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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

New application form for assigned counsel panel.

The Department of Public Defense is establishing a new assigned counsel panel to ensure quality representation for clients in all of its practice areas. Go here to learn more.

Several job openings at DPD

The Department of Public Defense is in the process of building its new Leadership Team, a group of people who will oversee a wide range of activities at the Department, all with an eye towards ensuring DPD provides quality legal representation, is efficiently managed, and advocates effectively for needed reforms in the broader criminal justice system. Go here to read detailed descriptions of the leadership positions. If you'd like to apply for one or more of the positions, go to the King County Jobs Page and look for Public Defense Leadership Positions to complete 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

Subscribe to "For The Defense"

Interested in learning more about King County’s new Department of Public Defense? Click to subscribe to “For The Defense,” a periodic newsletter that explores public defense issues, celebrates our employees and provides ongoing information about the department. In the November 2014 issue, you'll find articles about DPD's work with the Seattle Police Department's Office of Police Accountabilitythe ROYAL program, two social workers making a difference in Mental Health Court, and much more ...