Washington Attorneys Assisting Community Organizations Programs
WAACO matches pro bono attorneys with needy nonprofit organizations that need assistance with business-related legal issues.
WAACO provides educational resources on legal issues affecting nonprofits through workshops, seminars, and publications. The publicatons include the useful manual "How to Form and Maintain a Nonprofit in Washington State," and the Legal Self-Assesment Checklist, both available on WAACO's website, www.waaco.org.
WAACO has a microenterprise program that connects attorneys with low-income microenterprise entrepreneurs at a monthly legal clinic in collaboration with Washington CASH. The clinic provides microentrepreneurs free consultation with a business attorney. WAACO is planning to expand the clinic to include clients from StartZone, a microenterprise organization in South King County. WAACO's microenterprise program is also expanding to include trainings and workshops for business attorneys to prepare them to assist microenterprise clients.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Washington attorneys have donated over 3,000 hours to help over 200 Washington nonprofit organizations. WAACO's Legal Self-Assessment Checklist has been widely lauded, with comments such as this: "A 'must read and consider' for ALL smaller/newer not-for-profits and a good reminder for even well-developed organizations."
Greater funding is needed to support the development of a program to assist low-income microentrepreneurs and low-income serving nonprofit organizations.