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Legal Self Help Center

Overview of Services

Legal Self Help Center (LSHC) provides free assistance to those who do not have attorneys. Services include: intake, information and referral to legal services partners, individual assistance with legal document preparation; bilingual assistance and legal reference materials for non-English speakers; assistance in conducting self-guided legal research; and coordination of volunteers and interns who provide direct customer services.

LSHC offers one-on-one assistance to self-represented litigants via email, telephone, in person at LSHC office, and on Zoom. LSHC utilizes a variety of web-based tools, available in multiple languages, to help litigants prepare their legal documents. There are numerous self-help resources in easy-to-understand legal publications and on the internet for Californians.

Staff are also available to provide information on how to file various kinds of legal documents, serve opposing parties, and explain court procedures and legal terminology, as well as giving the public tips on how to prepare for and what to bring to court appearances.

Hours and Contact Information

Free legal self-help services are available to the public in English and Spanish. The Legal Self Help Center offers in-person and remote services according to the following schedule:

  • In person drop-in services: 8:30 am to 12 noon, Tuesday through Thursday
    • Please arrive by 10:30 am to ensure time for assistance.
  • Email services: 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday
  • Phone hours: 8:30 am to 12 noon, Monday through Friday, and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Tuesday and Thursday
  • Zoom drop-In clinics: 8:30 am to 12 noon, Monday and Friday
    Zoom Link
    Meeting ID: 160 040 9915
    Passcode: 350144

Self-Help Phone and Email Information:

Other Resources: State of California

Over the past several years, numerous legal self-help programs have become available over the Internet. Several California law web-based tools are available at LSHC or may be accessed from any location. Here are links to some of the tools used in the LSHC:

California Courts Self Help Guide - This is the State of California's self help services website. Information is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese. Among the topics available are family law, small claims, domestic violence, elder issues, traffic matters, evictions, bankruptcy, conservatorships, guardianships and many others. 

History of the Legal Self Help Center

Many years ago, as a result of the increasing number of self-represented litigants using the legal system, the leaders of the California Court, under the direction of the Chief Justice, began to implement programs to establish Legal Self Help Centers in every court throughout the State of California.

In Marin County, legal assistance for self-represented litigants is provided by Legal Self Help Center (LSHC), a division of the Marin Superior Court. This program was established in 2003 and was conceived by the Court working together with numerous legal service providers and other community agencies. Over the course of those years, tens of thousands of Marin residents have received assistance with their legal matters.

LSHC provides a variety of services including assistance with form preparation, provision of legal information, and referrals to governmental and community-based legal and social organizations. At LSHC, we believe that educating litigants about the court process and basic legal principles can help minimize their stress, improve their ability to settle out-of-court, and ultimately obtain a timely and equitable resolution of their legal matters.

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