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Attorney hired to assist low-income county residents

"The Northwest Justice Project, which provides free civil legal help to low-income people across Washington, announced last week the hiring of attorney Kimberly Lloyd to work in Island County.NJP is based in Bellingham, but the organization also serves Island, San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties. Lloyd will be based in Bellingham but will frequently travel to Whidbey Island.Much of her time will be spent in Island County, and we are working with Island County partners to secure work space for her there, said Stephen Gockley, senior attorney at NJP.The National Association for Public Interest Law, an organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., selected NJP's Island County initiative for funding for a two-year fellowship position to begin in October. The Northwest Justice Project is a not-for-profit statewide organization that provides free civil legal services to low-income people from nine offices throughout the state of Washington. Last year, the organization assisted more than 18,000 people in need of legal assistance. About 75 percent of all the work completed by NJP involves cases that threaten family safety and security, including domestic violence, child custody rights and child support, and cases relating to housing issues such as foreclosures and unlawful evictions, Gockley said.During her stint with NJP, Lloyd will represent low-income victims of domestic violence and work with Whidbey Island social service organizations such as Citizens Against Domestic Abuse, the Opportunity Council and the Housing Authority of Island County to develop additional, on-going legal resources for families affected by domestic violence, Gockley said.Lloyd graduated from Northwestern University School of Law in 1999 and practiced law this year at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. Lloyd will be working to help NJP meet its mission, which is to provide high quality free legal services on priority problems to low-income clients, either directly or through referrals. In addition to providing direct legal services to clients, NJP operates a toll-free intake and referral system called CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education Advice and Referral), which serves as a point of access for clients throughout the state to obtain free legal help, including advice, brief legal service, and, where available, a referral for further representation. In addition, CLEAR maintains an extensive library of legal resources and self-help materials which are provided to callers as appropriate, Gockley said. For more information about NJP go to www.nwjustice.org "

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