We envision a world where there is justice for all, regardless of income.
To achieve that vision, we are committed to fighting corporate abuse and civil inequities in Washington's legal system. Through direct representation and litigation, NWCLC helps thousands of families avoid financial devastation. We also advise consumer lawyers, write amicus briefs, host a pro-se bankruptcy clinic, offer webinars, and serve as consumer justice advocates.
NWCLC's story began in 2011, when a small group of long-standing, dedicated consumer attorneys saw a dire need for advocacy that focused strictly on consumer issues.
Just 12 months after our founding, we were awarded $1.3 million to provide desperately needed foreclosure-related legal services. Between 2012 and 2015, NWCLC received nearly $2.3 million in grants used entirely to assist victims of the economic and foreclosure crisis.
By 2016, NWCLC's attorneys had provided life-saving hope and concrete legal advice to 3,500 low-income Washington families. Using a variety of remedies, including loan modification, bankruptcy filings (to stop foreclosures), and educating homeowners about their legal rights, NWCLC helped thousands of families keep their home and avoid financial ruin.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Statement
Approved by the Board of Directors on September 15, 2020.
Northwest Consumer Law Center (NWCLC) originated in 2013 to address a growing and urgent need for low bono/pro-bono consumer protection advocacy for those seeking economic justice in the Pacific Northwest. From our earliest days, we saw that NWCLC clients were often from groups historically marginalized whether it was due to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, and/or physical barriers.
Our mission has always implicitly embraced Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). However, we at NWCLC want to renew and expand our commitment to these values by avowing to them publicly and internally. By doing so, we ensure that we continue to do the hard work and walk the walk. This is not just about ticking off a box after a successful diversity recruitment. Rather, we are prepared to engage in ongoing conversations and actions that will stretch us well beyond our comfort zone.
Since May 2020 to the present time, NWCLC board members have met and brainstormed to determine the best ways to renew and address our commitment to DEIA values. We determined that the first step is to articulate what DEIA means to us:
For NWCLC, these definitions are our starting point on a lifelong journey:
- Diversity as a concept is central to our mission, goals and priorities. Diversity encompasses without limits: race, color, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, age, economic class, educational level, language, physical mobility and ability, geography, parental and marital status.
- Diversity means to NWCLC recognizing the broadest possible representation of individuals, experiences, and perspectives.
- Equity as an NWCLC value means that we continuously strive to create a level playing field for individuals or groups to ensure that everyone we serve has the same access to rights and benefits.
- Inclusion means that NWCLC is committed to representing, seeking out, accommodating and involving as diverse a range of people, who we will value, accept and honor.
- Accessibility is important to NWCLC as we continue to facilitate access in all manners possible to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Additionally, NWCLC is proud to announce that we are now a Washington Race and Equity Justice Initiative (REJI) Partner. As a REJI Partner, we have publicly committed to REJI’s Commitments, including its Acknowledgements.
Please check back often. As we continue our work on this path to uphold our commitment to DEIA, our understanding and goals will evolve.
We provide legal support to Washington residents facing consumer legal issues such as debt collection, foreclosure, student loans, bankruptcy, and auto fraud. Unlike most legal aid organizations, we serve state residents up to 500% of poverty on a sliding scale from pro bono to 50% of normal hourly rates, and we never require a retainer to get a foot in our door.