Photo of Leo Flor

Leo Flor

  • Hosted by Northwest Justice Project
  • Sponsored by Fenwick & West LLP, Microsoft Corporation
  • Service location Seattle, Washington
  • Law school University of Washington School of Law
  • Issue area Veterans' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2013
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship
  • Current location Seattle

The Project

Leo built enduring capacity in Washington for complementary civil representation of criminal justice-involved veterans through client representation, legal-cultural education, and stakeholder collaboration.

Nearly one in 10 people in Washington State is a veteran and as many as 13 percent of the state’s prisoners are veterans. These figures do not capture the large number of veterans who come in contact with the criminal justice system but are not ultimately incarcerated. As veterans struggle to re-enter civilian life, they carry burdens from combat that often lead to depression, homelessness, substance abuse, suicide, and involvement with the criminal courts. Conventional criminal courts are ill equipped to address the complex circumstances facing veterans. Even specialized Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) leave unmet the civil legal needs that complicate veterans’ rehabilitation and elevate their risk of recidivism. This project bridges that gap by partnering with VTCs and prisons to provide veterans with an array of civil representation that complements their criminal defense or pre-release planning. The results are a justice system that better understands how to help veterans and individuals who will leave the justice system better prepared to succeed.

Fellowship Highlights

During his Fellowship, Leo:

  • Created RepWaVets.org, a website that provides extensive information on numerous areas of veterans law, which has been viewed more than 13,000 times by more than 3,500 unique visitors since its launch in May 2015
  • Advised or represented more than 120 veterans in 18 legal issue areas, including discharge upgrades, advocacy before the VA, and civil matters in Washington State
  • Created innovative partnerships to integrate civil legal aid for justice-involved veterans, including legal clinics in prisons and jails, dedicated civil legal support for veterans treatment courts, and training for public defenders and military defense attorneys on veterans’ legal issues
  • Served on the King County Public Defense Advisory Board

What’s Next

In 2018, Leo was appointed director of the King County Department of Community and Human Services. In this role, he oversees services that connect people to employment, support military veterans and their families, and ensure that older adults can live with dignity.

Media

Executive Constantine appoints Leo Flor to serve as the director of King County Department of Community and Human Services

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