Washington Courts: Press Release Detail
New State Office of Civil Legal Aid to Open July 1, 2005June 24, 2005
NEW STATE OFFICE OF CIVIL LEGAL AID TO OPEN JULY 1:
SUPREME COURT APPOINTS JIM BAMBERGER TO THE POSITION OF DIRECTOR
The Washington State Supreme Court has appointed long-time legal aid attorney Jim Bamberger as Director of the state’s newly-created Office of Civil Legal Aid. The office will open on
“The Supreme Court is delighted that Mr. Bamberger has accepted this position,” said Chief Justice Gerry Alexander regarding the appointment. “This new office is a positive step toward providing equal justice for those with unmet civil legal needs throughout
The office was created by the Washington State Legislature in 2005 after a ground-breaking study commissioned by the Washington State Supreme Court’s Task Force on Civil Equal Justice showed that an overwhelming majority of low-income residents in Washington get little or no legal help with serious legal problems involving such basic needs as housing, family safety and employment. The statewide study further showed that a majority of those needs are unmet for vulnerable women and children.
“While continued progress must be made, the creation of this office by the Legislature coupled with Mr. Bamberger’s leadership in this position will move us closer to assuring access to justice for those who cannot afford to hire an attorney for urgent civil legal needs,” said Justice Charles W. Johnson, co-chair of the Task Force on Civil Legal Justice.
Bamberger was appointed to the new position by the nine members of the Washington Supreme Court. An oversight committee, comprised of judges, state legislators and members of the public will establish the salary for his position and oversee the activities of the agency.
“I am deeply honored to have been selected to serve as the first Director of the Office of Civil Legal Aid,” said Bamberger of the appointment. “With the guidance from our bipartisan oversight committee, the Office will underwrite effective and accountable civil legal aid services to thousands of low-income people and families in our state who need civil legal help but cannot afford legal representation. The Office will do so consistent with its legislative mandate and the judicial branch’s constitutional duty to ensure the fair and proper administration of justice.”
Bamberger graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in history and political science, and obtained his J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law. He previously served as the statewide coordinator for Alaska Legal Services Corporation, executive director of Spokane Legal Services which merged in 1996 with Evergreen Legal Services. From 1996-January 2005 he served as a statewide coordinator with Columbia Legal Services with principal responsibility for resource development, governmental relations and Access to Justice Initiatives.
An independent agency of the judicial branch of government, the Office of Civil Legal Aid will maintain an office in the Administrative Office of the Courts building in
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