Seniors in need of legal advice have options

By Doug Sheaffer

It seems sometimes that the quest for information moves in cycles. We might get several calls in a month about anything from Assisted Living and Adult Family Homes, to Meals on Wheels.

Next there could be a run of questions about Home Care agencies and so on. One of the recent flurries has been about legal advice — where to look, what’s involved, etc. Since many of us have limited contact with legal types until we need it ASAP, let’s do a little information sharing.

We’re looking at assistance particularly for those who are unable to just go out and private-pay for an attorney or legal advice. We have a lot of people in our communities who struggle to get their food and meds while receiving only a limited amount of income.

Obviously, those who are in the category of “low income” aren’t immune to needing legal guidance from time to time. Fortunately, there are resources available for civil (non-criminal) information, advice and guidance.

The Northwest Justice Project (NJP) is one resource that offers assistance for people over 60, or if under 60, in the aforementioned low-income category. Both of these are programs under the name of CLEAR, or if 60+, CLEAR Sr.

And both follow the same process: Call in between 9:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., Monday-Friday, leave your contact information and what the issue is. You will be contacted by someone knowledgeable in the area you noted.

CLEAR Sr is at (888) 387-7111

CLEAR is at (888) 201-1014

Sometimes people are looking for documents, guidance on Powers of Attorney, tenant rights, or whatever, and want to take the time to do some exploring on their own. A great resource for information is at, another NJP effort to get information out to us. Several documents can also be downloaded from the site.

Another venue is our Senior Legal Advice Clinics (SLAC). This is an opportunity to meet face to face with a local attorney about civil matters and is used regularly — so much in fact, that they are often booked out in advance.

To access SLAC, contact either of the numbers at the end of this column and let our staff know your name, contact info and the area you’re looking into. We certainly don’t need the confidential details—that’s between you and the attorney—but we do need to be able to give said attorney a heads-up regarding the topic.

Hopefully, this will be at least a starting point in your journey of discovery, and knowing there are real live people out there willing to help is certainly a plus!

Information &Assistance in Raymond: 942 2177/888 571 6557;