Special Grants

LFW’s Special Grants provide targeted funding for strategic responses to critical issues. Recent examples include:

  • Washington Immigrant Relief Fund: In 2020, LFW partnered with immigrant-led community organizations, the Governor’s office, and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to administer more than $60 million in economic relief to individuals and families significantly impacted by COVID-19 but ineligible for federal stimulus funds or unemployment benefits because of their immigration status. Learn more.
  • COVID-19 Response Grants: Throughout the pandemic, LFW has worked with the State of Washington’s Office of Civil Legal Aid and King County to provide more than $3 million in emergency funding to civil legal aid programs on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, including grants for unemployment services, eviction defense, domestic violence protection, and legal aid for nonprofits and microenterprises.
  • Cy Pres Awards: LFW occasionally receives undistributed funds from class action lawsuits to award to organizations that specialize in providing civil legal aid to particular communities, such as undocumented people, formerly incarcerated people, and LGBTQ+ people.

Special Grants also support summer internships for law students at the Laurel Rubin Farmworker Justice Project, helping to expand the delivery of civil legal aid to marginalized communities in rural areas, and enhance the advocacy and intake operations of the Northwest Justice Project, Washington’s largest publicly funded legal aid program and centralized point of access for clients seeking free legal help.

In addition, LFW has an annual letter of intent process for One-Year Special Grants to support the wide range of civil justice organizations serving low-income people in Washington.

Grant amount: $25,000 to $100,000 for One-Year Special Grants; other Special Grant opportunities vary.

How to apply: Organizations interested in applying for a One-Year Special Grant can submit a Letter of Intent by August 15. See the recording of the informational webinar at the bottom of the page for more information. 

LFW awarded $195,000 in One-Year Special Grants for 2022:

Colectiva Legal del Pueblo
Empowering migrant communities through advocacy, trainings, and education, including leadership development and legal defense, by and for undocumented immigrants.

Fair Work Center
Advancing the rights of low-wage, essential, and immigrant workers experiencing workplace abuses and hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lavender Rights Project
Providing pro bono legal services by and for LGBTQ+ people and preparing low-income queer and trans people to establish reliable, community-led systems of peer-to-peer legal advocacy.

Living with Conviction
Working to bring an end to legal financial obligations (LFOs), which disproportionately impact communities of color.

Northwest Health Law Advocates & Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network
Advocating to secure statewide healthcare for undocumented immigrants.

QLaw Foundation of Washington
Promoting the dignity and respect of LGBTQ+ Washingtonians within the legal system through advocacy, education, and legal assistance.

The Way to Justice
Serving BIPOC communities in the Spokane area with programs including post-conviction and re-entry services, driver’s relicensing, and Blake civil impact.

Questions or feedback? Contact LFW Grants Coordinator Arielle Handforth by email.


LFW partnered with King County to allocate up to $2 million in 2022 for the civil legal aid response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Thanks to the advocacy of local legal aid providers through the Equal Justice Coalition, the King County Executive’s eighth supplemental COVID response budget included the funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, approved by the King County Council. Equity of access to civil justice is central to King County’s recovery from COVID-19, as the populations already disproportionately harmed by civil legal issues have been the hardest hit by the pandemic.

Catholic Community Services of Western Washington’s Tenant Law Center: $160,000

Providing legal services to King County Renters for housing issues that are not currently funded by Right to Counsel funding, with a focus on immigrant and BIPOC communities, through a partnership with Catholic Immigration Legal Services.

Colectiva Legal del Pueblo: $80,000

Continuing direct legal representation for immigrant communities through their legal team, including legal counsel, community advocate services, and direct financial assistance through their office.

Communities Rise: $150,000

Providing legal assistance for nonprofits and small businesses affected by COVID-19 through full representation, clinic consultations, legal trainings, and legal tools including toolkits and template documents.

Disability Rights Washington: $80,000

Providing individual legal representation and education assistance for disabled King County students most impacted during COVID, excluded from online learning and special education services and subject to isolation and restraint.

Eastside Legal Assistance Program: $125,000

Providing pro bono services through contract attorneys to low-income residents of King County adversely effected by COVID, with an emphasis being on underserved populations in rural King County.

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND): $80,000

Providing integrated legal and social services that stabilize and protect unaccompanied immigrant children and their families.

King County Bar Association: $360,000

Providing legal advice, support, and representation with civil legal issues to people most impacted by COVID-19 in King County, through programs including the Neighborhood Legal Clinics (NLC), the Self-Help Plus Program (SHP), Kinship Care Solutions Project, the Records Project and Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project (DV LEAD).

Legal Counsel for Youth and Children: $35,000

Supporting youth that have been impacted by COVID-19 in King County, focusing on supervision for dependency cases and Native American community engagement.

Living with Conviction: $100,000

Bringing their Justice in Motion web app to homeless and home insecure people of color to help them claim their rights to relief from burdensome court-imposed Legal Final Obligations (LFO) debt in King County Courts.

Northwest Consumer Law Center: $60,000

Providing low-income Washington residents with legal representation and consumer education for the areas of need demonstrated by the pandemic, including debt collection defense, automobile fraud, bankruptcy, and student loans.

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project: $460,000

Providing legal services to immigrant community members residing in King County, and to advocate for equitable systems on behalf of immigrant communities as part of a coordinated community response to COVID-19.

Sexual Violence Law Center: $80,000

Providing civil legal services to low-income King County survivors of sexual and gender-based violence experiencing intersecting legal needs or unsafe technology access due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Solid Ground: $60,000

Providing direct legal assistance and policy advocacy to ensure that clients have access to, and can maintain, their state benefits.