions have been and are being raised about the interplay
between high- volume limited assistance systems and the existing ethical rules. The
resolution of ongoing deliberations and debates about client confidentiality, conflicts of
interest, the attorney-client relationship, and unauthorized practice of law are potentially
very significant in this area. In particular, the analyses and recommendations emerging
from the Fordham Ethics Conference and from the work of the ABA's Ethics 2000
Commission will require close attention and active engagement. Both have extremely
significant potential implications for Washington's approach and for future planning
deliberations, particularly given CLEAR‟s strict adherence to practice methods that seek
to avoid these ethical issues, which practice may raise barriers to access.

3. Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed

Based on the direct knowledge and experience of the state planners, augmented by
comments and observations made in response to an extensive questionnaire, in meetings,
and otherwise – the centralized intake, brief service and referral system works generally
well and has great potential. Among its widely appreciated strengths is the ability to
connect a desperate client to a highly trained and experienced advocate on his or her first
call. However, there continues to be uncertainty and some outright skepticism, both
about the ultimate utility of such systems as well as the extent to which they are truly
responsive to more intensive client needs. For those clients whose legal needs require far
more than information, advice, or brief servicing, the system is truly effective only when
a local referral may be made. Unfortunately, however, such referrals are frequently
unavailable as a result of the lack of sufficient local and regional field service capacity. It
is also now apparent that the level of staffing that would be required to have – literally –
only one entry point into the entire system – particularly if all callers are to be guaranteed
a short wait – is extremely prohibitive. In light of this reality, NJP‟s CLEAR system is
available on only a fairly narrowly limited basis to clients in the Seattle-King County
area. Such limited availability is certainly rational and understandable in light of the
pertinent demographic, staffing, and alternative resource considerations. And it is also
appreciated that access to CLEAR has consistently been broadened as promptly and as
steadily as additional resources and technological advances have permitted.



                                              12
Nevertheless, the continuing absence of uniform and truly statewide accessibility remains
a source of some dissatisfaction and concern. Much more needs to be known, as well,
about the degree to which self- help efforts are actually facilitated and, when they are, the
extent to which they are successful.

Finally, and as noted elsewhere in this Report, the State Plan's initial recommendations
concerning the continuation of funding relationships between the federally funded legal
services provider and the local and regional volunteer attorney programs has proven
difficult because of increasingly burdensome technical requirements that NJP must
follow and impose. Thus, for NJP, continued direct funding of the volunteer attorney
programs not only reduces the resources available to underwrite basic field operations
and the CLEAR system, but also generates substantial tensions and inefficiencies.
Because NJP can meet its 12.5% Private Attorney Involvement requirement without
making direct payments to the volunteer attorney programs, this aspect of the State Plan
may well be subject to reconsideration and revision in a manner that does not destabilize
volunteer attorney program efforts.

4. New/Reformulated Goals

       a. CLEAR system creators and managers, working with members of the state‟s
          civil equal justice community, should actively engage in ongoing efforts to
          reformulate those ethical rules, if any, which unduly and/or unnecessarily
          impede the fullest possible development of efficient and user friendly systems
          for intake, advice and referral.

       b. NJP has developed its web site as far as it reasonably can with in- house talent
          augmented by intensive training and occasional use of outside consultants. In
          order to realize the fullest potential of the web site, NJP should seriously
          consider budgeting for a full-time webmaster/publications manager as soon as
          it is feasible to do so.

       c. NJP should work with the Access to Justice Board, the civil equal justice
          community, and relevant professionals/academics, to identify and gather the
          data necessary to measure the true effectiveness and potential of CLEAR.
          Any studies or reports that result should address the current and anticipated
          costs of the system and the actual outcomes for pro se clients.

       d. The state‟s civil equal justice community should, on an ongoing basis,
          determine how CLEAR, together with other client legal education, assistance
          and referral entities, can best gain access to and make effective use of,
          uniform data abut the unmet legal needs of poor and vulnerable people and
          feed this information back into the entire system‟s ongoing client needs
          assessment process.




                                             13
      e. Recognizing that many lowincome clients suffer fro m access barriers (e.g.,
         disability, lingustic, cultural limitations) which render them unable to
         meaningfully navigate a telephonic intake, access, education and referral
         system, alternative methods of ensuring access need to be consciously
         developed at the statewide, regional, and local levels.

5. Major Steps and Timetable

      a. NJP should establish a full-time webmaster/publications manager position.
              Implementation Date: December 31, 1999.

      b. NJP, working with the Access to Justice Board, the Legal Foundation of
         Washington, and others, should formulate an approach for identifying and
         gathering such data about the current operations and results of CLEAR as will
         enable state planners to make long term planning and resource allocation
         decisions.

            Implementation Date: A substantial portion of this information should be
             made available by December 31, 1999 with efforts to continue thereafter.

      c. NJP and the Access to Justice Board should determine whether the
         recommendations emerging from the Fordham Conference on Ethics Rules
         and/or the work of the ABA's Ethics 2000 Commission raise critical issues for
         Washington State and its legal services network. To the extent appropriate
         and/or necessary, the Washington State Bar Association should also be
         involved in this process.

            Implementation Date: Initial plans for affecting any required changes in
             rules or procedures should be finalized by December 31, 1999.

      d. NJP and the Access to Justice Board should develop a mechanism that
         ensures effective data inquiry and feedback for the statewide delivery system,
         with the ability to capture and report out information relating to client needs,
         emerging issues, unmet needs and gaps in services and resources.

            Implementation Date: June 30, 2000.

      e. All providers should work to ensure that they are accessible to clients who
         suffer from unique cultural, linguistic, disability, or other obstacles that render
         them unable to meaningfully access the statewide telephonic intake, advice,
         education and referral system. The ATJ Board's Status Impediments
         Committee should develop recommendations to enable programs to
         maximize their responsiveness and accessibility for clients who suffer from
         status-related barriers that limit their ability to access needed services.

            Implementation Date: December 31, 2000.


                                            14
B. TECHNOLOGY

1. Application of LSC State Planning Considerations

In its State Planning Considerations, the Legal Services Corporation has identified a
number of objectives for an expanded use of technology in the delivery of civil legal
services to lowincome people. The primary thrust of the Corporation's effort is to ensure
that systems promote statewide integration and coordination, better and more efficient
administration and record keeping, and that client advocates have access to necessa ry
hardware and software resources appropriate to their needs. While informed in substantial
part by the considerations outlined in the LSC Program Letters and the State Planning
Considerations, this State Plan pursues a more expansive vision of the role that
technology can and should play in the design of our civil equal justice delivery system.

       a. Initial State wide Planning Objectives

       The Hallmarks and State Plan envision a delivery system that utilizes existing and
       emerging technologies to achieve the following:

          Enhance the ability of the legal services delivery system to respond to the
           most compelling needs of eligible clients.
          Ensure the highest and most strategic use of all available resources.
          Provide expansive geographic coverage to maximize the opportunity for
           clients throughout the state to receive timely, effective and appropriate legal
           services.
          Maximize local civil legal services delivery capacity and presence in areas
           outside of principal urban centers by tailoring the technology to local needs.
          Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of legal work within programs.
          Enhance coordination and communication among legal services providers,
           volunteers, community advocates and others by using compatible systems and
           technologies throughout the state.
          Enhance delivery system responsiveness to changing environmental
           circumstances and clients‟ needs.
          Overcome barriers and obstacles facing poor and vulnerable people such as
           physical or mental limitations or disabilities, language, age, geographic
           isolation, etc.
          Empower clients by providing them ready access to available resources via
           computer, telephone, or other communication devices.
          Strategically utilize all components of the justice, social service and
           information service systems to build a communication and service “web”
           within the state (e.g., schools, libraries, courthouses, social services agencies).

       a. Capacities to be Created, Expanded or Preserved



                                             15
Washington‟s 1995 State Plan included the following recommendation:
Within the constraints imposed by the overall level and mix of available funding,
personnel and private bar resources the legal services delivery community should
utilize existing and emerging technologies to provide expansive geographic
coverage and maximize local legal services delivery capacity and presence
outside of principal urban centers.

(Recommendation # 15)
The Access to Justice Board, recognizing its significant coordinating role with
respect to the myriad technological- related projects/expertise in the state,
subsequently established its Communications and Technology (ComTech)
Committee and charged it with the implementation of this recommendation. ATJ
Communications and Technology Coordinator Joyce Raby was hired by the
Washington State Bar Association to staff this effort, which rapidly has evolved
into several major initiatives developed in response to the ATJ Board‟s Equal
Justice Communications and Technology Vision (Vision), and which are set forth
in the initial five- year strategic planning goals adopted by the ComTech
Committee. These goals are listed below with a corresponding discussion of
activities that have occurred since 1995.

       i. Coordinate Access to Justice-related technology efforts within the
       state
       The Washington State Bar Association made a major commitment to
       improving access to the justice system by becoming the first state bar in
       the country to hire an Access to Justice Communications and Technology
       Specialist. By hiring staff, WSBA significantly expanded its state support
       and coordination role to include the implementation of the technology
       portion of the State Plan. Staff serves as liaison between and among the
       network of providers, creates avenues to share information and expertise,
       and serves as technical support in the development and integration of
       evolving technologies.

       ii.     Facilitate a statewide network of providers
       The ATJ Board determined that a technology plan must be designed to use
       scarce resources efficiently so as to preserve and enhance the system's
       overall capacity to provide services to clients. The Vision contemplates a
       statewide network of technologically integrated and strategically
       interconnected providers who are highly coordinated in their delivery of
       legal information and client representation services. In order to preserve
       existing capacities and build the necessary framework and relationships
       for expanded integration and collaboration, it was determined necessary
       for the civil equal justice community to acquire and deploy case
       management software that ensures effective and uniform communication,
       data collection and dissemination, e- mail capacity and Internet access.

       During 1999, provider recipients of IOLTA funding (24 volunteer attorney



                                    16
programs and a number of specialty legal services providers) were
converted to and trained on a new, common case management system
(Kemp's Clients for Windows 2000) that provides a uniform standard for
client and volunteer tracking. This automated database approach to case
management increases the efficiency of each program, allowing more time
for client contact and service, as less time is needed for report generation
and general record keeping. Uniform record keeping permits the timely
and consistent compilation of important data to assist the community in
identifying areas of high client need, unmet need, delivery gaps, etc. The
uniform system also maximizes training efficiencies and consistency of
field implementation by creating a network of knowledgeable users
throughout the state who can assist one another with common software
problems.




                             17
Significant resources, including grants from the Legal Foundation of
Washington, and donations by the Washington State Bar Association,
have enabled all providers to obtain the necessary hardware to run the case
management software. Microsoft Corporation donated $158,000 in word
processing and office management software, and the Legal Foundation of
Washington is providing one-time grants to programs to enable them to
obtain Internet access. As a result, there is now full statewide document
sharing and information transfer capability.

Initially it was anticipated that Columbia Legal Services and the
Northwest Justice Project/CLEAR would convert to a specially engineered
version of the Kemp case management system. However, it became clear
that the software platform was not capable of meeting the substantially
more complex time keeping and fund accounting needs of these two
programs in a manner that ensured maximum efficiency and reliability. In
August, CLS and NJP representatives reported this problem to the
ComTech Committee and their intent to develop a separate case
management software system. A meeting was held to identify the
objective information sharing needs that would have to be engineered into
any case management system developed by CLS and NJP, to ensure that
the functional needs for timely and efficient information sharing and
uniformity of statistical data gathering capacities would be met.
In addition to the case management system, both Columbia Legal Services
and the Northwest Justice Project have dedicated substantial resources to
statewide technological development. In addition to NJP's technologically
sophisticated CLEAR system and the NJP website, both CLS and NJP
have invested in state-of-the-art desktop computer technology which
provides every advocate with interactive communications capacity, high
speed intra- and Internet access, and immediate access to the full-range of
essential software, computerized legal research and related technological
tools.

Continuing effectiveness of the effort to develop and maintain integrated
statewide technological systems requires a centralized
oversight/clearinghouse entity. The ComTech Committee has come to
play this role. Network partners are beginning to communicate significant
technology related initiatives to the ComTech Committee in order to
ensure the timely identification of potential systemic consequences and to
incorporate statewide network considerations into the design, development
and implementation of these initiatives.

iii. Facilitate development of public access to the legal system
Recognizing that technology can, in some instances and for some clients,
facilitate meaningful access to the legal system not otherwise available to
them, the ATJ Board determined that a pilot program sho uld be developed



                             18
to test the effectiveness of a public access work station designed to
provide pro se litigants with an alternative method of accurately and
appropriately completing court documents in a timely and effective
manner. The project contemplates the use of a series of interactive forms,
accessible from an Internet web site. These forms will be designed to be
completed by the user and printed according to the format required by the
local county. The pilot will require the creation of software applications
that walk pro se litigants through the process of completing a Petition for
Dissolution of Marriage (without children), a Domestic Violence
Protection Order and a Request to Modify Child Support. These forms
were selected because they are the most frequently used by pro se
litigants. As such, the impact of the pilot can be easily measured and the
benefits of the project will inure to a large number of pro se litigants. A
proposal was submitted to Microsoft Corporation requesting assistance
with the development of this pilot project. The pilot project has not yet
been funded. Technology does not necessarily displace the need for
effective and timely assistance of person-specific legal advice, and any
performance review of this model will have to evaluate the degree to
which attorneys/courthouse facilitators or others are needed to ensure that
the maximum potential effect of this system is realized by low - income
users.

iv.      Facilitate ability to share urban resources in rural areas
The Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee of the Washington State Bar
Association is developing a pilot project that will match volunteer
attorneys in corporate law departments with rural programs with a
shortage of volunteers. Corporate counsel will interview and represent
low income clients via cutting edge videoconferencing technology,
including videoconferencing appearances in court. The project has the
support of the American Bar Association‟s Corporate Counsel Pro Bono
Initiative. Initial discussions have been had to determine the feasibility of
sharing law school client representational capacity in a similar manner,
using technology to transcend physical location.

v.       Facilitate the dissemination of legal information and resources
The strategic and coordinated development of several compatible web
sites in the access to justice network is providing valuable information to
clients, volunteer attorneys, providers, social service and community
agencies and others. The ComTech Committee has served as the web site
“police” to ensure that each web site has a particular focus and purpose,
that there is no duplication of information, and that the web sites are
linked in ways that are meaningful and useful to clients and civil equal
justice network partners.
The Northwest Justice Project has developed a very extensive web site
(http://www.nwjustice.org) featuring a Law Center that provides hundreds
of legal education brochures for on- line reading and downloading in



                             19
       several languages. The Washington State Bar Association no w hosts an
       Access to Justice page on its web site (www.wsba.org) with two entry
       points: one for the clients looking for legal assistance; the other for
       WSBA members and others looking for volunteer opportunities and
       information about access to justice-related initiatives and activities. The
       web site features current information about the availability of free legal
       services throughout the state. In addition, the King County Bar
       Association hosts a web site (www.kcba.org) that provides detailed
       descriptions of its client services and volunteer opportunities.

        vi.     Ensure effective monitoring of technology as a barrier to
        access and equal justice
      The “flip side” of technology as a tool for good is its potential to become
      itself an obstacle or a barrier for poor people seeking help from a highly
      technological system to which they lack access. This is particularly true in
      the case of clients who suffer from unique barriers that render them unable
      to meaningfully access technologically driven client intake, acce ss systems
      or self- help systems.

b. Relevant Indicators

Primary positive indicators include:

   There is statewide planning capacity to assure the coordination of technology
    efforts throughout the delivery system and to plan for improvements
   There is an emerging hardware and software standard among all components
    of the civil equal justice community. The software supports case reporting,
    intake and timekeeping and system's integration.
   Both statewide staffed programs have invested in effective and appropriate
    computer and software technology necessary to enable them and their staffs to
    fulfill the central service delivery, coordination, and support roles
    contemplated under the State Plan.
   Each volunteer attorney program and specialty legal services provider funded
    by the Legal Foundation of Washington has at least one computer accessible
    to all staff with e- mail and Internet connectivity.
   The delivery system has in place systems of technology training and support.
    Continued training in case management software, as well as training in other
    off-the-shelf software, is being incorporated into conferences and other events
    throughout the year.
   Each legal services provider case handler has a desktop computer and the
    necessary skills and ability to use it effectively.
   There is growing interaction among legal services providers, social services
    providers, and the courts to ensure that access to justice issues are
    incorporated into the development of long range technology initiatives,
    regardless of where they originate.
   In all provider offices with more than five persons, computers are networked.


                                       20
          Electronic communications among case handlers is readily available through
           e-mail, intranets and/or listservs.
          Private bar involvement is assisted and enhanced through the web sites.

       c. Relationship to Systems Configuration

       Each component of the ATJ Network has been incorporated into the technology
       plan. This sharing of resources and development of common systems has
       provided an opportunity for increased communication, coordina tion and
       information sharing among the different types of legal service providers in
       Washington State. Implementation of Internet access and e- mail capability in all
       programs during 1999 will further facilitate collaboration in providing the highest
       quality client service to clients wherever they are situated.

2. Additional State Planning Considerations

There is an effort to consciously coordinate Access to Justice technology related efforts
with similar efforts by other components of the court system, including the Judicial
Information System (JIS), and in particular its Electronic Court Records and Electronic
Filing Systems. These projects are in the development stage, and early coordination was
found to be consistent with the ComTech Committee's broad vision of the opportunity to
employ technology as a tool to promote effective access to all aspects of the civil justice
system. ATJ and WSBA staff members will work closely with key members of the
Office of the Administrator of the Courts and key county officials to maintain awareness
of opportunities for further collaborative technology planning.

3. Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed:

A primary strength of the statewide Access to Justice Network is the strategic focus and
coordination made possible through the efforts of the Communications and Technology
Committee of the ATJ Board. This is a working committee whose members represent a
broad array of perspectives and institutional focus, and who volunteer much time and
effort in addition to their established responsibilities to creating new systems. Dedicated
staff helps coordinate and focus the committee's work, holding all network partners
accountable to the statewide goals and objectives. Real collaboration in terms of shared
staff and funds on joint projects also continues to drive forward the integration of
technology into the existing system.

Statistical information on a statewide level, using common data definitions is not yet
available. We have not yet achieved seamless communication, data collection analysis
and information flow between CLEAR and all partners in the delivery system, as this
community‟s use of computer, telephony and other communications/technology vehicles
are just now falling into place in a strategic and comprehensive way. Once these
capacities are in place, this information will help the network develop essential
information about clients and their legal issues which can in turn be used to identify
resource needs as well as better inform network efforts to strategically allocate available



                                            21
resources in accordance with the Hallmarks. Given the explosion of technology
throughout the justice system, we must be alert for any barriers and obstacles to civil
equal justice that technology itself may create.

4. New/Reformulated Goals

       a. Statewide Coordination

       i. Recruit Expanded Technical Support Resources: Management Information
       Systems Professionals in law firms and legal organizations should be recruited to
       provide pro bono services to access to justice network partners in the areas of
       budgeting strategies, use of telecommunications, effective integration of
       technology in service of client representation, and computer maintenance.

       ii.Technology Policy: The ComTech Committee will develop model technology
       policies dealing with confidentiality and privacy issues, permissible computer use,
       software standards, and e- mail.

       b. Facilitate Statewide Networking of Providers

       By the end of 1999 all providers will have the necessary hardware, software and
       Internet access, listservs and other technology, and should be able to rapidly
       access information, including legal research sources and secure pleadings banks,
       to enable them to engage in a high level of coordination of client services. To
       facilitate effective representation of clients, and provide an incentive for attorneys
       to volunteer their services, volunteer attorneys should be provided maximum
       feasible access to this network, consistent with security and client confidentiality
       considerations. The end result should be a dramatic expansion and improvement
       in client services and the effectiveness of an overall delivery system.

       c. Training

       Several areas have been identified as critical training needs: 1) ongoing case
       management software training, 2) database training, 3) Y2K compliance training,
       and 4) e-mail training as its capacity becomes available. The ComTech
       Committee should develop statewide training modules and corresponding
       schedules for these and other areas of technology competence. Consistent with
       recommendation 4.a.i above, the committee should recruit expertise from outside
       the civil equal justice network.

       d. Public Access

       The equal justice community should develop online interactive forms to expand
       the ability of low- income people in need of legal assistance to navigate the legal
       system on routine legal matters. Adequate funding alternatives will need to be
       investigated as well the possible creation of a joint venture with the Office of the
       Administrator of the Courts, the Electronic Court Records project, and other local


                                             22
      civil legal services access to justice network workgroups and task forces.

      e. Videoconfe rencing Technology

      WSBA‟s Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee and the ATJ Board‟s ComTech
      Committee should continue to work on the development of a p ilot project to bring
      pro bono corporate counsel representation to low income clients in rural areas
      through innovative videoconferencing technology. The ComTech Committee
      should also evaluate the potential use of this increasingly available technology to
      accomplish other service delivery objectives consistent with the Hallmarks and
      this revised State Plan.

5. Major Steps, Responsibilities and Initial Timetable

      a. The Legal Foundation of Washington, working with ATJ technology staff,
         and providers should complete implementation of Kemp's statewide case
         management system.

                 Implementation Date: December 31, 1999.

      b. Columbia Legal Services and the Northwest Justice Project, working with
         the ComTech Committee, should complete development and implementation
         of their case management software.

                 Implementation Date: December 31, 1999.

      c. The Legal Foundation of Washington, working with ATJ technology staff,
         should complete the process of establishing Internet browser capability and e-
         mail at each workstation in each program.

                 Implementation Date: December 31, 1999.

      d. The ComTech Committee should define the need for and oversee the
         development of training modules and schedules that will enhance the ability
         of the statewide network to increase its sophistication and efficienc y in the
         utilization of technology in service of client needs.

             Implementation Date: Initial training needs assessments should be
              completed by June 30, 1999. This is a continuing activity.

      e. The ComTech Committee, working with ATJ Staff, the Office of the
         Administrator of the Courts, representatives of the courthouse facilitator
         community, NJP technology staff, and other providers, should develop
         publicly accessible interactive document assembly systems that will enable
         low income people in need of routine legal assistance to prepare appropriate
         and necessary legal documents.



                                          23
                   Implementation Date: This is an ongoing activity that is dependent
                    upon the availability of funding. A prototype system should be
                    developed by December 31, 2000.

       f.   The Pro Bono Legal Aid Committee, working with the ComTech
            Committee, should continue its effort to develop statewide videoconferencing
            capacity that can better link urban resources to rural needs.

               Implementation Date: A pilot project should be developed for beta testing
                by December 31, 2000.

       g. The ComTech Committee should continue to design and oversee the
          development and maintenance of a network of useful, well- maintained,
          complimentary and coordinated interactive web sites that serve the needs of
          clients, providers, funders, and the full spectrum of civil equal justice
          stakeholders.

               Implementation Date: This is an ongoing activity.

       h. The ComTech Committee should continue to coordinate with the JIS and
          others to ensure the highest degree of coordinated planning to meet the
          technological needs of the justice system as a whole, including those that
          promote effective and meaningful access to the system for low and moderate
          income residents of Washington State.

           Implementation Date: This is an ongoing activity.


B. ACCESS TO THE COURTS, SELF-HELP AND PREVENTIVE EDUCATION

1. Application of LSC State Planning Considerations

The 1998 State Planning Considerations place strong emphasis on the need for highly
coordinated state level efforts to achieve positive results in these areas. As expressed in
the Considerations, "[c]ollaboration with state bar committees and state judicial
administrators can result in rule changes, development of uniform practices and
procedures, publication and dissemination of pro se oriented materials and the
development of a more accessible court system. Coordinated state level efforts to
develop self- help and community education materials can provide similar benefit to
clients."

The promotion of precisely such coordinated state level effort is, of course, the raison
d'etre of the Access to Justice Board, which has been specifically charged by the
Supreme Court with the responsibility to coordinate the delivery of civil legal services
and to expand the availability of supporting resources. Accordingly, an overarching and
guiding principle of the initial Washington State Plan recommendations was that they



                                             24
shall "[c]ontemplate the most effective and economical use of LSC [and other] funding in
a coordinated integrated statewide civil legal services system."

       a. Initial State wide Planning Objectives

       The Hallmarks expressly envision a delivery system that:

          Empowers low income individuals and groups to understand and effectively
           assert their legal rights and interests within the civil justice system with or
           without the assistance of counsel.
          Ensures real equality of access to justice by maximizing the capacity to
           identify and address pressing legal issues unique to or disproportionately
           experienced by specific segments of the low income community who confront
           physical, mental, developmental, cultural, linguistic, geographic or other
           barriers that limit their ability to effectively assert their rights within the
           justice system.
          Accommodates a broad range of legal advocacy approaches, each of which is
           reasonably tailored to expand the legal rights of certain low income
           individuals and groups.

       b. Capacities to be Created, Expanded or Preserved

       The 1995 State Plan does not specifically address the subjects of self- help or
       preventive legal education. Nevertheless, Washington's civil equal justice
       network has in fact made great strides on both of these fronts, principally through
       the work of the ATJ Board's Education, Systems Impediments, Status
       Impediments and Com Tech Committees, the Public Legal Education Work
       Group, and the Northwest Justice Project (NJP). Additionally, courthouse
       facilitator programs are significant resources for self- help.

       The Education Committee's mission is to promote understanding and respect for
       the role that citizens play in the law and legal system and to assist citizens in
       competently carrying out this role. This committee‟s members include
       representatives from numerous organizations and entities that are involved either
       directly or tangentially in access to justice-related activities with an educational
       focus, e.g., judicial education, law schools, CLEAR. The Committee functions
       like the ATJ Board in that it attempts to coordinate educational efforts throughout
       the state so as to avoid duplication of effort. Although the Education
       Committee‟s target groups include lawyers, law schools, the judiciary, the public
       and elected officials, it has focused most of its efforts on the judiciary:

          Judicial Training: The Committee continues to develop a core curriculum for
           the judiciary on access to justice. To date, the following courses have been
           developed and presented:




                                            25
    Pro Se Litigants: This course was first presented at the 1997 Judicial College.
    It was so well received that it was again presented at the 1998 and 1999
    Judicial Colleges and is now a permanent part of the curriculum. The course
    consists of a panel presentation and small group discussions of hypothetical
    situations. Each judge receives a county-specific packet of resource materials.

    Judges and Litigants: Communication is Two Way Street: This course was
    presented at the District/Municipal Court Judges Association Conference in
    April, 1998 and at the Superior Court Judges Association Conference in April
    1999. It is a skill building program that explores ways to improve
    communication between judges and litigants, particularly litigants acting pro
    se, those with limited language or English skills, and those with different
    cultural backgrounds, in an effort to make sure cases are presented adequately
    for just results. The course includes small and entire group problem solving
    and role-playing.

    The Judicial Role in Ensuring Justice: Ethical Mandates and Constraints:
    This course was presented for the first time in May 1999 at the
    District/Municipal Court Judges Association Conference. It provides a forum
    for discussing how strictly court procedure should be enforced, considering
    the impact on the fairness of trial results and how active judges should or
    should not be in assisting pro se litigants or incompetent counsel. It also
    includes an analysis and interpretation of the applicable provisions of the
    Code of Judicial Conduct.

   Judicial Screening: The Committee has been working with bar associations
    who screen judicial candidates to include the following questions: (1) What
    do you see as impediments to the justice system and what groups are most
    impeded? (2) What can a judge do to improve access to justice for these
    groups? Additionally, the Committee, through the ATJ Board, has contacted
    editorial boards throughout the state to encourage them to consider the
    responses to these questions when evaluating and endorsing judicial
    candidates.

The Education Committee is now refocusing its efforts as a result of the recent
recommendations form the Public Legal Education Work Group.
Public Legal Education Work Group (PLE): This Work Group, chaired by an
appellate court judge and the former Superintendent of Public Instruction, arose
out of a recommendation from the 1998 ATJ Conference, and was convened by
the Governor, the Attorney General, the WSBA Board of Governors and the ATJ
Board. Its membership includes substantial representation from the legal, civic,
educational and media communities.

The mission of the PLE Work Group was to “develop a comprehensive plan to
educate and to involve the people of Washington in the law and the legal system.”
Its nearly 70 members met monthly from November 1998 through June 1999. Its



                                    26
initial report and recommendations were presented at the June 1999 ATJ
Conference. Both the ATJ Board and WSBA‟s Board of Governors embraced the
report, which outlines significant recommendations, including the establishment
of a Public Legal Education Council to oversee the development of a statewide
plan for public legal education. WSBA has agreed to provide staffing and
support. The PLE Council will be housed within WSBA‟s Office of the Executive
Director to ensure coordination of effort and appropriate sharing of resources with
the ATJ Board.

Complementary activities are being advanced by other ATJ Board committees.
Systems Impediments Committee: This committee, is charged with identifying
judicial, legislative and administrative system impediments to access to justice
and recommending and implementing appropriate changes. In May 1997, the
committee completed its initial report, which identifies 13 impediments and
makes 18 separate recommendations for addressing them. As a result of that
report, the state's Chief Administrative Law Judge has moved forward on several
of the recommendations, including: development of a pro se handbook; revising
notices to better explain the administrative hearing processes; and developing a
courthouse facilitator-type function and role. Detailed plans for the
implementation of these changes were presented at the 1999 ATJ Conference.
Additionally, the committee is soliciting from legal services providers their
suggestions for amendments to the Administrative Procedure Act that would
remove access impediments for low income people.

Status Impediments Committee: This committee is charged with identifying and
removing impediments to the justice system for people whose status (e.g.,
physical or mental limitations, disability, race, ethnicity, language, cultural or
other differences, remoteness or physical isolation, etc.) make s meaningful access
to the system more difficult. This committee is collaborating with WSBA‟s Court
Improvement Committee to identify physical barriers in Washington‟s county
courthouses, with the goal of initiating efforts to obtain funding for needed
improvements.

ComTech Committee: This committee is seeking funding for a pilot project to
develop “document assembly software” for pro se litigants seeking judicial
resolution in certain family law matters (more fully discussed in the Technology
section, above).

CLEAR: NJP‟s CLEAR program provides self- help materials to clients seeking
legal assistance and hosts a web site featuring the NJP Law Center
(www.nwjustice.org) that provides hundreds of legal education brochures for on-
line reading and downloading. NJP, Columbia Legal Services and other providers
have T.D.D. capability for clients with hearing limitations, and interpreter
resources available to help address other language barriers. All providers can
access the statewide relay system for communicating with hearing impaired
clients.



                                    27
       Courthouse Facilitator Programs: In recent years, an increasing number of
       counties have developed courthouse facilitator programs. Initially established as
       a pilot with funding made available from the Legal Services Programs of
       Washington (the predecessor to Columbia Legal Services), courthouse facilitators
       provide guidance to pro se family law litigants to enable them to navigate the
       increasingly complex family law judicial system. The Supreme Court, the Access
       to Justice Board, local county officials (clerks and court administrators) and the
       Washington State Bar Association have struggled to define the scope of authority
       of courthouse facilitators in ways that do not run afoul of applicable ethical
       considerations and expose counties to unwanted legal liability and, at the same
       time, promote expanded access to the justice system for the burgeoning number of
       pro se family law litigants. A plenary session on the scope and authority of
       courthouse facilitators was held at the 1998 ATJ Conference. A draft court rule
       defining the scope of authority of courthouse facilitators has been circulated for
       comment, and a recent report by the WSBA's Special Committee to Define the
       Practice of Law has recognized the need for courthouse facilitators (whether or
       not licensed attorneys) to be able to provide technical and logistical assistance to
       pro se family law litigants. The 1998 ATJ Conference recommendations include
       expanding the courthouse facilitator program to all counties; and providing state
       funding and appropriate support.

       c. Relevant Indicators

       As demonstrated by the goals and accomplishments surveyed in this and other
       sections of the Report, there are several positive indicators of real progress.
       These include:

       Low income persons throughout the state have increasing access to information
       about legal rights and responsibilities. There is an increasing amount of available
       and accessible information that can help clients avoid legal problems before they
       arise, provide clients with options to resolve grievances by themselves, and
       determine where to go to seek legal assistance.

   Audio, audio-visual, and electronic community legal education materials have been
    and are being developed. (See sections on Intake and Technology, above).

   Cultural, linguistic and other communications considerations are regularly
    incorporated into planning and production efforts.

   Educational efforts include those specifically tailored to meet the needs of soc ial and
    human services provider staff, and judges, enabling them to make appropriate and
    efficacious referrals.

   Pro se assistance is publicized through a variety of community and judicial outreach
    efforts.


                                             28
   All related efforts have engaged state bar committees, state and local judicial officers,
    court administrative personnel, and others, and include specific consideration of
    identifiable barriers and alternative systems.

       d. Relationship to Systems Configuration

       As indicated above, Washington's current configuration strongly emphasizes a
       unified, statewide approach. At the same time, however, the post-1995
       reconfiguration has necessarily spawned new, regionally-configured service
       networks, which demand an increasingly higher degree of planning and
       interactive coordination between and amongst an array of legally separate, but
       closely affiliated service providers. (See System Configuration, below). This
       reality has significant implications for all of the areas surveyed in this review,
       including self- help and preventive education efforts. For example, assuming that
       Phase II Planning moves forward as suggested, broad initiatives to foster effective
       self-help and/or public legal education will also need to be "localized" as
       necessary to ensure maximum utility and effective implementation at all levels
       and in all locations. As stated in the configuration discussion below, state,
       regional and local delivery system partners will need to "work to ensure that
       program capacities are deployed in a manner that is most responsive to the
       diversity and characteristics of client demography; the nature, substance and
       scope of client needs; the relationship between the resources available and the
       nature, substance and scope of client needs; and the relative experience,
       capacities, and resources available to local and regional providers."
       With regard to public legal education and outreach in particular, the perpetuation
       of two legally separate primary providers (i.e., Columbia Legal Services and
       Northwest Justice Project) continues to inject a certain unavoidable degree of
       confusion into the process. Although the necessity for and operation of this
       approach seems relatively obvious and logical to those who are most closely
       involved, comments received in response to the questionnaire strongly confirm
       daily experience to the contrary. That is, despite prolonged and concerted efforts
       to provide clear, cogent and consistent explanation, many network partners – not
       to mention prospective clients -- do not yet fully understand why there must be
       two programs, or which is supposed to be doing exactly what for whom. While
       this could simply be an inherent limitation, it may also suggest that intensified
       attention to this issue is not only well warranted, but necessary.

2. Additional State Planning Considerations

The new Public Legal Education Council (discussed above), in concert with ongoing and
anticipated initiatives access to justice-related initiatives, has great potential to enhance
the availability of law-related and preventive legal information for low income people.
The equal justice community will benefit greatly from these new resources (e.g.,
educators) generated by the PLE efforts. At the same time, the PLE Council will have at




                                             29
its disposal the Access to Justice Network and all of its resources, which will greatly
enhance its ability to deliver on the goals outlined in its report.
It is critical to the continued successful implementation of the State Plan that non-
lawyers (e.g., courthouse facilitators, lay advocates, domestic violence advocates,
paralegals) play an increasing and vital role in the provision of education, advice,
appropriate referrals and related assistance as part of the “team” of client representatives.
A priority is to ensure that these roles can be clarified and expanded in ways that both
protects the integrity of the system and the rights of the clients.

3. Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed

Washington state is making substantial progress in the areas of self- help, public legal
education and expanded access. Ongoing initiatives are appropriately ambitious and
realistic, and they have succeeded in engaging a broadly diverse pool of stakeholders
from a wide variety of disciplines and institutions. This is especially noteworthy in light
of the fact that the State Plan, in its current form, neglects to address these concerns in
any very direct or specific manner. It seems readily apparent, however, that the
continued absence of such a direct and plainly articulated focus can also be viewed as a
significant weakness.

Additionally, although the goals and objectives that have emerged from the committees'
work seem well calculated to achieve their ultimate purposes, planning materials
generated to date are virtually silent on the subject of specific evaluation. Stated another
way, the planners can be fairly described as engaging in what is largely a "faith-based"
exercise. They appear to be motivated by the unspoken but nevertheless central
conviction that the development of comprehensive structures and systems to educate and
involve the general public in better understanding and participation in the justice system
cannot help but improve civil equal justice. It is not at all clear, however, whether there
is any intent to attempt to determine the extent to which various initiatives – no matter
how successful they may be by other measurements – will in fact have succeeded in
increasing citizen interest, involvement and support. Nor does there appear to be any
plan for trying to determine how much, if at all, the actual ability of clients to achieve
their reasonable objectives will have been significantly advanced. While it may be that
the incorporation of such evaluation mechanisms would be extremely difficult or
prohibitively expensive, these questions should at least be openly addressed and
periodically revisited.

4. New/Reformulated Goals

       a. The State Plan should be updated to reflect the specific underlying values and
          goals that have emerged through the work of the Education Committee,
          Systems Impediment Committee, Status Impediments Committee, ComTech
          Committee, the Public Legal Education Work Group and NJP‟s CLEAR
          program and web site. The new or reformulated goals should reflect the need,
          where appropriate, for "localization;" that is, they should directly
          acknowledge the importance of considering how all self- help and public legal



                                             30
           education efforts can be tailored for maximum utility and ease of
           implementation at all levels and in all locations. To the extent possible, the
           new or reformulated goals should include express consideration of the need
           for continuing evaluation of actual results, based on appropriate baseline and
           outcome measurements.

       b. A priority must be to develop new and expanded roles for courthouse
          facilitators, lay domestic violence advocates, and other non- lawyers. These
          roles must incorporate legitimate limitations necessary to protect the integrity
          of the system, the rights of clients, and the consuming public as a whole.


5. Major Steps and Timetable

       a. The relevant ATJ Board committees will continue to pursue current goals,
          but shall make such adjustments as may be warranted upon adoption of this
          report and the recommendations from the 1999 ATJ Conference

          Implementation Date: This is an ongoing activity.

       b. The ATJ Board will incorporate specific goals and underlying values
          pertaining to self- help and preventive legal education into the revised State
          Plan, including those that have emerged from the work of the Public Legal
          Education Work Group/Public Legal Education Council, and the Education,
          Systems Impediments, Status Impediments, and ComTech Committees.

          Implementation Date: December 31, 1999.

       c. The ATJ Board will take the lead, as contemplated by the ATJ Conference
          recommendations, in efforts to further define the role of the courthouse
          facilitator and to expand the coverage of the courthouse facilitator program
          statewide.

          Implementation Date: This is an ongoing activity.



B. COORDINATION OF LEGAL WORK, TRAINING, INFORMATION AND
   EXPERT ASSISTANCE

1. Application of LSC State Planning Considerations

The LSC State Planning Considerations call for a system that promotes coordination of
legal work between and amongst a state's civil legal services providers and develops and
maintains sufficient capacity to provide training and make expert assistance available to




                                            31
members of the state's civil equal justice delivery system. Specific objectives identified
in the State Planning Considerations include:

   Training needs of all providers (i.e., staff programs, volunteer attorney program staff,
    individual volunteer attorneys, specialty bar programs, non- lawyer advocates, etc.)
    are regularly assessed.
   Training resources are assessed and gaps identified.
   Plans are developed to address identified training needs.
   Information about legal developments is analyzed and shared through a central
    clearinghouse or other means.
   Centralized legal information, including information regarding strategy and
    developments, is available to equal justice network members.
   Case handlers have the ability to communicate electronically, and electronic legal
    resources (e.g., pleadings and brief banks) are developed that are readily accessible to
    client representatives.
   Statewide practice manuals and other related resources are developed in a coordinated
    manner.
   Regular statewide meetings of large groups, task forces, working groups, and other
    configurations are held to identify emerging client needs, share substantive and legal
    practice experience, and coordinate client representation on matters involving
    common legal issues and client legal needs.

    a.                         Initial State Planning Objectives

    The Hallmarks contemplate a statewide delivery system that:

        Is responsive to the most compelling needs of eligible clients, ensures the highest
         and most strategic use of all available resources and maximizes the opportunity
         for clients throughout the state to receive timely, effective, and appropriate legal
         services.
        Achieves the highest quality legal services delivery to clients throughout the state,
         and encourages innovation, creativity, and flexibility in the delivery of civil legal
         services to poor and vulnerable people, and maximizes the best use of available
         resources by providing a community of highly trained client representatives 3 :
        Provides the best training and support possible for all individuals providing
         service to low income clients throughout this widely demographically diverse
         state.


3
  Many members of the civil equal justice network provide services to clients but are not accurately called
“client representatives”. This term, therefore, includes all persons and organizations involved in the
delivery of legal services to low income clients, such as legal services program staff attorneys and
paralegals, volunteer attorney program staff and their volunteers, law school clinics, domestic violence
advocates, courthouse facilitators, social and human services programs and staff, and other direct service
providers. Recognizing the role that this larger community of providers, plays, the State Plan must
recognize the need for to develop, provide, and coordinate training, information, and technical support for
this broader group of civil equal justice partners.


                                                    32
    The State Plan contemplated that principal responsibility for state support,
     training and technical assistance to all persons involved in the delivery of legal
     services to low income clients would fall upon the newly created Columbia Legal
     Services, recognizing that its freedom from federal restrictions would enable it to
     serve in this role without compromising the ability to identify and address the
     training and support needs of all network partners. The State Plan expressly
     directed Columbia to develop strategies to meet the training and support needs of
     "other LSC and non-LSC funded direct service providers, private volunteer
     attorneys, courthouse facilitators, etc."

b.                      Capacities to be Created, Expanded or Preserved

The State Plan did not articulate what new capacities were to be created, expanded or
preserved. The objective was to continue the coordinating efforts that had marked
client advocacy efforts in the pre-1995 period between and amongst the state's staffed
legal services programs, and to expand these to include a much broader community of
providers that would be called upon to work together to meet the civil eq ual justice
needs of poor and vulnerable people in the post-1995 era.

c.                      Relevant Indicators

Many coordination capacities have been initiated, maintained and expanded during
the period since the initial State Plan. These include the following:

    In accordance with the institutional role envisioned by the State Plan, Columbia
     Legal Services dedicated two positions exclusively to statewide client advocacy
     coordination, and is in the process of hiring a third coordinator.
    CLS carried forward, augmented and expanded preexisting substantive area task
     forces (housing, public benefits, et al.). These task forces now include advocates
     from the staffed legal services programs, volunteer attorney programs, specialty
     legal services providers and other individuals and p roviders working in the area.
     The task forces meet on regular basis, and also conduct periodic conference calls.
    Key network partners share newsletters, group e- mails and bulletins to update all
     members of the network on legislative, administrative and le gal developments.
    Statewide meetings and training events are regularly held. In addition to their
     annual joint statewide meeting/training the two statewide civil legal services
     programs have developed a joint new lawyer training module. CLS has taken the
     lead in developing other staff training programs (e.g., substantive law, legal
     management and supervisory skills, legal practice skills) and programs designed
     to enhance the ability of network partners to meet the unique needs of special
     client populations (e.g., farm worker, domestic violence).
    Brief and resource banks are under development and will be made available to the
     larger civil equal justice network in a manner that makes adequate provision for
     client confidentiality and system security needs.




                                         33
   There is increasing communications capacity linking all advocates in many
    organizations and enabling them to stay abreast of substantive and other relevant
    developments.
   There continues to be ongoing regular cooperation on individual cases and legal
    advocacy projects, and substantive legal knowledge is shared freely amongst and
    between all members of the civil equal justice network.
   Efforts have been made to expand relationships among a broader segment of civil
    equal justice partners, including (for example) law school clinics, volunteer
    lawyer programs, private law firms, and others.
   CLS and NJP maintain relationships with national backup centers and
    organizations that provide information, training, and substantive knowledge.
   NJP's Internet Law Center web site provides ready access to all civil equal justice
    partners with information on a wide variety of substantive legal issues, and
    includes links to other relevant civil equal justice related sites.
   The WSBA's ATJ web site provides a clearinghouse of state c ivil equal justice
    planning materials, and also includes important links to other relevant sites state
    and national sites.
   Responding to client needs, client advocates have created a number of inter-
    organizational teams and workgroups, that promote the development of strategic
    and resource efficient approaches to legal problems experienced commonly by
    large numbers of clients.
   The Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee is in the process of undertaking a
    comprehensive training and capacity development assessment o f the 24 organized
    voluntary attorney legal services programs and developing a plan to address
    identified needs.
   CLS is in the beginning process of undertaking a similar assessment of the larger
    statewide civil equal justice community. By identifying which entities and
    individuals require training, identifying and assessing training needs for these
    advocates, and by providing a centralized, strategically coordinated approach to
    providing this training and support, this effort will minimize duplication of effort
    and improve efficiency of training and support to the entire civil equal justice
    community.
   The capacities discussed above show that the system is addressing most, if not all
    of the relevant indicators identified in the LSC State Planning Considera tions, and
    that the objectives set out in the Hallmarks and State Plan are in the process of
    being achieved.

d. Relationship to Systems Configuration

Prior to 1996, most of the coordination, training and support needs of the equal justice
system in Washington were provided through the federally- funded legal services
programs. Specific, targeted funding was provided by the LSC to ensure that “state
support” needs were met. While Washington used its state support funds in a manner
unlike most other states (most of which opted to establish free standing state support
centers, which Washington did not do), LSC funds did provide resources for these
specific community needs.


                                         34
LSC‟s withdrawal of targeted state support funds forced the equal justice community
to look to other resources to provide training, support and coordination. At the same
time, of course, overall federal funding for equal justice was reduced significantly,
placing increased pressure on other, non-federal funding sources to make up these
losses. Coordination, training and assistance needs were therefore forced to compete
for limited funding with other critical needs, such as support for volunteer attorney
programs that might be adversely affected by federal cuts; responding to client needs
in areas such as “welfare reform” where LSC funding carried restrictions that made
full-service representation impossible; and providing necessary direct representation
to certain clients and in certain forums where LSC funding could not be used. As a
result, resources devoted to state support functions have been less centralized, less
targeted, and, in fact, reduced since 1996.

Just at the time when Washington state lost some of the ability to meet support needs,
the equal justice delivery system and the provision of training, coordination and
support for that system became significantly more complex. No longer were the civil
legal needs of low income clients met primarily through the federally- funded
programs. Instead a complex network of providers has emerged. Civil equal justice
needs are now met by: a statewide, federally- funded, staffed program, which includes
a coordinated intake, referral and brief service component (CLEAR); a statewide,
non- federally funded staffed program; numerous specialty lega l services providers
targeting specific populations (Northwest Immigrants Rights Project, Northwest
Women‟s Law Center) or substantive legal areas (Unemployment Law Project,
Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition, Legal Action Center); law school clinical
programs; courthouse facilitators; domestic violence advocates; and 24 local
volunteer lawyer programs, a number of which now have staffed components.
As this system has grown, the training needs have become more diverse, coordination
has become more complex and difficult, and there are more participants who need
expert assistance in order to provide high quality legal assistance to clients.
The 1995 State Plan recommended that Columbia Legal Services assume primary
responsibility for “state support, training, and technical assistance to all persons
involved in the delivery of legal services to low income clients.” For the time being,
Columbia, supported by other equal justice partners such as NJP, volunteer attorney
programs and law schools, will continue to contribute to statewide coordination and
support efforts.

In the long run, however, some aspects of the system-wide training and information
dissemination needs of civil equal justice providers would be better provided through
the Access to Justice (ATJ) Board and the Washington State Bar Association
(WSBA). The WSBA has a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) department. It
would be relatively easy for that department to add CLE programs specifically
targeted to the needs of civil equal justice providers. However, since the WSBA CLE
department is required to be self-sustaining, additional resources will probably be
required before the WSBA is able to meet the training needs of equal justice
providers, many of whom are either volunteers or work with small o rganizations with



                                        35
       no budgets for training. The ATJ Board‟s annual Access to Justice Conference is an
       ideal forum to provide concentrated training directed to equal justice providers --
       much like the NLADA 4 annual conference provides similar opportunities for national
       civil equal justice advocates. Similarly, the state‟s three law schools can play a more
       coordinated role with respect to legal research, and access to legal resources and
       expertise. For example, the University of Washington Law School has a very robust
       CLE program, and the new Access to Justice Institute at Seattle University School of
       Law is poised to deliver research and other technical assistance on matters of
       importance to the civil equal justice community.
       The WSBA is in a position to provide a means of disseminating a great deal of
       helpful information about legal developments through its web site. The WSBA‟s
       current efforts could easily be expanded to provide access to electronic brief banks,
       practice manuals and related materials to providers of legal services for poor and
       vulnerable people.

       Despite this expansion of institutional responsibility for some portion of the training
       and information dissemination responsibilities, Columbia Legal Services must
       continue to assume the central role in coordinating efforts to identify and address the
       training, client representational capacity development, and client advocacy
       coordination functions of the increasingly diverse community of civil equal justice
       partners.

1.                              Additional State Planning Considerations

An evaluation of the coordination needs of the Washington‟s equal justice community
must initially recognize that the community itself has become increasingly complex as a
more diverse array of providers has become involved. With more participants in the
system, training and coordination tasks are more complex. Some volunteers or specialty
programs, for example, work in narrow substantive areas. Other volunteer programs may
have high turnover with corresponding increased training needs. It is organizationally
more difficult to support providers from unrelated programs than it is staff who work
directly with the support resources.

Additionally, in a state as diverse as Washington, it is important to note the existence of
qualitatively different support needs for providers based on dramatically different client
needs and characteristics (e.g., remote rural isolation, lack of English speaking ability,
etc.). So, for example, support provided in rural areas is more costly and often must be
provided at a more basic level. It is unrealistic to assume that rural legal services
providers will be able to establish the kind of achievable efficiencies possible in urban
areas through targeting and specialization. Support and training needs (and relative
costs) in remote and sparsely populated areas are therefore necessarily greater than in
cities.

Another example of this dynamic is how support and training needs in Washington are
complicated by the large relative numbers of immigrants and refugees who have come to
4
    NLADA stands for the National Legal A id and Defender Association.


                                                    36
this state. Just as language and cultural differences in this population make provision of
legal services more difficult, support and training for the providers is also more
complicated. Further, as new populations enter the state, whether from Asia, Latin
America or Eastern Europe, the legal needs shift and the ability of the equal justice
community to meet these needs is constantly taxed.
It is critical to the continued successful implementation of the State Plan that non-
lawyers (e.g., courthouse facilitators, lay advocates, domestic violence advocates,
paralegals) play an increasing and vital role in the provision of education, advice,
appropriate referrals and related assistance. As such, their unique needs must be factored
into the mix of support and training coordination activities.

2.     Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed

The strengths of the current system include a high level of statewide coordination and
specific plans underway for further coordination and training throughout the state for all
providers and programs in the equal justice network.
The primary weaknesses of the current system are more due to inadequate resources than
to system delivery structure or configuration. Nonetheless, with adequate resources,
systemic improvements could be achieved through some restructuring. Specific
weaknesses include the current lack of sufficient resources to do all of the coordination
and training that needs to be done, as well as the inadequacy of current efforts to address
the special needs of populations and providers that are remote from both urban centers
and available client representatives, and the many service delivery and substantive issues
implicated by the increasing cultural diversity within the state.

One other current weakness in the coordination of the system is largely a result of the
expanded array of network providers and entities whose needs must be identified,
addressed and coordinated. It is also difficult to ensure effective coordination of
recommendations arising out of important civil equal justice community events and
developments such as revised State Plans, Access to Justice Conferences, the Volunteer
Attorney Legal Services Action Plan (VALS Plan), committee recommendations, etc.
Issues of turf and communication sometimes still crop up, although there is a solid
history of overcoming such problems in favor of collaborative effort. These issues are
also expected to diminish as coordination and training efforts expand.

3.     New/Reformulated Goals

The civil equal justice network has expanded far beyond the scope originally envisioned
in the 1995 State Plan. This rapid and dramatic expansion has generated an enormous
need for statewide coordination of legal work, training, information and expert assistance
to ensure the highest quality client representation which is effective, economical and
consistent with the Hallmarks and professional ethics. The proliferation of active civil
equal justice work via ATJ Board Committees, the ATJ Annual Conference and its
recommendations, revisions to the State Plan itself, the VALS Action Plan, and rapidly
expanding volunteer attorney and other community based efforts demonstrate a high and
active commitment to collaboration. However, this extraordinary degree of collaborative



                                            37
involvement must be, but is not currently supported by, a sustainable infrastructure that is
equal to the task. That is the obvious and pressing challenge.

To realize the objective of a highly coordinated civil equal justice delivery system,
resources specifically dedicated to coordination of legal work, training, information and
expert assistance must be increased. Areas where expanded resources should be
deployed include:

       a. Statewide coordination staffing at the ATJ Board/WSBA.
       b. Use of technology, including information/communication mechanisms and
       innovations.
       c. Training needs assessments.
       d. Development of training work plans and curricula for all civil equal justice
       network members.
       e. Development of tools and mechanisms for performance management, quality
       control and assessment, which serve the objectives of the Hallmarks, State Plan,
       VALS Action Plan and the ATJ Board's proposed Grant Performance
       Accountability Standards.
       f. Creation of infrastructure for periodic evaluation and updating of training work
       plans which incorporate recommendations arising from ATJ community and other
       efforts.
       g. Incorporation of the unique training and support needs of non- lawyers and
       specialized constituency advocates (e.g., domestic violence advocates, tribal court
       advocates, immigration and refugee advocates, etc.) into the training work plans.

4.                         Major Steps and Timetable

       a. Columbia Legal Services should complete the statewide civil equal justice
          community training needs assessment.

          Implementation Date: March 31, 2000

       a. CLS, in coordination with ATJ staff, should conduct an assessment of current
          available resources for coordination of legal work, training, information and
          expert assistance.

          Implementation Date: June 30, 2000

       b. CLS should develop statewide civil equal justice network training work plans
          for 2000-2002.

          Implementation Date: June 30, 2000

       c. The ATJ Board's Resource Development Committee should identify
          additional resources needed to ensure effective coordination of lega l work,




                                             38
              training, information and expert assistance and a work plan to achieve
              expanded statewide advocacy coordination and training capacity.

             Implementation Date: June 30, 2000.

          d. The ComTech Committee should work with CLS staff to incorporate
             statewide advocacy coordination and training considerations into its strategic
             planning efforts.

             Implementation Date: This is an ongoing activity.



B.               PRIVATE ATTORNEY INVOLVEMENT

1.                       LSC State Planning Considerations

The 1998 State Planning Considerations recognize that "private attorney involvement is a
critical element of any integrated and coordinated legal services delivery system that is
committed to ensuring the highest and best use of all available resources. While the
Planning Considerations' primary focus is on efforts to expand recruitment of private
attorneys and ensure that disproportionately underserved areas benefit from pro bono
capacity in urban areas of a state, they also recognize that state planners should broadly
define both the role and opportunities available to the private bar in meeting the civil
equal justice needs of low income people. For example, the Planning Considerations
encourage states to:

    Provide private attorneys with the opportunity to participate in a full spectrum of
     legal work, including advice and brief service, administrative representation,
     transactional assistance, and litigation.
    Offer private attorneys a range of activities beyond taking cases, such as conducting
     community education and pro se classes, volunteering on a hotline, training, co-
     counseling and mentoring staff; and
    Recruit private attorneys with specialized expertise to provide representation on
     specialized substantive issues and/or issues which may generally not be the province
     of legal services lawyers, e.g., zoning, tax, commercial transactions, real estate,
     complex litigation, and non-profit corporation laws.

     a.                         Initial State Planning Objectives

     State planning to develop a more comprehensive approach to involving private
     attorneys in efforts to meet the civil equal justice needs of low income persons
     predated the 1995 state planning effort. In 1992, the Washington State Bar
     Association and its Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee urged members of the
     Association to contribute public interest legal services to low income persons or to
     matters designed primarily to address the needs of low income individuals in the state


                                              39
    of Washington. Continuous planning to maximize the community's ability to meet
    the civil equal justice needs of poor and vulnerable people has occurred since that
    time.

    In April 1994, the Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee 5 sponsored a conference
    designed to expand volunteer attorney involvement in the delivery of legal services to
    the poor. Chaired by then-Chief Justice James Anderson, this conference was
    attended by representatives of the judiciary, law firms, law schools, bar leaders,
    volunteer attorney programs, legal services programs, and civil legal services funders.
    The conference generated what has since become known as the Volunteer Attorney
    Legal Services Action Plan (VALS Action Plan), a comprehensive series of
    recommendations that was submitted to and adopted by the Washington State Bar
    Association's Board of Governors later that same year. Recommendations and
    strategies were targeted to the following constituencies: the judiciary, private law
    firms, the Washington State Bar Association, local bar associations, law schools,
    volunteer attorney program coordinators, and government, in- house and academic
    lawyers. Areas of focus included recruitment, support for volunteer attorney program
    activities, effective delivery of legal services, and recognition. Key recommendations
    included:

       Expand opportunities and overcome obstacles to effective volunteer attorney
        involvement
       Foster visible judicial support and encouragement for expanded volunteer
        attorney legal services in areas of high priority need.
       Minimize unnecessary barriers and obstacles (docket preferences, malpractice
        insurance, etc.) that might serve as practical disincentives to volunteer attorney
        involvement.
       Promote the development of express policies within law firms that recognize,
        encourage and reward attorneys who provide pro bono legal services.
       Institutionalize statewide resources and support, including technical assistance
        and CLE credit, from the WSBA for local volunteer attorney programs and
        cooperating volunteer private attorneys.
       Expand local bar involvement in promoting and rewarding volunteer attorney
        legal services.
       Integrate pro bono responsibilities into law school curricula and expand
        opportunities for law students to engage in pro bono activities.
       Create a centralized clearinghouse for volunteer attorney program-related
        information and materials, and publish a deskbook for volunteer attorney program
        coordinators.
       Develop local mentoring programs and local CLE's for volunteeer attorneys.
       Create opportunities for retired judges and attorneys.
       Develop programs that will enable government attorneys to provide volunteer
        legal services.

5
 Then known as the Legal Aid
Co mmittee.


                                            40
     Despite the involvement of representatives of the staffed legal services community,
     and despite the fact that the federally funded programs each had developed substantial
     private attorney involvement plans in accordance with federal regulatory
     requirements, the VALS Action Plan did not focus on integrating staffed and volunteer
     attorney program civil legal services delivery. Nor did it define an overarching vision
     of the best possible complementary relationships.

     In the years since adoption of the VALS ActionPlan, the WSBA's Pro Bono and Legal
     Aid Committee has undertaken a range of implementation strategies. Committees
     have been established to focus on development of a model law firm pro bono policy,
     expand pro bono recruitment efforts, develop judicial policies that promote and
     encourage pro bono representation, and undertake a pilot project matching in- house
     corporate counsel with rural clients in need of pro bono assistance. In recent years,
     these activities have been complemented by the committee's ongoing efforts to
     chronicle the need for expanded resources for civil legal assistance (both staffed and
     pro bono) which is most recently reflected in the May 1, 1998 Pro Bono and Legal
     Aid Committee Report to the Washington State Bar Association. Initiatives flowing
     from the VALS Action Plan included the recent adoption of an Emeritus Rule
     (authorizing a limited license for lawyers otherwise retired from the practice of law to
     practice on a volunteer basis for an approved legal services provider) and a proposed
     rule authorizing CLE credit for certain types of pro bono activities.

     The VALS ActionPlan had just recently been adopted and was in the early stages of
     implementation at the time of the initial state planning exercise during 1995. This
     timing meant that the role and responsibility of volunteer attorneys in meeting the
     civil equal justice needs of poor people in Washington state was not as carefully or
     completely worked through in the 1995 state planning process as it might have been.
     There was a general recognition of the need to maintain the then existing capacity of
     the state's local volunteer attorney programs. To this end, recommendations were
     included in the State Plan to maintain funding at not less than existing levels for at
     least the forthcoming year (1996). No other specific reco mmendations were made.

b.      Capacities to be Created, Expanded or Preserved

     The primary objective of that portion of 1995 State Plan which discussed private bar
     involvement in the delivery of civil legal services was to preserve and protect the
     capacity of local volunteer attorney programs by maintaining a sound and stable
     funding base. The State Plan suggested that, in addition to maintaining an
     appropriate level of funding, that the entity identified to receive federal funding from
     the Legal Services Corporation "establish a grantor- grantee relationship with local
     Volunteer Attorney Legal Services (VALS) programs whose primary activities are
     consistent with emerging LSC funding restrictions; and [that] a primary component of
     this provider's Private Attorney Involvement plan be to underwrite the operational
     costs of, and provide technical assistance to, such local volunteer attorney programs."




                                              41
   However, as the VALS Action Plan makes clear, Washington State civil equal justice
   planners believe that a comprehensive approach to private attorney involvement and
   engagement is a critical element of any integrated and coordinated legal services
   delivery system committed to ensuring the highest and best use of all available
   resources. Volunteer attorneys provide significant leveraging of limited staff
   resources, and can greatly augment the range and capacity of our state's civil equal
   justice system to meet the full-range, full-service needs of low income and vulnerable
   people. In keeping with the directive in RPC 6.1 that all lawyers "should render
   public interest legal services," and in furtherance of the vision articulated in the
   Hallmarks, we must work to increase private attorney involvement in all aspects of
   the delivery of civil legal services in Washington state.
   The VALS Action Plan recognizes that there are a wide variety of opportunities for
   volunteer attorneys to provide civil legal services for people in need. They can
   participate in one of the 24 local volunteer attorney programs; they can serve on legal
   services program boards of directors or oversight bodies; they can co-counsel with
   staffed legal services programs, specialty services providers, law school clinics, etc.;
   and they can provide strategic services on behalf of community based non-profit
   corporations on matters of high need to low income clients and client communities.
   The revised Washington State Plan must reflect the reality that the private bar is no
   longer a tertiary provider left to handle cases that the staffed programs for one reason
   or another lack the resources to handle. The State Plan must embrace the private bar
   as a full and equal partner in the civil equal justice network, and must promote a
   broad understanding of the nature, substance, and scope of volunteer private attorney
   involvement in meeting the civil equal justice needs of poor and vulnerable residents.
   It must expressly recognize that the potential scope of pro bono services is quite
   broad, extending well beyond advice, brief service, and representation of clients
   limited to a single type of legal problem. The State Plan must promote a vision of
   private attorney involvement where attorneys are actively recruited to provide
   assistance in the fullest range of legal forums on the broadest scope of important
   client legal needs. This includes the full array of legal representation available to
   people, entities and corporations with the means to afford such representation
   including but not limited to legislative and regulatory representation, complex
   litigation including class actions, and transactional and other specialized forms of
   legal representation. A broad vision of private bar involvement requires all civil
   equal justice network partners to expand their perspectives, and share in the
   identification, recruitment, and engagement of private attorneys whose skills and
   expertise can substantially enhance the quantity and quality of available services
   targeted to meet the needs of poor and vulnerable people, especially those who suffer
   from disparate treatment and disproportionate burdens of poverty.

c. Relevant Indicators -- The Status of Private Attorney Involvement in
      Washington State Today

   The Northwest Justice Project, working in partnership with the Legal Foundation of
   Washington, has assumed responsibility for providing substantial support for the
   operational costs of the volunteer attorney programs. The acceptance of funding from



                                            42
this LSC grantee has brought with it a host of compliance, accounting, reporting, and
client service requirements and limitations. A number of these have proven to be
troublesome and problematic, placing a difficult burden on administratively
understaffed local programs. At the same time, the emergence of CLEAR and its
expanded role in helping to directly support local volunteer attorney program
operations through its client screening, prioritization, and referral process, has
reduced the need to for NJP to rely on direct subgrants as a primary means of meeting
LSC's Private Attorney Involvement expenditure requirements.

There are now 24 local or regional volunteeer attorney programs. Each program
provides a different mix of private attorney services depending upon the size,
diversity, and expertise of the local bar, resources available, and role/responsibility of
the local or regional staffed legal services program(s). Some volunteer attorney
programs (most notably in rural areas) provide almost exclusively brief service and
advice, while others (more focused in larger urban areas) are able to provide a
broader range of services, including substantial direct representation of low income
clients on high priority legal matters. There are distinct differences in volunteer
attorney program operational capacity and effectiveness in a number of regions, with
a number of the smaller programs struggling to overcome challenges resulting from
limited resources and technological capacity, expansive geography, and limitations on
local support. In addition, cooperation and integration into local equal justice
delivery networks is not uniform, and in a number of places, there is less than
optimum coordination between the legal services programs and the local or regional
volunteer attorney programs. Volunteer attorney programs continue to struggle for
sufficient resources to meet core operating needs, and a number have identified and
successfully competed for special purpose funding (e.g., county funding, funding
through the Violence Against Women Act and the Victims of Crime Act). Volunteer
attorney programs continue to focus the substantial majority of their resources in the
areas of family law, including divorce, custody, and domestic violence. More than
37,000 clients received some type of service from volunteer attorney programs
funded by the Legal Foundation of Washington and NJP in 1998.

Many statewide bar groups have organized pro bono programs or components. These
include the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, the WSBA Young Lawyers Division,
the WSBA Emertius Lawyer Program, the Washington State Trial Lawyers
Association, Washington Women Lawyers, the Asian Bar Association, and the Loren
Miller Bar Association. Some of these programs have been better integrated into the
statewide civil equal justice delivery network than others; all need to operate in a
coordinated manner with statewide, local and regional civil equal justice providers.
Many other organizations have developed strategic private volunteer attorney
initiatives designed to support, enhance or augment their services. A few examples
include the Unemployment Law Project, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project,
American Civil Liberties Union, Legal Action Center, Union Gospel Mission,
Northwest Women's Law Center, and a host of church and non-profit housing and
economic development entities throughout the state.




                                         43
The staffed legal services programs have a number of programs designed to involve
the private bar in the delivery of civil legal services to poor and vulnerable people.
The Northwest Justice Project's web site has information and legal resources that are
easily available to volunteer private attorneys, and volunteer attorney program staff.
The Northwest Justice Project continues to contract with private attorneys on a
reduced fee basis as part of its effort to insure geographic presence in rural areas of
the state such as southeast Washington (Asotin, Garfield, Columbia, Walla Walla
Counties) and the Kitsap Peninsula. NJP enjoys the pro bono participation of several
private and retired lawyers on its CLEAR staff. Consistent with the 1995 State Plan,
Columbia Legal Services expanded its statewide training and coordinating activities
to expressly include members of the volunteer attorney program community, and
volunteer attorney program staff are increasingly active on statewide client advocacy
task forces.

Working with WSBA staff, legal services and volunteer attorney legal services
programs have established statewide panels have been developed to address common
needs of clients, such as children terminated from the Supplemental Security Income
program and Native Americans.

Both Columbia Legal Services and the Northwest Justice Project have been
successful in recruiting and securing private bar participation in significant client
advocacy matters, including, in the case of CLS, class action litigation on behalf of
disparate treatment populations (e.g., farm workers, residents of state correctional
facilities). These relationships have not only worked to expand representation for
affected clients, they have and continue to expand professional development
experiences for staff legal services lawyers. For the most part, these relationships are
developed on an as- needed basis. A more systemic approach could help expand the
pool of available attorneys and firms.

In 1998, the Supreme Court approved an Emeritus Attorney rule allowing retired and
inactive attorneys to receive active licenses at inactive rates for the purpose of
volunteering with programs providing both civil legal and criminal defense services.
The WSBA has developed training procedures and materials for these Emeritus
attorneys. In addition, the WSBA Board of Governors has proposed a rule
authorizing volunteer attorneys to receive CLE credit for certain types of pro bono
activities.

Two Seattle-based private law firms have developed innovative in-house pro bono
attorney positions. This has enabled the firms to maximize the efficient use of private
attorney time in delivering client services. Efforts continue within the Pro Bono and
Legal Aid Committee to market this model to other firms.
The Legal Foundation of Washington and the WSBA have provided substantial
technological support and assistance to all of the organized volunteer attorney and
specialized programs, including but not limited to training program staff on the use of
a common case management system (see section on Technology, above), which was
purchased and distributed by the Legal Foundation.



                                         44
     The state's three law schools are taking steps to promote expanded pro bono
     opportunities for their students. The University of Washington School of Law has a
     60 hour mandatory pro bono requirement. Gonzaga University School of Law is in
     the process of developing a community services requirement for its law students.
     While Seattle University does not have a formal law student pro bono policy, through
     the recently established Access to Justice Institute, faculty and administration at the
     law school are developing a diverse range of educational and service oriented
     opportunities for first and second year law students. In addition, Seattle University
     students have established a Public Interest Law Foundation that raises funds to enable
     law students to participate in a variety of public interest law summer placements.
     The King County Bar Association conducted a very successful year- long volunteer
     attorney recruitment campaign. Other VALS programs have considered or are
     planning similar campaigns.

d.       Relationship to System Configuration

     The State Plan called for a continuation of funding relationships between the
     federally funded legal services provider and the local and regional volunteer attorney
     programs. Over time, practical implementation of this recommendation has resulted
     in tensions for both the Northwest Justice Project and the volunteer attorney
     programs. For NJP, continued direct funding of these programs results in fewer
     resources available to underwrite basic field operations and the CLEAR system.
     Because federal funding has remained static, continuing the direct investment of LSC
     funds in the volunteer attorney programs will require NJP to choose between cutting
     its very limited field service capacity or CLEAR. It is not necessary for NJP to
     continue funding the volunteer attorney programs in order to meet its 12.5% Private
     Attorney Involvement requirement.

     On the other side, the volunteer attorney programs have experienced some difficulty
     in operating under the full weight of the restrictions which attach not only to the LSC
     funds, but to all their funding as a result of the federal rules which carry the full set of
     LSC restrictions to all activities, however funded, of recipients and sub-recipients of
     federal funding. These include not only the substantive restrictions (which make it
     impossible for volunteer attorney programs to handle certain types of legal matters),
     but also a myriad of reporting and accounting requirements that disproportionately
     burden small programs. Despite very conscious efforts by NJP administrators to
     minimize the burdens of such restrictions on volunteer attorney programs, the LSC
     restrictions continue to be a significant impediment.

     To ease the burdens on both NJP and the volunteer attorney programs, and to
     continue to act in accordance with the directive that funding be strategically invested
     to insure the highest and best use of all resources, it may be appropriate to consider
     whether and to what degree state legal services funding might be made available to
     underwrite the portion of volunteer attorney program operations currently funded
     with LSC dollars. Representatives of NJP, Columbia Legal Services, the Legal



                                               45
     Foundation of Washington, volunteer attorney programs and the State of Washington
     should fully explore the feasibility of such an option.

     As noted in the earlier discussion, a number of small volunteer attorney programs find
     themselves struggling to maintain even minimal levels of staffing and administrative
     support. In a number of areas, these programs might find operational efficiencies by
     combining their efforts with contiguous programs as part of a larger regional or multi-
     county program. In a time of static and even declining resources, 6 the goal of
     assuring the highest and best use of all resources will require an evaluation of the
     minimum size level of volunteer attorney programs, and the capacity necessary to
     meaningfully deliver services in a manner consistent with the Hallmarks and the
     forthcoming Grant Performance Accountability Standards. The Legal Foundation of
     Washington, in concert with ATJ Board staff, volunteer attorney programs and other
     local and regional civil equal justice partners, should explore the pote ntial opportunity
     to promote regional integration of volunteer attorney programs in ways that maintains
     local attorney interest and willingness to participate in such programs.

2.                Additional State Planning Considerations

In addition to the funding relationships, comments received during the State Plan review
process suggest continuing tensions between some organized volunteer attorney
programs and local and regional staffed legal services providers. These tensions appear
to flow from different perspectives of where limited resources might be expended, but
also suggest a lack of effective local and regional service delivery planning and
coordination and integration. At its worst, this tension reflects a sense among volunteer
attorney program staff that they are not actually considered to be full and equal partners
in the civil equal justice delivery system. This in turn enhances the potential for
counterproductive competition for scarce resources (e.g., local private and governmental
funding), and less than optimal working relationships. As discussed in the section on
System Configuration, above, efforts need to be made to more fully integrate staffed and
private bar capacity at the local and regional level, and foster constructive and
cooperative relationships that maximize the resources available to meet high priority
client needs.

As with all other components of the system, adequate funding is critical to the effective
operation of volunteer attorney programs. While a substantial portion of funding comes
from the Legal Foundation of Washington and NJP, programs are continuously
scrambling for funding from local public and private sources. It is appropriate to
undertake an ongoing evaluation of the funding needs of volunteer attorney programs and
the relationship of funding levels to the ability of such programs to meet minimum
operating and service delivery expectations consistent with emerging accountability
standards.

6
  At the time this Revised State Planning Report is being adopted, the Legal Foundation faces a reduction in
revenue available fo r disbursement as a result of continuing low interest rates paid by banks and other
depository institutions, and faces the ongoing threat of lit igation challenges to the constitutionality of the
IOLTA program.


                                                      46
It is also noted that efforts to more consciously integrate the pro bono efforts of law
students into local and regional equal justice service delivery networks can and should be
substantially heightened.

3. Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed

A very substantial percentage of indigent clients receiving services receive those services,
at least in part, through attorneys affiliated with local and regional volunteer attorney
programs. Unfortunately, the number of clients in need of direct legal representation (as
opposed to brief service, consultation and advice) dwarfs the capacity of the system to
respond to this need. The advent of CLEAR and its assumption of a primary role in
providing legal advice to eligible clients has had a significant impact on local volunteer
attorney program operations. While it permits such programs to focus less on client
intake and advice and more on developing the resources needed to provide direct
representation to many thousands of clients, it is also the case that volunteer attorney
programs will then receive more complex and time-consuming referrals. This has the
effect of increasing the need for attorney volunteers, particularly in the area of family
law, which is one of the most difficult areas for which to recruit volunteer attorneys.
Both NJP and Columbia Legal Services have partnered with private attorneys on behalf
of clients. NJP provides resources for volunteer attorney programs, and both NJP and
CLS have provided substantial training and assistance to volunteer attorneys, and
co-counseled on several important litigation matters. Many local bar programs plan
priorities and service delivery in conjunction with the staffed legal services programs to
assure that the most needy clients receive services. CLEAR has served in most counties
as a central intake system that refers cases to the volunteer attorney programs and other
providers. However, CLEAR does not presently have the resources to perform the same
level of services in King County where a large portion of Washington's low income
population resides. CLEAR is in the process of developing a King County website listing
service providers and their abilities to receive referrals at any given time for use by
referring agencies. CLEAR has also provided volunteer attorney programs access to
malpractice insurance which covers volunteer attorneys for their services to the program
clients.

Some judges have been supportive of pro bono programs and several law firms have
taken a leadership role in providing strong pro bono programs and many volunteer hours.
Both the judges and law firms can do more. The Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee of
the WSBA continues to pursue many initiatives designed to expand attorney recruitment,
including recognition of volunteering firms and attorneys, promotion of the utilization of
law firm pro bono policies, solicitation of judicial recognition of volunteer attorneys and
firms, promotion of the adoption by the WSBA Board of Governors of the ABA‟s
Amended Rule 6.1 governing an attorney‟s professional responsibility to provide pro
bono publico representation, voluntary reporting of pro bono hours by WSBA members,
and the use of video conferencing to allow corporate attorneys in urban areas to deliver
services to rural clients. Statewide recruiting efforts by WSBA have focused primarily




                                            47
on law firms while a substantial number of practicing attorneys in the state are solo
practitioners, in- house corporate attorneys or governmental attorneys.
The strength and level of private bar support and engagement differs widely by program
and region. Continued pressures caused by static and declining funding, regulatory
requirements, and emerging performance accountability standards represent continuing
challenges for some of the smaller volunteer attorney programs. Fidelity to the
Hallmarks suggests that the Legal Foundation of Washington and other key stakeholders
explore the potential short and longer term benefits that might result from regional and/or
multi-county volunteer attorney program configurations. Any changes to a regional or
multi-county program should be coordinated with local and regional civil equal justice
network partners, and be designed to promote strategic local/regional service delivery
plans.

Finally, a number of volunteer attorney programs operate in counties which host or are
near to one or more of the state's many Indian reservations. The relevance and
importance of tribal civil justice systems continues to expand as tribes continue to
exercise the full scope of their sovereign judicial authority. Volunteer attorney programs
must be sensitive to the civil representational needs of persons subject to tribal civil
judicial authority, and provide training and other support necessary to encourage private
attorneys to accept volunteer client representational responsibilities in matte rs before
tribal courts.

4.               New/Reformulated Goals

     a.                   The State Plan should be updated to reflect that volunteer attorney
          programs and volunteer private attorneys can and must be full partners in the
          effort to meet the unmet civil legal needs of poor and vulnerable people in the
          state. The State Plan should expressly recognize the full-range of opportunities
          for private attorneys, whether it be through affiliation with a local volunteer
          attorney program, serving on local boards of directors, co-counseling with staffed
          legal services programs, providing specialized legal expertise in nontraditional
          areas of practice, providing representation in legislative or regulatory
          proceedings, helping with appellate advocacy and scholarly research, accepting
          strategic referrals from CLEAR, volunteer attorney programs, staffed legal
          services programs and others on litigation matters of significance to identifiable
          low income client communities, or working to expand available resources.

     b.                   The Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee should continue its work
          to implement the full-range of recommendations set forth in the VALS Action Plan
          (recruitment, support, delivery, and recognition) by all components of the system
          (judiciary, private firms, WSBA, local bar associations, law schools, VALS
          programs and legal services programs). A five- year progress report on the VALS
          Action Plan with reconfigured recommendations is incorporated by reference into
          this Report.




                                              48
c.                  Representatives of the Northwest Justice Project, Columbia Legal
     Services, Legal Foundation of Washington, volunteer attorney programs and the
     state of Washington should explore the feasibility of substituting state funding for
     the federal LSC funding now used to provide operating support to local and
     regional VALS programs.

d.                  The Legal Foundation of Washington, working with ATJ staff,
     relevant volunteer attorney programs, other and local/regional equal justice
     network partners, should identify areas/programs that might benefit from
     regional/multi-county configurations.


e.                   The WSBA, and the Access to Justice Board should continue to
     work with the Legal Foundation of Washington to provide resources, information,
     technical assistance, support and training to volunteer attorney programs. Such
     efforts can help enhance program operational capacity, expand recruitment
     efforts, help with fund raising efforts, and enhance the ability of such programs to
     meet performance and accountability expectations.

f.                   The WSBA should establish a centralized pro bono resource center
     with links to a statewide poverty law pleadings bank. This can be accomplished
     through the WSBA/ATJ web site. The center should provide one-stop assistance
     to volunteer attorney program staff, including the nuts and bolts on starting and
     operating a pro bono program, training and recruiting volunteers, etc. These
     efforts should be consciously coordinated with other statewide advocacy,
     coordination and training efforts (see section on Training and Technical Support,
     above), and the Northwest Justice Project's web site.


g.                   New and expanded efforts should be undertaken to match urban
     legal capacities with the needs of rural clients and clients with unusual legal
     needs. Examples include statewide pro bono panels to assist with community,
     economic and housing development needs; land use, zoning and growth
     management; complex litigation including class actions; trial advocacy; etc.
     These should be developed and coordinated through the Pro Bono and Legal Aid
     Committee supported by the WSBA staff.

h.                    Volunteer attorney program staff should be trained on issues
     relating to tribal courts and tribal jurisdiction, and should be encouraged to
     develop capacities to provide attorney volunteers for clients in need of
     representation in tribal forums within their service areas.


i.   The Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee should explore potential opportunities to
     create market incentives for attorneys to volunteer their services. Options include
     state B & 0 tax credits for pro bono assistance or financial contributions to



                                          49
          organizations that support civil legal services for the poor, and law school loan
          repayment programs.

     j.   The Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee should actively seek the Supreme
          Court‟s leadership in a statewide effort designed to recruit volunteer attorneys and
          law firms.



5.               Major Steps and Initial Timetable

     a.                The Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee should follow through
          with implementation of the VALS Action Plan.

                           Implementation Date: A five year Progress Report with
              proposed changes is due for publication in September 1999. Thereafter,
              implementation of the VALS Action Plan is an ongoing activity.

     b.                  CLS should work with the Department of Community, Trade
          and Economic Development and the Legal Foundation of Washington to
          secure authorization to use state funds to enable the transfer of VALS program
          operational funding responsibility from NJP to CLS.

         Implementation Date: September 30, 1999.

     c. WSBA staff, working with the Legal Foundation of Washington and the
        ComTech Committee should establish an on- line Pro Bono Resource Center.

                        Implementation Date: June 30, 2000.

     d. The Legal Foundation of Was hington, working with ATJ staff, relevant
        volunteer attorney programs and other local/regional equal justice network
        partners, should identify areas/programs that might benefit from regional/multi-
        county volunteer attorney program configuration.

                        Implementation Date: June 30, 2000.

     e. The Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee should identify the need for, establish,
        and recruit volunteer leadership to coordinate targeted statewide volunteer
        attorney panels.

         Implementation Date: December 31, 2000.

     f. The Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee should prepare a set of
        recommendations for consideration by the ATJ Board and the WSBA Board of
        Governors on potential market incentives to expand the interest and willingness


                                               50
         of the private bar to provide volunteer legal services, and the steps necessary to
         make these incentives available (including but not limited to legislative changes
         that might be needed).

                       Implementation Date: June 30, 2000.

     g.                     The Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee should seek the
     leadership of the Supreme Court in an active statewide recruitment campaign directed
     at increasing the volunteer capacity of this state‟s civil equal justice delivery system.

                       Implementation Date: June 30, 2000.



C.                DIVERSIFIED FUNDING AND COORDINATION OF
         RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS

1.       LSC State Planning Considerations

The LSC Program Letters and State Planning Considerations acknowledge the limited
amount and purpose of federal funding for legal services, and the need to augment federal
funding with state and local funding. Finally, they recognize the importance of
undertaking strategies that work to the benefit of the entire state.

         a.                     Initial State Planning Objectives
         In Washington State, the LSC State Planning Considerations are supported by the
         vision and values outlined in the Hallmarks and the State Plan. In the area of
         resource development and diversification of funding, the Hallmarks and State
         Plan promote the development of a resource base that is:

            Stable.
            Permanent.
            Sufficient to meet the full continuum of client needs from information and
             advice, to brief service, to full extended representation.
            Free from partisan political or interest group influence.
            Capable of meeting the full- range of civil legal needs of all low income and
             vulnerable people throughout the state, regardless of their identity, the nature
             of their legal claims, or the forum within which those claims must be
             presented.
            Reflects a broad public and private commitment to the concept of equal
             justice.
            Building on these objectives, the State Plan directed that:
            A primary focus of statewide resource development activities should be to
             develop new funding that will be available for full-range, full- scope
             representation of low income and vulnerable clients throughout the state in
             accordance with the most important needs of such clients.


                                              51
        The allowable use of state funding for representation that is responsive to the
         full-range of client legal needs should be expanded.
        All ATJ Network partners should work cooperatively to expand resources to
         meet the civil justice needs of low income and vulnerable clients throughout
         the state.
        Network partners should coordinate their efforts to maximize the total number
         of dollars -- including local dollars -- for equal justice activities undertaken
         through the integrated statewide civil legal services delivery system.

b.                 Resource Development Capacities that Were Created,
     Preserved or Expanded as a Result of the State Plan

     i.      Context
     In the years since the State Plan was adopted, funding for legal services has been
     under sustained attack -- in the halls of Congress, the state Legislature, the courts,
     and local county councils. A coordinated, grass roots effort has emerged to protect
     the availability of federal, state and local funding and, in recent years, to promote
     the expansion of that funding. A brief synopsis of Washington‟s experience since
     adoption of the State Plan is necessary to understand the scope of the activities
     undertaken in this area.

                         Federal Funding
     During the FY 1996 - 1999 budget cycles, congressional opponents of legal
     services pursued a "glide path to zero" strategy that called for the elimination of
     federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation over a three year period. In
     each of these years, budget writers proposed to substantially reduce federal
     outlays. For FY 1996, proponents of this strategy achieved initial success by
     reducing federal support for LSC from $415 million to $278 million. In
     Washington state the result was a drop from $6.2 million in funding to $4.1
     million. At the same time, Congress imposed a host of new restrictions on LSC
     funded entities, including the restriction that extended all LSC restrictions to all of
     a grantee's funds, regardless of their source. (See the related discussion in the
     section on System Configuration, below).

     During the FY 1997, 1998 and 1999 budget cycles, LSC funding was proposed
     for further reduction by an additional 50% -- from about $280 million to $140
     million. In each of these years, bipartisan supporters of co ntinued LSC funding in
     the House of Representatives, encouraged by strong sentiments of support from
     organizations like Washington State's Equal Justice Coalition and a broad base of
     state and local supporters of equal justice, were successful in restoring the
     threatened funds through a series of votes on the floor of the House of
     Representatives and through successful negotiations with their counterparts in the
     Senate and within the Administration. Finally, for FY 1999, supporters of LSC
     were successful in securing a modest $27 million increase in funding -- from $283
     million to $300 million. (This increase resulted in about a $250,000 increase in
     LSC funding for the Northwest Justice Project.) Prospects for increased federal


                                           52
funding for FY 2000 are unlikely due to ongoing domestic budget realities and
concerns over the accuracy of statistical reporting raised by opponents of federal
funding for legal services.

                   State Funding
In 1995, the state House of Representatives passed a budget reducing state
funding for legal services from $4.8 million per biennium to $100 million. .
Through the extraordinary efforts of the bipartisan Equal Justice Coalition, this
funding was restored on the final day of the session. While it restored funding, the
Legislature also passed a lengthy proviso that was designed to limit the activities
of state funded legal services entities, especially in the area of farm worker
representation; and this, despite the fact that state funds could not be used for
most of this type of client representation in the first place.

In 1996, the civil equal justice community worked hard to secure additional state
funding designed to make up for part of the federal funding cuts. Again, on the
last day of the session, a successful compromise was achie ved which resulted in
the appropriation of an additional $1 million in supplemental funding. However,
this supplemental appropriation was conditioned on the execution of an
Alternative Dispute Resolution protocol between Columbia Legal Services, the
Northwest Justice Project (then not a recipient of state funding) and the
Washington Growers' League. Despite 11 months of intensive negotiations, and
despite the active involvement of a professional mediator, the attorney for the
Speaker of the House, and the personal involvement of Representative Jim
Clements (R-Selah), the parties were unsuccessful in achieving an agreement, and
the supplemental $1 million appropriation was not released.

In 1997, in an effort to permanently depoliticize the issue of state le gal services
funding, Representative Clements worked with the Washington State Bar
Association, the Equal Justice Coalition and other stakeholders to promote
consensus legislation redefining the rules governing the use of state funding for
legal services, and moving administration of state legal services funding from the
Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development to a new Office of
Civil Legal Services that would be established within the judicial branch. This
bill would have achieved many, if not most, of the objectives outlined in the State
Plan regarding the removal of unnecessary and unproductive restrictions on the
use of state funds. By the end of the legislative session, the omnibus approach
promoted in the Clements bill was superseded by a more limited effort to rewrite
the legislation defining the allowable use of state legal services funding. This
bipartisan legislation, ESHB 2276, was sponsored by the House Majority and
Minority Leaders, and passed unanimously in both houses. The legislation
expanded the allowable use of state funds, clarified statutory restrictions, and
removed the incorporation by reference to LSC restrictions. In addition, as a
result of intensive lobbying efforts by the EJC and others, the Legislature
increased state funding by $1 million per year.




                                     53
During 1998, the Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee of the Washington State
Bar Association developed a detailed report outlining the current state of the civil
equal justice delivery system and offered a comprehensive range of ideas for
raising revenues needed to respond to what the committee described as a failure
of critical mass so extreme that it amounted to a "crisis in the availability of civil
legal services." In June 1998, the Board of Governors accepted the cCommittee's
report and unanimously declared that the "chronic lack of funding for civil legal
services had reached a crisis level." The Governors determined that not less than
$ 10 million in new funding is needed over the next biennium to address this
crisis, and pledged to work with a broad array of stakeholders to secure legislative
appropriation of this level of additional funding. This past session, the WSBA, the
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Equal Justice Coalition all called upon
the Governor and the Legislature to substantially increase state funding for civil
legal services. These efforts were not successful, and the state appropriation was
continued at the previous level of $6.8 million per biennium.

            IOLTA Funding
In late 1995, after more than four years of effort, the Supreme Court adopted APR
12(h) and APR 12.1 extending IOLTA trust accounting rules to individuals
licensed as Limited Practice Officers and authorized to engage in real estate
closings. The Legal Foundation of Washington worked with escrow companies
and real estate title companies to promote a smooth transition to the new
accounting rules, and IOLTA revenues began to substantially increase by mid--
1996.

In 1997, the constitutionality of APR 12(h) and APR 12.1 was challenged in a
federal court lawsuit. The case was heard in 1998, and a decision upholding the
constitutionality of the LPO/IOLTA rule was issued in the spring of that year.
The plaintiff Washington Legal Foundation appealed this ruling to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit where it is currently awaiting oral
argument. In June 1998, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in a
related challenge to the Texas IOLTA program. There the Court ruled that
interest earned on a lawyer's trust account is property within the meaning of the
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court remanded the matter for a
determination of whether there had been a taking of such property, and if so,
whether and how much compensation might be due. An evidentiary hearing is set
for September 1999.

In addition to legal challenges, IOLTA funding responds to competitive market
forces. In 1998-9 banks and other depository institutions began to reduce rates of
interest paid on average daily trust account balances. These pressures result in
volatility in the earning power and ultimately the amount of funds that are
remitted to the Legal Foundation of Washington by depository institutions.
However, the Foundation continues to work with banks to raise interest rates and
to reduce fees, as well as to seek other institutional forms of support for legal
services.



                                     54
Thus, while IOLTA funding has increased substantially since the adoption of the
State Plan (primarily due to the expansion of the IOLTA rule to LPO's), this
funding source faces continuing litigation challenges, and a fluctuating income,
but continues with business as usual in support of the valuable work carried out
by its grantee members of the ATJ network.

                   Local Funding
An increasing number of civil equal justice partners are reaching out to local
governments for support of legal services. Some are successful and others are
not. There is agreement that this is an important funding source to pursue. In
1999, programs receiving funding from King County were threatened with the
elimination of support. Working together and with the active support of the Equal
Justice Coalition, these programs were successful in restoring 1999 funding to
prior year levels.

In addition to governmental funding, many network partners rely on local
charitable giving and special events (auctions, dinners, etc.) to augment core
funding needs. These efforts and contemporaneous efforts to raise funding
through statewide campaigns have surfaced tensions that the network recognizes
must be addressed to avoid unhealthy competition for scarce resources, and
equally counterproductive institutional antagonisms.

ii. Specific Resource Development and Coordination Initiatives
                    Since 1995 the Access to Justice Board, working through one
    of its committees, the Equal Justice Coalition, and in partnership with the
    Washington State Bar Association, local bar associations, and many others,
    worked tirelessly to preserve and expand federal funding for civil legal
    services. High level delegations visited with members of Washington's
    congressional delegation regularly, both in Washington, D.C. and in the state
    during congressional recesses. Washington State equal justice community
    members have worked with LSC and other national organizations as part of an
    overall effort to restore bipartisan support for and investment in the federally
    funded national legal services system.

   Working with the Supreme Court, the Washington State Bar
   Association and its Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee, the Equal Justice
    Coalition, County Clerks, law libraries, local bar associations and a wide
    range of other stakeholders, the Access to Justice Board worked hard to
    preserve state funding when it was threatened in 1995, 1996 and 1997, to
    expand the allowable uses of state funding in 1997, and to expand state
    funding in 1997 and 1999. In spite of tremendous effort, the 1999 session did
    not produce new funding for civil legal services. However, new partnerships
    were formed, and much groundwork was laid that will help guide a successful
    effort in succeeding sessions.




                                    55
   In late 1995, responding to a four-year effort by the Legal Foundation of
    Washington, the Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee, the WSBA and many
    others, the Supreme Court adopted APR 12(h) and APR 12.1 expanding the
    reach of Washington State's IOLTA program to trust accounts maintained by
    individuals licensed to close real estate transactions (Limited Practice Officers
    -- „LPO‟s‟). Since 1997, the Legal Foundation, the Supreme Court, the
    Attorney General and the Washington State Bar Association (as amicus
    curiae) have aggressively, and to date successfully, defended the LPO rule
    from legal challenge, and have participated in efforts to defend the
    constitutionality of the IOLTA funding mechanism in the legal cha llenge to
    the Texas IOLTA program.

   A number of volunteer attorney and legal services providers have begun
    aggressively moving into private fund raising. The Northwest Immigrant
    Rights Project and the Eastside Legal Assistance Project have employees
    directly responsible for fund development. LAW Fund, in its second five year
    strategic planning process and with an expanded and diversified board of
    directors, has taken steps to expand statewide private fundraising efforts for
    legal services, identified and targeted a broader potential giving audience,
    promoted an annual special event fundraiser, promoted opportunities to
    participate in a series of cy pres distributions, and officially established the
    LAW Fund Endowment (initially capitalized at nearly $1 million).

   The Access to Justice Board has begun to directly address the tensions that
    arise when local and statewide civil equal justice fundraising efforts compete.
    The ATJ Board's Resource Development Committee has been expanded to
    help ensure maximum coordination and cooperation in civil equal justice fund
    raising efforts.

   A number of local bar associations, foundations, and specialty providers have
    worked to expand local fundraising efforts (e.g., auctions, special events,
    theatrical productions, dinners, etc.). These events have been successful in
    bringing new resources to the table.

   To encourage an integrated statewide delivery network, a diverse array of civil
    equal justice partners throughout the state are collaborating to build capacity
    to meet the civil legal needs of domestic violence victims throughout the
    entire state. This effort culminated in an integrated, interdisciplinary,
    statewide grant request to the U.S. Department of Justice for funding under
    the Violence Against Women Act. Unfortunately, the statewide collaborative
    effort was not funded during the first two grant cycles. LAW Advocates of
    Whatcom County did receive funds in the first grant cycle. The statewide
    effort did have a positive effect as it stimulated Columbia Legal Services‟
    investment in a statewide domestic violence client advocacy coordinator who
    has worked with all civil equal justice providers, local domestic violence
    advocates, and many others to train and otherwise ensure consistent and


                                     56
     effective representation of domestic violence victims throughout the state. A
     statewide application will be made in the third round of funding. This
     collaborative approach to seeking funds will certainly result in a financial
     benefit to the community. As importantly, it will serve as a model for other
     statewide resource development efforts.

    The Access to Justice Board's ComTech and Resource Development
     Committees have worked to develop and promote statewide capacity
     enhancement, such as the technology grant/pilot domestic relations initiative
     being promoted to the Microsoft Corporation and the Supreme Court. The
     Legal Foundation of Washington made $50,000 available in 1999 to purchase
     a uniform case statistical reporting system and computer equipment to allow
     volunteer attorney programs to run the system efficiently. A statewide
     training has been held and half- yearly reports have been filed, indicating the
     effort was a success.

c.                      Relevant Indicators

The following represent successes in Washington State's efforts to protect,
increase and diversify resources available to meet the civil legal needs of low
income and vulnerable people:

    Federal funding was preserved and modestly increased; the Northwest Justice
     Project successfully competed for and received a full three-year funding
     commitment to provide statewide services.
    State funding was preserved and expanded in the face of repeated efforts to
     eliminate it.
    The state Legislature unanimously adopted changes to the statute authorizing
     the use of state funding for legal services, and in doing so, expanded the use to
     which such funds can be employed. The community successfully defended
     against efforts to tie state funding restrictions to other funds in the control of
     the state legal services contractor (Columbia Legal Services), thereby
     protecting the integrity of IOLTA, LAW Fund and other funding without
     further fragmentation of the delivery system.
    IOLTA funding increased substantially due to the extension of the IOLTA
     rule to Limited Practice Officers. This helped mitigate the most drastic
     consequences resulting from the federal funding cuts, allowed some level of
     continuity in statewide presence of staffed legal services providers, and
     enabled the continued representation of the most vulnerable clients on
     important legal matters. It also allowed for continued funding of volunteer
     attorney programs and most specialty legal services providers at an increasing
     amount over 1995 levels.
    LAW Fund's annual campaign continued to grow during this period, from
     about $300,000 in 1996 to more than $600,00 in 1998. An endowment was
     established and initially capitalized at nearly $1,000,000. Consistent with the
     State Plan, the portion of LAW Fund's annual campaign directed to current


                                      57
    legal services activities has been substantially dedicated to supporting legal
    work that cannot be funded with other sources. LAW Fund also promoted a
    "gift-of-appreciated-stock" campaign.
   The amount of funding raised by local volunteer attorney programs and
    specialty legal services providers has increased substantially. In addition, a
    number of local bar associations have committed an increasing amount of
    membership dues to help underwrite volunteer attorney program operations.
   The EJC has developed a large community of managing partners, corporate
    counsel, and judicial leaders to help support efforts to protect and secure
    increased funding at the federal and state levels. LAW fund and a number of
    local bar groups have recruited non-attorney board members to expand the
    potential pool of stakeholders willing to commit time and energy to legal
    services.
   New community partnerships were formed to support equal justice activities.
    An example is the commitment by Auvil Fruit and Stemilt Growers to
    contribute $40,000 in matching funds to enable Columbia Legal Service s to
    hire a NAPIL Fellow to represent children victimized by violence and abuse.
    AT&T Wireless has provided support for a Seattle-based NAPIL fellowship
    targeted on the civil legal needs of street youth. The staffed legal services
    providers have also undertaken to more effectively coordinate and minimize
    competition in applications for attorney fellowships through NAPIL,
    Sorros/OSI, and Skadden, Arps, etc.

d. Relationship to System Configuration

The Hallmarks and State Plan direct that all resources be acquired and dedicated
to their highest and best uses in response to the most pressing needs of all clients.
As the delivery system has become more diversified, and as an increasing number
of providers are called upon to undertake more discrete functions within the
system, the challenge has been to develop resource development and deployment
protocols that promote the expansion of capacity amongst and between all
involved in meeting the civil equal justice needs of low income and vulnerable
people. The community aspires to have all partners work together to ensure the
continuation and expansion of a highly collaborative statewide civil equal justice
system.

Examples of strategic resource sharing that serve the vision and values outlined in
the Hallmarks are numerous. Primary examples include:

LAW Fund and the Legal Foundation of Washington have jointly underwritten
the operating expenses of the Equal Justice Coalition.

   Columbia Legal Services, the state funding recipient, has contracted with the
    Northwest Justice Project to make nearly $1 million in state funding available
    to underwrite the annual operating costs of NJP's CLEAR client access
    system.


                                     58
   In accordance with the State Plan’s directions for funding partnerships, the
    Northwest Justice Project has provided more than $160,000 in annual funding
    to underwrite part of the operational costs of local volunteer attorney
    programs throughout the state – as well as providing malpractice insurance for
    volunteer attorney participants.
   Columbia Legal Services has expressly assumed responsibility to meet the
    statewide advocacy coordination, technical assistance and training needs of all
    components of the civil equal justice delivery system, and has dedicated three
    staff positions (one as yet unfilled) to this purpose. Other examples include
    University Legal Assistance‟ work with the Spokane County Bar Association
    and NJP‟s support of the Refugee and Immigrant Advocacy Project.
   Other strategic approaches are being considered, including the potential for
    state funding to be made available for volunteer attorney program operations,
    and to enable the volunteer attorney programs to use this funding instead of
    the more restricted and administratively difficult-to-manage federal funding
    now being received by these programs under subgrants with NJP.

In practice, the Hallmarks and State Plan have informed the following resource
development and investment protocol:

First: The highest priority is to develop substantial and sustainable funding that
can be used to support the full- range of high priority client representation over
time.

Second: A secondary, albeit very high priority, is to acquire sustaining funding at
substantial levels that can underwrite on an ongoing basis distinct parts of the
statewide delivery system operations (e.g., LSC, state funding).

Third: Investment of statewide resources should ensure the most strategic use of
all funds available. Restricted funding should be dedicated for those purposes for
which it can be used -- taking an aggressive approach in defining the breadth
potential of uses of such funds.

Fourth:       The least restricted funds should be reserved and invested in a manner
that fills in client representational gaps, and enables the system to achieve and
maintain critical statewide capacity to undertake client representational activities
that cannot be underwritten with restricted funds. Unrestricted funds should also
be used to preserve full-range, full-service capacity in all locations of the state,
rather than in a single location, such as the largest city or state capitol.

Fifth: Resource development and deployment efforts of all fundraisers should
respect the need of other equal justice network partners to develop private and
public resources in a way that maximizes effective collaboration and
coordination.




                                     59
       Sixth: Strategic resource development initiatives should inure to the benefit of the
       entire statewide delivery system, and not to any single component or components
       – all boats must rise and fall together.

       Washington state has a number of stand-alone specialty legal services and
       volunteer attorney programs. The vast majority of these programs raise funds on
       their own and not in partnership with other providers. In recent years there have
       been increasing tensions between the needs of these local programs and the
       statewide public and private fundraising efforts. It is important that all programs
       be invested in these statewide initiatives, whether they are the effort to secure new
       funding from the state Legislature or to support LAW Fund's annual campaign.
       Some programs feel "disconnected" from these statewide efforts and have
       expressed frustration at the amount of energy that they see being invested in these
       statewide initiatives. This is particularly true for a number of the s maller, isolated
       rural programs that have insufficient funding to maintain personnel capacity to
       meet basic operational functions envisioned by the Hallmarks, the State Plan and
       the emerging Accountability Standards. These frustrations can be alleviated by
       encouraging local programs to become a part of a larger local or regional service
       delivery system, a dynamic that is more thoroughly discussed in the section on
       System Configuration, below, but which should be encouraged in every aspect of
       the State Plan.

       In order to help address efforts to coordinate resource development activities
       between and amongst programs, LAW Fund organized an ad hoc meeting of
       fundraisers at the 1998 ATJ Conference. The purpose of the meeting was to
       foster dialogue, identify obstacles to effective coordination, explore tensions
       between statewide and local fundraising efforts, and develop strategies to enable
       local and statewide initiatives to complement one another. Following up on the
       initial progress made at this meeting, the Access to Justice Board redefined the
       responsibilities of its Resource Development Committee, and specifically directed
       that it serve as the vehicle for the community to address resource development
       coordination and capacity building issues. The committee has been reconstituted
       and serves as a forum to address fundraising issues, promote resource
       development skill building, develop educational programs for the public to
       support civil access to justice, and identify opportunities for greater collaboration
       amongst providers for scarce public and private resources.

2.     Additional State Planning Considerations

Washington state's civil equal justice community must find new ways to invest local and
regional partners in the full-range of resource development initiatives, and demonstrate
that the success of these strategies will have a practical and realistic impact on their
ability to meet high priority client needs.

It must also be remembered that the West Coast does not have a long history of private
philanthropy. There are few large corporations in Washington and few corporate



                                             60
headquarters where funding decisions are made. There is new technology wealth in this
state, but the holders of the wealth are young, and if ready to make a major gift, are
uninformed about the importance or opportunity to support civil equal justice efforts.
These considerations require a need for coordinated, collaborative efforts to develop
educational materials to increase public awareness of the need to support Washington
state's civil equal justice delivery system. LAW Fund, the Equal Justice Coalition, local
and statewide providers, the WSBA and others need to work collaboratively to develop
effective tools that can be used to promote the work we do in ways that resonate with the
broadest spectrum of the public.

3.      Assessment of Strengths and Weaknesses of Washington's Resource
Development and Coordination Capabilities
As noted throughout this section, Washington state has worked effectively to preserve,
protect and expand civil legal services funding at the federal and state levels in the years
since the 1995 State Plan. The Equal Justice Coalition has been singularly effective in
preventing the loss of funding and moving historical antagonists to a point where they
have a better understanding of the role for and willingness to support funding for legal
services. The EJC has developed an effective Olympia presence, and continues to work
to promote funding for civil equal justice to key members of the Legislature. However,
as a grass roots organization, the EJC is dependent upon the support and engagement of
individuals and organizations in locations throughout the state. There are significant
geographic regions of the state where there is little or no active involvement in EJC
efforts. The EJC is in the process of undertaking a range of initiatives designed to
expand geographically diverse support. The EJC and the entire equal justice community
have been successful in building cooperative relationships with the Supreme Court, t he
bar, clerks, law libraries, county officials, and many others. These efforts need to be
continued and expanded.

As the Pro Bono and Legal Aid Committee's report so graphically demonstrated, the
statewide civil equal justice delivery system is strained to the breaking point, and is in
dire need of a substantial infusion of new resources. The WSBA identified the need for
an incremental $10 million in biennial funding as a first step toward establishing
meaningful, full- range capacity throughout the entire state. Fleshed out during the past
legislative session such additional resources would be targeted to enhance the capacity of
all components of the civil equal justice delivery system -- staffed programs, volunteer
attorney programs, private attorneys operating in rural areas, court clerks and law
libraries. While this effort to increase funding is ongoing, the tensions inherent in
operating within a severely undercapitalized environment present challenges that must be
addressed on an ongoing basis.

The Washington State Bar Association has demonstrated a sustaining understanding and
commitment to developing new and expanded resources to meet the civil equal justice
needs of poor and vulnerable people. New ground was plowed this past session when the
Supreme Court assumed a leadership role in championing the $10 million increase in
funding for civil equal justice, and this role needs to continue. In addition, it is essential
that other levels of the court system (superior court judges, district and municipal court



                                              61
judges) expand their support efforts to address the civil equal justice funding and capacity
crisis.

While Washington state's civil equal justice community has a commendable record of
"walking its talk" with respect to the lack of turf and the concept of common purpose,
natural tensions arise in the resource development area that could undermine its success
in a wide range of private and public fundraising efforts. From LAW Fund's annual
campaign and endowment strategy to local volunteer attorney program auctions and
receptions, opportunities must be found to promote complementary rather than
competitive initiatives, and to ensure that, in the end, the system generates more
resources in the aggregate than it would if programs continued to operate independently.
The ATJ Board's Resource Development Committee has taken responsibility to address
these issues in ways that foster a better sense of cohesiveness between and amongst
network partners.

Finally, despite continuing challenges to sustaining sources of funding, there is
significant strength in the network's general acceptance of the vision and values outlined
in the Hallmarks and the initial State Plan. These will continue to guide all involved as
we work to thoughtfully address the many difficult resource development challenges that
our community will face over the next five years.

4.     New/Reformulated Goals

       a.      The network should continue to expand state funding in accordance with
               the June 1998 Resolution declaring a civil equal justice crisis. Short and
               long term strategies should be developed and continuously augmented to
               secure and sustain a $ 10 million biennial increase in state funding

       b.                      The network should continue to seek to move
               administrative and budget responsibility for state funded legal services
               from the executive to the judicial branch and to promote strategies that
               ensure sustained and appropriate funding levels for legal services funding
               within the judicial budget.


       c.                     The network should continue to work to expand the uses to
               which state funds can be put, so that these funds can underwrite client
               representation on all matters in response to the legal needs of clients, as
               opposed to the selected substantive areas currently identified in RCW
               43.08.260.

       d.                       Providers and all resource development staff should expand
               cooperative efforts to enhance and improve resources available to the
               statewide equal justice network in accordance with the vision and values
               set forth in the Hallmarks and State Plan, while taking maximum




                                            62
               advantage of local and regional public and private resource development
               opportunities.


      e.                       Insofar as it holds the promise of providing sustained
               funding for the statewide civil equal justice network well into the future,
               all providers should support efforts to build and aggressively capitalize the
               LAW Fund Endowment.

      f.                     Funders and providers should continue to abide by the
      resource development and investment priorities and criteria set forth in the
      Hallmarks and initial State Plan.


      g.                     Explore other entrepreneurial opportunities to generate
               dedicated revenues to support civil equal justice efforts in Washington
               State.

5. Major Steps to be Taken, Responsibilities and Timetable

      a. The Legal Foundation of Washington and LAW Fund should continue to
         fund the Equal Justice Coalition to sustain and support federal and state
         funding preservation and expansion strategies.

                  Implementation Date: Ongoing with regular review.

      b. The WSBA, ATJ Board, Supreme Court, Office of the Administrator for
         the Courts, Attorney General, BJA and EJC should continue to work with
         relevant state agencies, legislative leadership and the Governor to
         institutionalize state civil equal justice funding as part of the core operations
         of the judicial branch and to remove unnecessary restrictions on the use of
         state funding for legal services.

                             Implementation Date: This is an ongoing activity.

      c. The WSBA, Supreme Court, and EJC should work to secure bipartisan
         support for a sustaining investment of state funding for civil legal services at
         levels commensurate with client legal needs.

                             Implementation Date: This is an ongoing activity.

      d. The Legal Foundation of Washington, WSBA, Attorney General, and
         EJC should continue to vigorously defend the constitutionality of IOLTA,
         and promote strategies to enhance revenues received on IOLTA trust account
         earnings.




                                            63
                      Implementation Date: This is an ongoing activity.
     e. The ATJ Board's Resource Development Committee should provide
        ongoing resource development support and coordination, including
        development and coordination of state and local resource development
        materials, messages, brochures, and strategies.

                            Implementation Date: Initial resource development
              materials should be collected and made available through the WSBA's
              ATJ web site by June 2000. Thereafter, this coordinating responsibility is
              an ongoing activity.

     f.   LAW Fund and the Legal Foundation of Washington, in cooperation with
          the ATJ Board's Resource Development and Education Committees , the
          Public Legal Education Council and the EJC, should undertake a strategy to
          educate private foundations, corporations and others about the civil legal
          needs of low income people and opportunities for private foundations to
          contribute to this cause.

                            Implementation Date: A coordinated strategic educational
              plan should be developed by September 30, 2000.

     g. All major civil equal justice funders should take steps to ensure that funding
     decisions are made consistent with the overall needs of the statewide civil legal
     services delivery network, the Hallmarks, and the resource investment protocol of
     this State Plan. New resources should be strategically invested toward these ends,
     and reductions in funding should, to the extent possible, be allocated amongst
     civil equal justice community members in accordance with these same
     considerations. The ATJ Board should regularly evaluate the degree to which
     statewide funding decisions serve these goals and objectives.

                               Implementation Date: This is an ongoing activity.

     h. LAW Fund, CLS, NJP and the ATJ Board should evaluate the possibility of
     developing a modest means telephonic intake, advice and referral system (along
     the CLEAR model) that can generate revenue to support the civil equal justice
     delivery system.

                              Implementation Date: Initial feasibility assessment
                  completed by March 31, 2000


D.                   SYSTEM CONFIGUR ATION

1.                   LSC State Planning Considerations




                                          64
In its State Planning Considerations, LSC identified a number of goals that state planners
should seek to further as they evaluate present and potential action in the area of program
configuration. As outlined by LSC, the overall objective should be “a configuration that
maximizes the effective and economical delivery of high quality legal services
throughout the state.”7 Specific indicators identified by LSC are set forth below:

                   The state delivery system [should be] designed and configured to
    maximize access for clients throughout the state.
                   The state delivery system [should be] configured to maximize
    effective legal services to clients throughout the state.
                   The state delivery system[should be] designed and configured to make
    the highest and best use of available resources
                   The state delivery system [should be] designed and configured to
    encourage innovation in the delivery of legal services accompanied by appropriate
    evaluation of results
                   The state delivery system [should be] designed and configured to
    respond effectively to new and emerging client needs and other changes affecting the
    delivery of legal services to the poor. 8

These indicators are consistent with the key values and capacities identified in
Washington state‟s Hallmarks -- and in fact were derived in substantial part from the
Hallmarks. Consequently, the ATJ Board has determined that evaluation of state
delivery system configuration issues against the vision and values outlines in the
Hallmarks will serve LSC‟s state planning objectives.

         a.          Initial State Planning Objectives: Legal Services Delivery System
              [Re-] Configuration -- Phase I

         The Hallmarks established the mission and corresponding values that were used
         to guide the Access to Justice Board in developing the initial 1995 Plan for the
         Delivery of Civil Legal Services to Low Income People in Washington State (State
         Plan). While the Access to Justice Board believed “that this mission can be most
         effectively fulfilled through a unified statewide service delivery system,” the
         Board recognized the impossibility of such a system in light of then pending
         changes to the rules governing federal funds made available through the Legal
         Services Corporation (LSC). As the Board noted, these changes -- which had not
         yet been enacted into law -- would limit the nature, substance and scope of client
         representation, as well as those who would be eligible for legal services provided
         by LSC grantees. It was further believed that these proposed restrictions would
         have the effect of interfering with professional decision- making at many levels,
         undermine the ability of legal services attorneys to effectively represent their
         clients, and deny to legal services clients attorneys who would be able to provide
         a full-range of legal representation in forums most appropriate to their legal

7
  State Planning Considerations at 14.
8
  Within each of these areas of focus , LSC identified a range of specific considerations that should be
looked at to inform planners as to the degree to which the strategies served the overall p lanning objectives.


                                                      65
         needs. Among the most significant restrictions pending before the Congress and
         perceived as likely to accompany any congressional appropriation of LSC funds
         were the following:
                    A complete ban on representation of clients in connection with any
             class action with any funds -- LSC or non-LSC.9
                    complete ban on any representation before legislative or administrative
             bodies with any funds.
                    A prohibition against undertaking representation in fee generating
             cases, and requesting or receiving attorneys fees in any matter.
                    A prohibition against client representation on any matter involving
             “welfare reform.”
                    A prohibition against the representation of prisoners on any matter.
                    A prohibition against the representation of most undocumented aliens.
                    A prohibition against the assertion of the unconstitutionality of any
             federal or state statute. 10
                    provision applying all of the LSC restrictions to a grantee‟s non-LSC
             funds, regardless of their source.

         The Access to Justice Board concluded that the pending LSC restrictions so
         gravely threatened the ability of Washington state‟s civil equal justice delivery
         system to provide the full-range of client services to the full spectrum of eligible
         clients in a manner consistent with the vision outlined in the Hallmarks, that it
         was necessary to substantially reconfigure the delivery system in Washington
         state. To protect the continuity of client services -- including services that would
         be restricted should the pending LSC restrictions be enacted -- the ATJ Board
         recommended that the state‟s three LSC providers 11 forego applying for LSC
         funding for 1996 and beyond. State Plan at 3. The ATJ Board recommended that
         these programs achieve maximum organizational stability by merging into a
         single, statewide non-LSC -funded full-service program -- Columbia Legal
         Services. To preserve as much capacity as possible (in light of the fact that
         Columbia would carry forward all cases previously handled by the three pre-
         existing programs), to maintain the maximum capacity of the new program to
         meet the civil legal needs of those who suffered from disparate treatment,
         disproportionate burdens of poverty, or who face unique barriers to justice, and to
         minimize the potential negative consequences of the likely LSC restrictions on
         other funding sources, the ATJ Board recommended that all state and local non-
         LSC funds (including IOLTA funds) be directed to this new organization.


9
  At the time of the writing of the 1995 State Plan, the three existing LSC gra ntees represented clients in a
number of state and federal class actions. Under the proposed legislation which ultimately become law,
LSC programs were granted 6 months to withdraw fro m representation in any class action pending on or
before the effective date of the appropriation.
10
   While included in some permutations of then pending legislation, this provision did not become part of
final appropriations act passed in April 1996.
11
    Evergreen Legal Serv ices, Spokane Legal Services Center and Puget Sound Le gal Assistance
Foundation.


                                                     66
         Recognizing the continuing importance of what would remain of LSC funding (no
         matter how restricted these funds might be), the ATJ Board proposed the
         establishment of a single statewide provider to bid for LSC funds in 1996 and
         thereafter. State Plan at 6. The LSC program was expected to use its limited
         funding to i) establish and maintain a statewide staffed service capacity; ii)
         assume primary responsibility for providing financial, staff and technical support
         to the state‟s volunteer attorney programs; and iii) establish a system that would
         serve as a primary client entry point into the legal services delivery system.
         The State Plan also acknowledged the increasing importance of Washington
         State‟s local volunteer attorney legal services programs in the face of the
         contemplated reductions in funding (federal and possibly state) 12 that would be
         available to the two statewide staffed legal services providers, the compounding
         problems associated with dual statewide administrative capacities, the
         contemplated closure of legal services offices in a number of locations and the
         contemplated reduction of staffed capacity in remaining legal services offices. 13
         In the State Plan, the ATJ Board recommended that funding for the volunteer
         attorney programs be maintained at or near 1995 levels in 1996 and for systems
         to be flexible enough to allow for reallocation of funding relationships between
         volunteer attorney programs and the staffed legal services programs should the
         LSC restrictions interfere with other core services.

         Finally, the ATJ Board recommended that the state‟s law school clinics and other
         specialty bar providers be more effectively integrated into statewide and
         local/regional civil legal delivery systems, each program filling its unique role in
         light of the resources available to it, the needs of the clients, and the range of
         other resources available to clients.

         During calendar year 1996, the structural changes proposed by the ATJ Board
         were accomplished. The three programs merged into a non- LSC funded program,
         and established seven regional offices from which full-range services would be
         provided to clients throughout the state. State, IOLTA, AAA, local United Way,
         and other local and special purpose funding was preserved and carried forward to
         Columbia. A new program (Northwest Justice Project) was created and
         successfully bid for LSC funds, whereupon it established small staffed offices in
         ten (now nine) locations throughout the state and commenced the design and
         construction of the statewide Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral
         system (CLEAR) which now operates in 38 of Washington‟s 39 counties.
         Funding for the state‟s 24 volunteer attorney programs was continued at

12
   At the time of the ATJ Board‟s adoption of the State Plan, the civil equal justice community had just
recently fought off an effort to completely eliminate state funding for civil legal services -- a battle that had
to be fought repeatedly over the succeeding state legislative sessions. Thus, not only was the Board
planning for the eventuality of federal funding cuts, its thinking was informed by the stark reality of
challenges to state funding as well.
13
   For a full discussion of the transitional developments and the current state of the civil equal justice
delivery system effect May 1999, see Bamberger, ST RAINED TO THE BREAKING POINT : THE CURRENT
ST ATE OF W ASHINGT ON ST ATE‟S CIVIL EQUAL JUSTICE DELIVER SYSTEM, Vol. 53 WSBA Bar News, No. 5
(May 1999).


                                                      67
preexisting levels, while new relationships formed between these programs and
the local and regional offices of the statewide staffed legal services providers.
Specialty bar providers and law school clinics began to assume an increasing role
in meeting the civil equal justice needs of eligible clients not capable of being
served by the other civil equal justice programs.




                                    68
           By year‟s end 1996, Phase I had been completed and the initial physical
           redeployment of legal services capacity essentially looked as follows:14

                    East        Cen./Yakima Cen./Wen.                    Pac. NW           King             Pierce/Kitsap West/SW
CLS                 Spokane (4) Yakima (5) Wenatchee                     Everett (5)       Seattle (9)      Tacoma (5) Olympia (5
                                            (4)
NJP                                                                                                                     Olympia
                    Spokane           Yakima (4)       Wenatchee         Everett (2)       Seattle (5.5) Tacoma (2)
                                                                                                                        (2.5)
                    (3.5)             Pasco (2)        (2)               Bellingham                                     Vancouver
                                                                         (1.5)                                          (2)

NJP CLEAR                                                                                  Seattle (8)

VALS                Spokane           Yakima      Wenatchee              Everett      Seattle (3)           Tacoma      Olympia
                    Colville          Pasco       Moses Lake             Bellingham Bellevue                Bremerton   Aberdeen
                    Pullman           Walla Walla Okanogan               Port Angeles                                   Longview
                                      Ellensburg                         Port                                           Chehalis
                                                                         Townsend
                                                                         Mount                                          Vancouver
                                                                         Vernon

           b. Capacities that Were Created, Preserved or Expanded as a Result of the
              State Plan: Measuring the Effectiveness of the Delivery System
              Configuration

           As noted, the ATJ Board‟s prescription was premised on the need to preserve the
           capacity for full-range, full-service client representation in accordance with the
           vision and values outlined in the Hallmarks. Structurally, the reconfiguration
           deployed achieved these ends. In every region of the state, there existed staffed
           legal services capacity to represent poor and vulnerable clie nts in the forums most
           appropriate to the resolution of their legal needs. Further, the configuration
           preserved the capacity of all low income people to secure meaningful access to
           the civil justice system. And finally, the system preserved the capacity of clients
           to be represented using the full-range of legal tools (class actions, fee-shifting
           statutes, etc.) available to any other litigants. On the whole, therefore, the system
           preserved a uniform quality of justice -- for the poor and non-poor alike -- and
           preserved the integrity of the system in the face of efforts to write out entire
           populations of needy and eligible clients.

           Notwithstanding these system gains, implementation of the new delivery
           configuration -- at the same time as the state was absorbing the full brunt of the
           federal funding cuts -- was not without its costs. Every area of the state was faced
           with substantial staff reductions and retrenchment in service capacity; two rural
           areas suffered the permanent closure of staffed legal services offices; local
14
     The numbers in parentheticals represent the initial nu mber of attorney staff deployed in each location.


                                                        69
         communities were forced to accept the loss of local program identities and
         relationships and form relationships with the new statewide programs; local bar
         associations were inundated with major increases in demand for pro bono legal
         assistance; new relationships had to be defined and communicated between and
         amongst service providers, clients, bar associations, and human and social
         services providers, community groups, and many others. And finally, there was
         the whole question of moving to new, regional-based service delivery networks
         organized around a technologically sophisticated statewide intake, advice and
         referral service.

         Fidelity to the Hallmarks required an entirely new approach to thinking about
         client service delivery. While the system had heretofore been constructed around
         the core capacity of the state‟s full-service civil legal services programs, the post-
         1995 system demanded a high degree of planning and interactive coordination
         between and amongst an array of legally separate, but closely affiliated delivery
         providers. Despite the extraordinary level of disruption at all stages of the
         system, client services did continue and have grown in the succeeding months and
         years as the new system has matured.

         The 1995 State Plan contemplated that the non- federally funded entity (Columbia
         Legal Services) would assume responsibility for maintaining “continuity of
         services to migrant farm workers, residents of juvenile, corrections and long-term
         care institutions, and Native American residents of the state.” In 1996, the Legal
         Services Corporation established a formula for dedicating a part of a state‟s basic
         field grant to farm worker representation. This resulted in the establishment of a
         farm worker component within the Northwest Justice Project. However, a
         substantial percentage of farm workers are not eligible for LSC representation
         either because of their immigration status or because of the nature of their legal
         problem (i.e., the legal matter requires class action representa tion, is fee
         generating, or involves representation in legislative or administrative
         proceedings). Practical difficulties have arisen in providing consistent and
         uniform coverage of migrant farm worker representational needs as a result of
         there being parallel providers and the practical limitations resulting from the
         federal funding restrictions.

         Finally, written comments and comments received during the Spokane and Seattle
         meetings reflected a general concern that there has been less than the anticipated
         level of coordination amongst local and regional equal justice partners in some
         parts of the state. 15 This has resulted in confused expectations between and
         amongst network members as it related to respective roles and client service
         responsibilities, as well as continuing concerns about providers carrying their
         “fair share” of the client service delivery burden.

15
   In others, notably Snohomish County, and parts of the Southwest Region, there have been conscious
efforts to define network partner ro les and responsibilities and to put parochial considerations aside. The
result has been a much more effective set of delivery relationships between and amongst all civ il equal
justice partners.


                                                    70
c. Relevant Indicators

The following indicators suggest that the overall objectives underlying the State
Plan's configuration recommendations have been achieved:

    Continuity of client representation was maintained in all locations despite
     tremendous shocks to the statewide civil equal justice infrastructure. No
     clients whose cases had been accepted by one of the three legal services
     programs were denied representation.

    Full-range, full-service client representational capacity was maintained in all
     regions of the state, and clients continue to receive legal representation on
     high priority matters in all geographic regions of the state.

    Client members of special populations (e.g., undocumented farm workers,
     residents of long term care facilities and correctional institutions,
     undocumented immigrants and refugees) continue to be eligible for civil legal
     services in Washington State.

    The statewide intake, advice and referral line established by Northwest Justice
     Project has proven to be an effective and efficient means of enabling clients to
     access the civil justice system in 38 of 39 counties, and the NJP web site is
     widely available to clients, legal advocates, service providers and others with
     an interest or involvement in the delivery of civil legal services to poor and
     vulnerable people.

    New partnerships have emerged at the state, regional and local levels which
     help ensure that clients receive the level and intensity of services that the
     cumulative capacity of the civil equal justice community will allow.

    Funding relationships were maintained with local, state and national funders,
     and new funding opportunities have been successfully cultivated.

    Statewide consolidation and the emergence of new statewide capacities has
     not undermined the sense of legal services being a local institution, responsive
     to the needs of local clients; local and regional providers and staff are
     effectively integrated into the communities they serve.

    With the active encouragement of the ATJ Board and other statewide civil
     equal justice funders and partners, management of CLS and NJP closely
     coordinate with one another in an ongoing effort to ensure, to the maximum
     extent possible and consistent with applicable legal obligations and
     restrictions, that their programs' respective activities are carried out consistent
     the overall goals and objectives outlined in the Hallmarks and State Plan.

d.       Relationship to Systems Configuration


                                       71
        The State Plan focused almost exclusively on statewide civil equal justice
        delivery system structure, design, capacity and purpose. The system
        configuration recommendations do not address the critical importance of local and
        regional relationships and service delivery partnerships, and the critical
        importance of local and regional service delivery integration.


2.      Additional State Planning Considerations

Experience to date and comments received during the plan review process suggest that
greater emphasis needs to be placed on the design, function and operation of local and
regional delivery networks, and their relationship to the statewide system.


3.      Assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses and Additional Information Needed

There is a general agreement that the general architecture of the statewide delivery
system envisioned in the State Plan and implemented in the years since is sound, and that
the system has in fact maintained essential capacities that were threatened by the 1995
LSC restrictions. However, the degree of field implementation has been less than
uniform, and it has been hindered in some locations by ineffective coordination and
communication amongst local and regional civil equal justice partners. While some
regions have worked to institutionalize local or regional delivery planning, input received
during the planning process confirmed the need for substantial improvement in planning
and delivery coordination in every region.

To respond to this need, the ATJ Board, WSBA and Legal Foundation of Washington
should secure staffing and make other resources available to promote efforts designed to
maximize the effectiveness of local and regional service delivery systems. Such
assistance might include, for example, funding for service delivery planning consultants,
client and community focus groups, client needs identification activities, support for local
and regional delivery planning conferences, assistance in developing community based
equal justice advisory boards, etc. Such assistance should help local and regional
delivery partners to engage in effective planning and enable them to overcome obstacles
that might impede the development of the full-service, integrated delivery network
contemplated by the Hallmarks and State Plan. It will take the commitment and good
will of all equal justice partners to transcend traditional expectations and develop new
and expanded partnerships in service of the vision outlined in the Hallmarks. 16

4.      New/Reformulated Goals

        a. While the State Plan’s allocation of statewide resource capacities is sound,
           local and regional service delivery might be enhanced by a more flexible
           approach to the allocation of civil equal justice capacities and resources.

16
   “Turf” considerations must be minimized in favor of collaborative service delivery networking that puts
client needs first.


                                                   72
             Because client needs and demographics differ by region, planners should
             work to tailor delivery system capacities to ensure that they effectively
             respond to local and regional characteristics and client needs. Specifically,
             state, regional and local delivery system partners should work to ensure that
             program capacities are deployed in a manner that is most responsive to the
             diversity and characteristics of client demography; the nature, substance and
             scope of client needs; the relationship between the resources available and the
             nature, substance and scope of client needs; 17 and the relative experience,
             capacities and resources available to local and regional providers.

         b. Local and regional programs should be encouraged to expand interactive
            service delivery and resource development opportunities, and take advantage
            of unique program identities and resource development capacities that can
            enhance the overall legal services delivery network. Effective local and
            regional service delivery planning may involve a blurring of traditional
            responsibilities and expectations of different types of providers (e.g., staffed
            vs. volunteer attorney programs), and resources, relationships, experience and
            other capacities may dictate alternative delivery models in different
            locations. 18 In every location, civil legal service delivery partners should have
            the freedom to determine the highest priority client needs, the entity(ies) best
            positioned to respond to those needs, and resources necessary to do so,
            consistent with the vision and values articulated in the Hallmarks.


         c. The civil equal justice community should continue to evaluate the relative mix
            of investment in statewide capacities (e.g., CLEAR), basic field staffed
            capacity, volunteer attorney program staffing, coordination and training, and
            capacity specifically dedicated to meeting the needs of hard-to-serve/hard-to-
            reach and vulnerable populations to ensure that the civil equal justice delivery
            system operates in service of the vision outlined in the Hallmarks. The civil
            equal justice community must have the ability to better analyze demographic
            and other data directly relevant to the unmet legal needs of low income and
            vulnerable people. Such information will better inform the community‟s
            ability to make sound decisions about the highest and best use of resources
            available to the civil equal justice system on a statewide basis.


17
   The objective is to give real meaning to the “highest and best use” imperat ive; that is, to preserve and
strategically deploy those resources that can be employed to underwrite representation of clients or in
foru ms on matters that cannot be underwritten with high ly restricted funds.
18
   These lines are being blurred already. For examp le, the East King County Volunteer Attorney Program
has developed a staff attorney component designed to stabilize vo latile family law situations pending
referral to a private attorney. Other programs have developed levels of staffed capacity through grants
made available under the Vict ims of Crime Act (VOCA). Conversely, both Colu mbia Legal Services and
Northwest Justice Project actively recruit for private volunteer attorneys for specific client constituencies
(e.g., Native A merican clients) and special or co mp lex legal matters. The challenge in every case is to
avoid unnecessary duplication of capacities and to find the best mix appropriate to regional and local
circu mstances.


                                                    73
     d. Because the bifurcation of the statewide staffed capacity continues to result in
        lost efficiencies and duplication of administrative expenses, the ATJ Board,
        the WSBA, the EJC and the entire civil equal justice community should work
        to encourage the Congress to remove the restrictions that extend the effect of
        federal restrictions to non- federal funds. Should these restrictions be
        removed, a plan for reintegration of staffed delivery capacity should be
        developed.


     e. As discussed in the section on private attorney involvement, static federal
        funding has placed the Northwest Justice Project in a position where it may
        not be able to maintain current field and CLEAR capacity and, at the same
        time, continue its current level of support for volunteer attorney program
        operations. Additionally, the LSC restrictions which are carried forward
        through subcontracts between NJP and the volunteer attorney programs have
        had some negative consequences unanticipated at the time of the initial State
        Plan. Representatives of NJP, Columbia Legal Services, the Legal
        Foundation of Washington, the volunteer attorney programs and the State of
        Washington should determine whether state funds might be substituted for the
        federal funding now used for volunteer attorney program operations.

     f. In order to overcome status-based difficulties in meeting the full- range of
        client needs for many farm workers, Columbia Legal Services, the Northwest
        Justice Project and the Legal Foundation of Washington should evaluate a
        range of options that would enable effective, ongoing and proportionate
        representation of this client population in a manner that minimizes service
        delivery obstacles. Efforts should also be undertaken to identify and
        overcome obstacles to effective representation of other special client
        populations.


     g. Washington State is blessed with a dedicated and skilled group of non-
        attorneys whose work focuses primarily on providing assistance to low
        income and vulnerable people through the Legal Services Providers Network,
        the court system, community services agencies and other agencies. They
        include courthouse facilitators, domestic violence advocates, paralegals and
        intake workers. A thorough discussion of reconfiguration must focus on ways
        to ensure that these roles can be clarified and expanded while protecting the
        integrity of the system and the rights of clients.

     h. As discussed in the section on Private Attorney Involvement, above, service
        delivery efficiencies may be achieved by reconfiguring some of the smaller
        volunteer attorney programs into regional or multi-county programs.


5.   Major Steps, Responsibilities and Timetable



                                         74
     a. The ATJ Board, working with the WSBA and the Legal Foundation of
        Washington should identify, develop and deploy resources to needed to
        underwrite a Phase II planning effort, focused on enhancing integrated local
        and regional civil equal justice delivery networks.

           Implementation Date: Initial pilot Phase II planning efforts should
            commence in the Fall/Winter 1999 and the Spring of 2000. Additional
            local and regional Phase II planning initiatives should be initiated during
            the balance of calendar year 2000. Initial integrated local and regional
            planning efforts should be completed by June 2001.

     b. CLS and NJP should undertake to evaluate and make recommendations to the
        ATJ Board regarding the most effective and coordinated deployment of
        statewide staffed program capacity and the level of investment needed to
        maintain an effective statewide client access system (CLEAR) in light of
        resource availability realities and the vision and values articulated in the
        Hallmarks.

           Implementation Date: A report and recommendations should be submitted
            to the ATJ Board by September 30, 2000

     c. CLS and the Legal Foundation of Washington should work with the
        Department of Community, Trade and Economic Developme nt to transfer
        responsibility for underwriting a portion of the volunteer attorney program
        operations from LSC to state funding in a manner that provides for continuity
        of malpractice coverage for volunteer attorney program cooperating attorneys.

           Implementation Date: September 30, 1999

     d. CLS, NJP and the Legal Foundation of Washington should identify and
        evaluate options to overcome service delivery obstacles faced by special client
        populations as a result of funding source regulations, restrictions and
        limitations.

           Implementation Date: March 31, 2000

     e. The Legal Foundation of Was hington, working with ATJ staff, relevant
        volunteer attorney programs and other local/regional equal justice network
        partners, should identify areas/programs that might benefit from
        regional/multi-county configurations.

           Implementation Date: June 30, 2000


E.   ADDITIONAL STATE PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS




                                         75
The State Plan Evaluation Survey was designed to elicit comments regarding the
implementation of the 18 recommendations in the 1995 State Plan. This feedback, which
was substantial, valuable and candid, was carefully reviewed and analyzed in light of
other feedback received during the State Plan Evaluation process, a nd incorporated into
the narrative and the goals of the reformulated state plan.

The State Plan Evaluation Survey also elicited suggestions on possible new
recommendations and how to incorporate those and other planning considerations into
the State Plan. The reviewers note that a significantly greater number of people replied
to these open-ended questions than the number who responded to the questions that were
responsive to specific State Plan recommendations. The reviewers were impressed with
the thoughtful and creative suggestions which clearly were drawn from a true
commitment to improving our system of justice and a solid grounding in what is required
to do so.

The following is an overview, with recommendations, of the survey responses generated
from these additional state planning considerations, including respondents‟ suggestions
for possible new recommendations, and additional suggestions for implementing the
State Plan.

1.      Develop a litigation strategy to firmly establish a jurisprudence of access to
justice. This would include the filing of amicus briefs in cases that impact access to
justice issues

While numerous survey respondents recognize the need for a litigation strategy, many
urge caution about proceeding without consideration for political, funding and other
implications, including whether it should be a priority given the overwhelming need for
basic legal representation.

The Access to Justice Board has a Jurisprudence of Access to Justice Committee, the
mission of which is multifaceted: to compile a database on the jurisprudence of access to
justice; to publish significant law review and other articles; to assist the courts in
identifying significant access to justice issues; to convene forums to discuss these issues;
and to provide assistance to ATJ Board committees/other groups in identifying
constitutional bases for their proposals and activities. The Jurisprudence Committee and
the ATJ Board have considered, and rejected, serving in an amicus capacity because of
existing and potential conflicts by judges who serve on the ATJ Board and its
committees.

New/Reformulated Goals

The Washington State Bar Association and other organizations have amicus policies and
committees, and should be called upon by the ATJ Board and others to write and file
amicus briefs in cases that affect access to justice issues. The recommended
improvements in coordination of legal work, training, information and expert assistance




                                             76
will enhance this community‟s ability to efficiently and effectively address specific legal
issues.

2.     Promote (or oppose) laws, regulation and court rules that impact access to
       justice

Survey respondents overwhelmingly agree that this is a critical goal, subject to funding
restrictions and resource allocation considerations. The Supreme Court has specifically
charged the ATJ Board with this responsibility. The Board, through its Systems
Impediments to Access to Justice and Status Impediments to Access to Justice
Committees, has been addressing, respectively, changes in the ad ministrative system, and
accessibility to courthouses for the disabled, and the ATJ Board has determined that it
will devote much more of its time to addressing systemic changes in the system.
Priorities to date include the development and adoption of the proposed courthouse
facilitator rule, family law issues, unbundled legal services, the proposed rule defining
the practice of law and attorneys fees in administrative hearings.

New/Reformulated Goals

The ATJ Board and its committees will serve as the coordinating entities for addressing
existing and proposed laws and regulations that may affect meaningful access to justice.
This goal is consistent with ATJ Conference Recommendation #3, which encourages the
judiciary to play a leadership role, along with the ATJ Board and others, to develop
systems and procedures to make the judicial system more “user friendly;” ATJ
Conference Recommendations #5 and #6, which encourage the strengthening and
expansion of the courthouse facilitator program; ATJ Conference Recommendation #7,
which suggests a proposed action plan and practical guidelines on unbundled legal
services; and ATJ Conference Recommendation #8, which directs the reexamination of
the Rules of Professional Conduct in light of access to justice considerations.

3.     Educate clients, the public, community leade rs and opinion-makers about the
       law, the legal system and the importance of access to justice

Survey respondents overwhelmingly support this suggestion, while acknowledging the
enormity of the task. Respondents added judges and commissioners to those who need
the education, and urged coordination with the Washington State Bar Association. The
Public Legal Education Work Group, chaired by Hon. Marlin Appelwick and former
Superintendent of Public Instruction Judith Billings, arose out of a 1998 ATJ Conference
recommendation. The broad-based Work Group, which includes attorneys, judges and
educators, has been meeting since November 1998 to develop a statewide public legal
education plan. The proposed plan was unveiled at the 1999 ATJ Conference in June,
and was adopted by the Board of Governors at its July 1999 meeting.

New/Reformulated Goals




                                            77
In addition to the implementation of the PLE plan, additional ATJ Conference
recommendations call for perfection of an equal justice message (Recommendation #12);
the utilization of new and existing educational “tools” to deliver this message
(Recommendation #13); and a commitment by bar leaders to utilize public and
professional forums to discuss the role of the organized bar in promoting and supporting
access to justice (Recommendation #16).

4. Remove system impedime nts to access to justice (e.g., availability of
representation, administrative procedures)
See b. above.

5.Remove status impedime nts to access to justice (e.g., language barrie rs,
disabilities)

See b. above. Survey respondents note problems created by a shortage of interpreters/
translators, English-only forms and documents, inaccessibility of courthouses for the
disabled, and restrictions that prohibit representation of undocumented aliens. Also noted
is the importance of working with the education system. The ATJ Board has identified
this as a significant area of focus. To date its Status Impediments Committee has been
working with WSBA‟s Court Improvement Committee to identify physical access
barriers for this disabled in this state‟s courthouses, with the goal of identifying
legislative solutions to the problem.

New/Reformulated goals

See b. above.

6.     Other Recommendations

Survey respondents suggest the addition of many of the new/reformulated goals already
outlined in this report, including: enhanced regional coordination and planning efforts;
training coordination for the entire network; identification of service gaps; more effective
integration of the private bar; expansion of the network of supporters to non- legal
services entities; focusing on providing direct representation for clients.


I.   ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING THE STATE
PLAN GENERATED BY THE STATE PLAN EVALUATION SURVEY

The following is an effort to chronicle the many timely, thoughtful and creative
suggestions that are responsive to the following seven categories. While many of these
suggestions already have been implemented, or are in various stages of implementat ion,
either through the State Plan, VALS Action Plan, or ATJ Conference recommendations,
and others have been proposed for implementation, still others will be used by the ATJ
Board to provoke thoughts and discussions on future directions for this state‟s equal
justice community.



                                             78
1.     Suggestions to preserve and increase funding

Survey respondents believe it is a high priority to be more aggressive about getting
private sector support for funding, including matching funds and donations in kind. State
funding, including filing fee increases, response fees, and direct appropriations must be
aggressively pursued. The proposed moderate income hotline should be implemented,
with revenues dedicated to funding legal services. Some creative suggestions include:
increasing courthouse facilitator surcharge fees to double/treble those available, and
obtaining statutory authority to use them to fund family law legal assistance; subjecting
estate planning LPOs to IOLTA; earmarking a percentage of the B&O tax on lawyers and
LPO services for legal services funding; and creating a right for civil remedies in
domestic violence cases. Many respondents mention that education of the public,
including relevant education in the public schools, is key to long-term support for
increased state and federal funding, and that legal services clients, WSBA and local bars
can play key roles, particularly with respect to contacting and lobbying elected officials.
Suggestions were made to work to better identify and quantify the need for le gal services,
through statistical data, anecdotal information, judicial experience and pro se experience;
and to work to develop ways to share the efforts that have been made by individual
volunteer attorney programs to obtain local government and other so urces of funding.
One respondent recommended that each program invest $1.00 per week in a lottery
ticket.

2.     Suggestions to improve communication and coordination among key players
       and stakeholders

This rather broad and open-ended question elicited many excellent ideas to address a
strong thread throughout the responses that communication and coordination are far from
optimal and need significant improvement. While statewide efforts are appreciated (the
ATJ Conferences, ATJ Board, coordination by CLS, NJP and CLEAR), there needs to be
a greater emphasis on local and regional communication, including more frequent and
smaller (e.g., regional, county) conferences and workshops; more direction from the
leadership of NJP, CLS and the volunteer attorney programs for joint priority setting on a
county or regional basis; more publicity about CLEAR; and more local autonomy and
control. Of note is the need to establish methods of active and productive dialogue
between the legal services providers, in particular, between the volunteer attorney and
staffed legal services programs, in order to maximum limited resources and to establish
strong and equal partnerships in service of the mission articulated in the Hallmarks. One
respondent suggests examining Colorado‟s DV Task Team, composed of police officers,
social services staff, legal services lawyers and other professionals who work together to
resolve DV issues. Additional recommendations include the increased and strategic
utilization of web pages; frequent regular and electronic newsletters; more systematic
communication about the function of the Hallmarks and the status of the implementation
of the State Plan recommendations; periodic questionnaires as to local needs; and the
development of more capacity for technical assistance. Several respondents indicated
that greater leadership and involvement by the courts and the state and local bar
associations would enhance communication and participation, e.g., bar associations



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encouraging members to attend local ATJ conferences; hosting local meetings of bar
leaders, community advocates and legal services providers. Others note that this
community must improve its communication with elected officials and opinion leaders,
including those in other states through, for example, briefing papers and talking points,
and e- mail listservs, and must work to build greater support from the non- legal services
community, social services providers, churches, chambers of commerce, etc. There is
support for viable and coordinated courthouse facilitator programs and better, more
complete access by King County advocates to CLEAR.

3.     Suggestions to increase community support for access to justice principles

As with the two previous inquiries, there is a strong sense that this community needs to
develop/implement/improve educational strategies with respect to the public, elected
officials, churches, business and community leaders, opinion leaders, political bodies
(e.g., AARP, unions) and others. Interesting strategies include: developing interactive
community forums staffed by experienced educators; developing a sophisticated
speakers‟ bureau; exploring the idea of town meetings to talk about the wise use of tax
dollars to support legal services and the individual consequences of lack of
representation; and establishing a “law school for legislators.” Of note are many
recommendations urging greater and more sophisticated use of the press, including
gaining access to network television and mainstream publications; developing a targeted
media campaign for equal justice; highlighting the pro bono work of private attorneys;
developing better press relations with small local papers; and developing focused
messages that stress how legal services providers address human needs (food, shelter,
medical care). The statewide plan being developed by the Public Legal Education Work
Group must be supported, and is “an excellent start.”

4.     Suggestions to reduce expenses or use our limited resources more effectively
       and efficiently

Key comments received in response to this inquiry focus on the respective roles of CLS,
NJP and the volunteer attorney programs in the coordination of the delivery of services.
Suggestions include devising a better division of labor among these entities; creating
mechanisms to centralize and coordinate training, support and technical assistance;
devising a coordinated system to enable staff attorneys to mentor private attorneys on pro
bono cases; hiring a public entitlements coordinator for the state; reconfiguring the
delivery system to locate only one staffed office (NJP or CLS) in places other than
Seattle, Yakima, Spokane and Tacoma, with overlapping but not identical services areas;
balancing CLEAR and field staff based on client need; and improving communication
between legal services and volunteer attorney programs. Some respondents propose
introducing new efficiencies to the justice system, including a uniform in forma pauperis
rule; creating pro bono panels of other professionals who can support direct service
delivery (e.g., court reporters, GALs, psychologists, physicians); and the increased use of
ADR and low cost alternatives to court action (e.g., mediating family parenting plans or
landlord tenant issues). Still others propose economizing measures, including using less
paper; asking people to provide their own lunches in meetings; increasing the volunteer



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base, including law students working for credit; and establishing a dues paying Civil
Equal Justice membership mechanism for the ATJ Board to help defray the costs of
communication and the ATJ Conference.

5.     Suggestions to improve the work of the ATJ Board

Some survey respondents complain that the work of the ATJ Board and its committees is
not very visible (indeed, at least one respondent purports to have had no knowledge of the
Board), and evidence a lack of clarity about the purpose and scope of the Board‟s
mission. Suggestions to remedy this include: holding ATJ Board meetings around the
state; improving communication to affected entities about ATJ Board and co mmittee
initiatives, and providing them with an opportunity to respond; and better systematic and
official follow-up by the Board. Additional suggestions include working toward more
effective committees and better leadership of those committees; including more non-
lawyers, community representatives, tenants and domestic violence victims on the Board
and its committees; striving to be more open to diverse groups of legal services providers;
and recognizing there may not be one solution that fits them all. Respondents also
suggest that the ATJ Board actively engage in the educational activities suggested
throughout this report, including working to keep access to justice as a main theme of
bar-related activities, and maintaining a web page that helps keep everyone “on the same
page.”

6.     Suggestions to educate the client populations, the general community, elected
       officials and opinion-make rs

Although most of the responses to this inquiry have been addressed elsewhere in this
Report, several additional suggestions are worthy of mention: developing a strong
message that access to justice is not a partisan issue; planning ATJ-related meetings and
events around relevant occurrences, e.g., release of the movie, “A Civil Action,” Law
Day, Supreme Court decisions on access to justice issues; phone trees; rallies; cable
specials and public service announcements; education about the jurisprudence of access;
increased outreach to the client population; holding short presentations at local meetings
of disability and other groups; and increased use of innovative technology.

7.     Suggestions to increase support from:

       a.      The private bar

       Survey respondents are in agreement that, given the right combination of
       incentives and strategies, the private bar can be encouraged to increase its
       volunteer, financial and other support even beyond the impressive levels currently
       realized throughout the state. Respondents provide an extensive, creative and
       useful list of these incentives and strategies, including the following: instilling
       ownership in local programs by local bars and private attorneys; doing a better job
       of public recognition of volunteer work; establishing reduced fee panels with
       incentives to do pro bono work; demystifying and promoting “unbundled” legal



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services; encouraging local bar associations to educate their own members about
their professional responsibilities; continuing the joint ATJ-Bar Leader
Conferences; considering voluntary reporting and mandatory pro bono;
distributing descriptive brochures to new admittees; encouraging all firms to
adopt pro bono policies, and recognizing them if they do; encouraging clients to
write thank you letters to their pro bono attorneys; creating financial incentives,
such as free CLE credits in exchange for pro bono work; focusing on younger
attorneys who are seeking “outlets for social activism;” focusing recruitment on
getting private attorneys to donate services within their fields of expertise, rather
than training them to do traditional, core legal services types of cases; persuading
all family law attorneys to take one pro bono case per year; educating law firms to
encourage and reward pro bono work; encouraging large law firms to hire pro
bono counsel; publicizing the need for services by, for example, obtaining letters
from clients who have received these services.

b.     The judiciary

As with the private bar, survey respondents feel there are many ways to obtain
greater support from the judiciary (including administrative law judges) with the
right combination of strategies and incentives. These suggestions include:
involving judges on pro bono advisory boards; working with judicial associations
to include access to justice issues on all conference programs and as keys aspects
of their missions; identifying and working to enhance those areas which make
process easier for both judges and clients (e.g., courthouse facilitators);
encouraging judges to thank every pro bono attorney that comes before them;
updating judges on the average costs of litigation in their areas; removing
impediments to awarding attorney fees to local programs in pro bono cases;
providing more educational materials for judicial staff; inviting judges to
participate in the priority setting and other significant processes of local
programs; educating judges about key client issues and needs (e.g., domestic
violence); institutionalizing training at the Judicial College for new judges;
ensuring that there are mechanisms in place for judicial selection committees and
the public to assess a prospective or sitting judge‟s “demonstrated commitment to
access to justice;” and considering whether judges should be able to “assign” pro
bono counsel in civil cases in situations where prejudice to an unrepresented
client is likely to occur.

c.     Human and social service agencies

There is a strong sense expressed by many survey respondents that much work
needs to be done to educate agencies about the work of legal services providers
and their unique roles as advocates (which differs in function from government
agencies). Suggestions to increase support from human and social service
agencies include: reaching out to leaders of agencies whose services affect legal
services clients (e.g., Attorney General‟s Office, DSHS, DES) to search for ways
to improve services; offering CLEAR presentations and workshops on



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substantive/procedural issues; involving agency personnel in priority setting and
planning processes; and developing ways to increase collaboration among
agencies and legal services providers.




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III.   THE FUTURE
                  Guided by instinct, and single minded purpose,
                      the salmon struggles against the current;
            Pushing beyond the rapids, overcoming the precipitous falls,
                                falling back, fighting on;
                Until, at last, exhausted beyond her physical limits,
                          she arrives home, to share her gift
                                       For the future.
                                       So too are we,
                 guided by instinct, motivated by a single purpose;
                Driven by a common vision of society that ensures
                         EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW;
                                 Fighting the currents of
                                          cynicism,
                                        self- interest,
                                  societal indifference;
                Bound together as one; overcoming every obstacle,
                        falling back, but always fighting on;
                        Knowing that we, too, will get there
                                      to share our gift
                                       For the future.

Who knows what the future holds? Our experience over the past 25 years teaches that we
must expect the unexpected at every turn. At the same time, it also instructs us that the
promise of equal justice for poor and vulnerable people is within our reach. Our
community is broad based, and growing every day. We share a common vision, and
together we work with a single minded determination in service of the promise of equal
justice. We are all dedicated to working for the larger objectives, not just to better
ourselves or our programs. Our civil equal justice network has demonstrated an uncanny
capacity to overcome any obstacle placed in our way.
As we approach the century's end, we are uniquely positioned to move forward. And,
with courage, vision, and a sense of common commitment, we will get there.




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