Welcome to Columbia Legal Services

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Barbers are one of the career paths closed due to a prior record.
Creating Second Chances

Tens of thousands of Washington residents who have paid their dues are not given a second chance. The Certificate of Restoration of Opportunities Act (CROP), a bill CLS helped develop, intends to remove barriers to employment for people who have a criminal history and open the door to opportunity, allowing people to move on with their lives. More


New Resources from the Children & Youth Project

Our Children & Youth Project has been studying student homelessness in Washington State and working to help homeless students succeed. See their latest research and find out about their advocacy.

Modern Day Debtors' Prisons

Washington courts are locking up people for being poor. A report by CLS and the ACLU of Washington describes how the burden of court-mandated fines and fees leads to poverty, and frequently, jail time. More

Ensuring Access to Healthcare for Low-Income Immigrants

Washington hospitals were improperly denying immigrants access to "charity care," a crucial safety net for the working poor. Our advocacy reversed discriminatory billing practices and empowered immigrant families to escape crushing medical debts. More


***Welcome to Columbia Legal Services***


Foreclosure Working Group: Foreclosure rates soared in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, affecting countless Washington residents. The Foreclosure Working Group advocates for policy reforms and employs litigation to help families keep their homes. More


2003-2010: Our advocacy culminated in meaningful reforms to predatory lending practices in Washington. For more than 6 years, CLS advocates joined with partners and stakeholders to regulate so-called payday lenders, whose fees and practices ensnared thousands in a "debt trap." More