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Department of Public Defense

Providing high-quality legal representation and advocacy for indigent clients in King County

Department of Public Defense
Phone: 206-296-7662
Fax: 206-296-0587
TTY: 711 Relay Service

Administration Only:
Chinook Building
401 5th Ave, Suite 213
Seattle, WA 98104

Screening Locations:

Maleng Regional Justice Center
401 4th Ave. N.
Room 1-B (1101)
Kent, WA 98032

King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, E-820 Seattle, WA 98104

Department of Youth Services                           1211 East Alder, #346 Seattle, WA 98122

Public Records Request Information here


OPD Banner  Youth   Law books Attorney at work Regional Justice Center 

Welcome to the King County Department of Public Defense (DPD). We provide legal help to people who are accused of a crime and cannot afford an attorney. We also provide legal help to people who cannot afford an attorney and are facing certain other matters such as juvenile dependency, civil commitment, or civil contempt.

How do I ... 

    know if I'm eligible for an attorney?

    find a screening office?

    figure out who my attorney is?


DPD (previously the Office of Public Defense) is a new department within King County. It currently has four divisions, each with its own staff of public defenders, investigators, social workers and paralegals. The county also has a panel of assigned counsel, attorneys who provide legal work for the County on a contractual basis.

The department’s attorneys are highly skilled and dedicated and are committed to ensuring quality legal representation and advocacy for anyone facing a criminal charge, in keeping with both the U.S. Constitution and the state Constitution. DPD staff also tries to help clients address the underlying issues that brought them into the criminal justice system by placing them in drug treatment programs, mental health programs, or other alternatives to incarceration. The department strives to connect clients to a holistic suite of services – from housing to job training – so as to break the cycles that can lead to arrest.

Anyone facing a criminal charge, civil commitment, or a dependency proceeding - and who is found to be income-eligible - is entitled to a public defender, as are children facing contempt of court in truancy proceedings. To find out if you qualify for DPD services see who we serve. Here is where to find out how to get an attorney. Even if you do not qualify for help from DPD, you can still find out about other local low-cost legal resources on our web site.


Lorinda Youngcourt
Director, Department of Public Defense

Go here to read more about Lorinda. 

If you'd like to invite Lorinda or someone else from the Department of Public Defense to speak to your organization, please contact Communications Manager Leslie Brown at or at (206) 263-1364. 

For all other matters, call the main office at (206) 296-7662.


Department of Public Defense News

For The Defense: A blog about the Department of Public Defense.

DPD has a new blog, For The Defense. Here, you can read about the work of public defense, efforts at criminal justice reform, success stories, and more. Become a subscriber and receive email alerts when new stories get posted.

Job Opening: Attorneys

The Department of Public Defense is looking for attorneys in several different practice areas. DPD hopes to hire talented, committed, hardworking advocates with excellent trial, research, and writing skills, and an ability to work in a fast-paced environment. Positions are available in several of its divisions. If you'd like to learn more about this position or apply for it, please go to the King County Jobs Page and look for "Attorney." There, you will find an online application process.

Public Defense Advisory Board established by Executive, County Council

King County recently created an 11-member Public Defense Advisory Board, a panel that is playing a significant role in shaping the direction of the Department of Public Defense. Go here to read about the 11 members. 

The advisory board meets frequently. Go here to learn about upcoming meetings.  

You can sign up to get email alerts about upcoming Public Defense Advisory Board meetings. Click to subscribe.

Information for Clients 

You can get answers to Frequently Asked Questions here. And go here to find out How to Get an Attorney.

Information for Attorneys

DPD has an assigned counsel panel for nearly every practice area in criminal defense. To learn more about the panel or to apply to become a part of it, go here.

If you're on the assigned counsel panel and need business resources, go here.