Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid
Underwriting Justice • Ensuring Accountability
REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS
FOR ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION OF INDIGENT TENANTS IN
BENTON AND FRANKLIN COUNTIES
The Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is an independent state judicial branch
agency that administers and oversees a range of civil legal aid programs in Washington State.
Recognizing that “the provision of civil legal aid services to indigent persons is an important
component of the state's responsibility to provide for the proper and effective administration of
civil and criminal justice,” the Washington State Legislature established OCLA in 2005 to
manage the investment in civil legal aid services to low-income people in Washington State.
OCLA’s statutory authority and responsibilities are outlined in Ch. 2.53 RCW.
Consistent with The Washington State Supreme Court’s June 4, 2020 Statement to the Legal
Community, OCLA acknowledges that it and its contracted civil legal aid providers operate in a
law and justice system historically grounded in racism, sexism, ableism, and other biases, and
time and again has administered justice differentially depending on the identities of those
involved and that time and again has administered justice differentially depending on the racial
and other identities of those involved. OCLA was an initial subscriber and remains steadfastly
committed to discharging its duties consistent with the Washington Race Equity and Justice
Acknowledgments and Commitments.
As outlined in its Race Equity and Justice Statement of Purpose, OCLA is committed to being an
active partner in carrying out the Washington State judicial branch’s commitment to ensuring
equity and justice for people and communities throughout Washington State. OCLA does this by ensuring contractors are aligned, in policy and practice, to and do provide race equity-
informed civil legal assistance and representation that, within the context of the particular program, addresses the needs of individuals and communities most affected by poverty, racialized, and other systemic injustices.
Among the programs administered by OCLA is appointed counsel to represent indigent tenants
established in RCW 59.18.640. OCLA’s Appointed Counsel Program underwrites and oversees
the system for effective, standards-based, and equity-informed representation of indigent tenants
for whom attorneys are appointed under state law.
The Appointed Counsel Program is currently seeking an exceptional contract attorney with a
passion for equity and justice for indigent tenants facing an unlawful detainer action in Benton
and Franklin Counties.
Compensation: Full-time contracts are currently compensated at a maximum
compensation rate of $172,000 per year. Full-time contracts consist of an average of 100
cases annually, up to a maximum of 130 cases.
Support: Appointed Counsel- attorneys have access to appointed counsel community
resources that include access to substantive legal, litigation skills, equity-informed
representation and other relevant training; technical assistance;, and peer support.
Travel: Contract attorneys are expected to travel to meet clients and attend court
hearings as deemed necessary for effective representation.
If you are interested in becoming a contractor with OCLA for representation of indigent tenants
in Benton and Franklin Counties please follow the application procedures detailed below.
• Licensed member in good standing of the Washington State Bar.
• At least one year of experience practicing public interest law; experience representing
tenants in unlawful detainer actions or related civil litigation is highly preferred.
• Ability and willingness to meet OCLA’s Appointed Counsel Program Standards for Attorney, including:
o Participation in OCLA’s data tracking and submission requirements
o Accept between 7 to 10 filed unlawful detainer actions per month on average
o Completion of OCLA Appointed Counsel Program’s web-based eviction defense
foundational training series
o Participation in monthly provider meetings and attendance at supplemental trainings
o Maintaining professional liability insurance
o Submitting semi-annual narrative reports
o Engaging in regular consultation with Appointed Counsel Program Counsel on
issues relating to the provision of contracted legal representation.
• Demonstrated commitment to providing standards-based, culturally sensitive, and
equity-informed representation to indigent tenants
• Ability to employ effective, trauma-informed and racial inclusive representation to
• Willingness to investigate and raise issues relating to racial inequities and systemic
biases that are prejudicial to the represented community
For new attorneys or attorneys with limited experience representing indigent tenants, the
following conditions are required in addition to those listed above:
• Willingness to actively participate in additional trainings
• Participate in additional oversight meetings with Program Counsel
RFQ Response Procedure
Responses to this RFQ will be accepted until available contract positions are filled. Responses
should be sent to EvictionDefense@ocla.wa.gov with “Appointed Counsel Contract
Qualifications.” Responses should include the following:
• Letter of interest which includes the following details:
o Each of your qualifications as per above
o The nature of your current practice, including caseload capacity
o Brief outline of your history and commitment to indigent tenant representation
o Examples of work that demonstrates your commitment to principles of equity-
informed legal representation for members of communities historically harmed
and lacking access to legal help
• Three professional references to include at least one former employer
• Redacted, self-authored legal writing sample.
OCLA reserves the right to amend or rescind this RFQ and/or to refrain from contracting with
any and all applicants. The RFQ does not obligate the State of Washington or OCLA to contract
for the services specified.