What you can get help with at a Self-Help Center

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles’ Self-Help Legal Access Centers provide self-represented litigants help with:

Family Law
    Child Custody and Support
Housing (landlord/tenant) Law involving Evictions
Restraining Orders
    Domestic Violence (Long Beach and Torrance only)
    Civil Harassment
    Elder Abuse
Name Changes – instructions and forms only
Fee Waivers
Claims of Exemption
Guardianship (Long Beach only)
Conservatorship (Long Beach only)
Record Expungement (Inglewood only)
And other limited civil areas of law

All services are provided free of charge.

Legal information and assistance with pleadings are provided through workshops, individual assistance and user-friendly computer programs. Self-represented litigants who attend workshops or seek individual assistance have their pleadings reviewed by an attorney.

We provide workshops for eviction (unlawful detainer) answers, eviction (unlawful detainer) trial prep, family law (divorce and paternity) and record expungement. Click here to see our schedule of informational workshops. Workshops are offered in several languages, including English, Spanish and Khmer.

Frequently asked questions
Preguntas frecuentes

Find the Self-Help Center Nearest You

Inglewood Courthouse
1 E Regent St., Room 107
Inglewood, CA 90301

Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m.-noon and 1:30-4:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m.-noon. Closed Friday afternoon.

Get Directions
Bus Lines serving this location:
111/311 Schedule
212/312 Schedule
40 Schedule
740 Schedule
All lines stop at N. La Brea Ave. and E. Regent St (two blocks east)
607 Schedule — Stops at E. Regent St. and N. Grevillea Ave. (in front of courthouse)

Long Beach Courthouse
275 Magnolia Ave., Room 3101
Long Beach, CA 90802

Monday – Thursday 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1:30-4:00 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m.-noon. Closed Friday afternoon.

Get Directions
Bus Lines serving this location:
Long Beach 151 Schedule – Stops at Broadway and Magnolia Ave.
Long Beach 181 Schedule
Long Beach 191 Schedule
Long Beach 192 Schedule
These three lines stop at Magnolia Ave. and W. 3rd St.

Torrance Courthouse
825 Maple Ave., Room 160
Torrance, CA 90503

Monday – Thursday 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1:30-4:00 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m.-noon. Closed Friday afternoon.

Get Directions
Bus Lines serving this location:
Torrance 1 Schedule
Torrance 4 Schedule
Both lines stop at Torrance Blvd. and Maple Ave.

Santa Monica Courthouse
1725 Main St., Room 210
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Monday – Thursday 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1:30-4:00 p.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m.-noon. Closed Friday afternoon.

Get Directions
Bus Lines serving this location:
Big Blue Bus 2 Schedule
Big Blue Bus 3 Schedule
Big Blue Bus 3M Schedule
Big Blue Bus 4 Schedule
Big Blue Bus 7 Schedule
Big Blue Bus 9 Schedule
All lines stop at 4th St. and Civic Center Drive

We also have five community offices and three domestic violence clinics. Click here to see our other locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I arrived before other people. Why do you take people out of order?
    Normally, we attempt to see individuals in the order they arrive. However, we may have to take people out of order if:

    • The person requires a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
    • The person is here to attend a class or workshop.
    • The person’s case is urgent, and he or she must file a document that day.
  2. How long before someone helps me?
    Wait times vary depending on the number of people seeking assistance, the types of cases they have and the number of volunteers working that day. We attempt to assist everyone as quickly as possible, but you should be prepared to be at the Center for several hours. On busier days, we may not have enough time to see everyone.
  3. Why does it take a long time?
    The Center has a very small staff. We depend on volunteers to help us assist the 100-plus people who visit the Center every day. If we do not have enough volunteers on a particular day, it may mean that you will have to wait longer or come back another day.
  4. Why can’t I speak with an attorney directly?
    The Center’s mission is to provide you with the resources you need to help yourself. To help as many people as possible, volunteers are available to answer your questions and provide information. An attorney may be available to review your forms after they are completed.
  5. What can I do to make sure that I am using my time efficiently before I am seen?
    You should complete all questionnaires and forms to the best of your ability before you attend a workshop or meet with a Center volunteer. After you have completed all questionnaires or forms, you may bring them back to the Center for further assistance.
  6. What do you mean you will be giving legal information and not legal advice?
    This is a self-help center. We are here to help you help yourself. We are not your attorney. The Center will not tell you what you should do, but instead will provide you with information and options so that you can make an informed decision. If you want an attorney to recommend the best solution for your particular case, you must ask an attorney for legal advice who does not work at the Center. We have referral flyers for the Long Beach Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, and nonprofit legal organizations that may be able to provide you with legal advice. Some cases need legal advice and are not appropriate for a self-help center.
  7. How will you help me with my case?
    The Center offers educational workshops, self-help how-to guides and court forms. Volunteers are available to answer your questions and provide information. An attorney may also review your forms with the volunteer who has been assisting you, and then the volunteer will follow up with you.
  8. If I have suggestions, criticisms or concerns, how can I let the center know?
    Please fill out an evaluation form. We want to hear both positive and negative comments. We review the evaluation forms to see how we can improve.
  9. Is there child care available?
    Persons with young children may use the court’s free child care service (Long Beach and Santa Monica only). A voucher for these services may be obtained when you check in at the front desk. In order to maintain a quiet environment free from distraction, the Center prefers that persons with young children not bring them to the Center or use the court’s free child care service.
  10. Can I volunteer?
    We have several volunteers who initially came to the Center for assistance. Volunteers do not have to be lawyers or know the law. Volunteer applicants will need to fill out an application form, available here and attend a short interview. If accepted as a volunteer, we will notify you.

Preguntas Frecuentes Sobre el Centro De Acceso Legal de Auto-Ayuda

  1. Llegue antes que otras personas. ¿Porque atienden a la gente fuera de orden?
    Normalmente, intentamos atender a las personas en el orden en que llegan. Sin embargo, podemos tener que asistir a la gente fuera de orden si:

    • La persona requiere una modificación razonable bajo Ley para Personas con Discapacidades o “ADA” (Americans with Disabilities Act)
    • La persona está aquí para asistir a una clase o taller.
    • El caso de las personas es urgente, y él o ella debe presentar un documento ese día.
  2. ¿Cuánto tiempo antes de que alguien me ayude?
    El tiempo de espera varía dependiendo del número de personas que buscan asistencia, los tipos de casos que tienen y el número de voluntarios que trabajan ese día. Tratamos de ayudar a todos tan pronto como sea posible, pero usted debe estar preparado para estar en el Centro durante varias horas. En días más ocupados, puede que no tengamos suficiente tiempo para atender a todos.
  3. ¿Porque tarda mucho tiempo?
    El Centro tiene un personal muy pequeño. Dependemos cada día de los voluntarios para asistir a más de 100 personas que visitan el Centro todos los días. Si no tenemos suficientes voluntarios en un día en particular, puede significar que tendrá que esperar más tiempo o volver otro día.
  4. ¿Por qué no puedo hablar con un abogado directamente?
    La misión del Centro es proporcionarle los recursos que necesita para ayudarse a sí mismo. Para ayudar a tantas personas como sea posible, los voluntarios están disponibles para responder a sus preguntas y proporcionar información. Un abogado puede estar disponible para revisar sus formularios una vez estén completos.
  5. ¿Qué puedo hacer para asegurarme de que estoy usando mi tiempo eficientemente antes de que me vean?
    Debe completar todos los cuestionarios y formularios de la mejor manera posible antes de asistir a un taller o de reunirse con un voluntario del Centro. Después de haber completado todos los cuestionarios o formularios, puede devolverlos al Centro para obtener más ayuda.
  6. ¿Qué significa que usted dará información legal y no asesoramiento legal?
    Este es un Centro de autoayuda. Estamos aquí para ayudarle a ayudarse a si mismo. No somos su abogado. El Centro NO le dirá lo que debe hacer, pero le proporcionará información y opciones para que USTED pueda tomar una decisión informada. Si desea que un abogado le recomiende la mejor solución para su caso en particular, debe pedirle a un abogado para asesoramiento legal que no trabaje en el Centro. Tenemos folletos de referencia para la Asociación de Abogados del Condado de Los Ángeles y organizaciones legales sin fines de lucro que pueden proporcionarle asesoría legal. Algunos casos necesitan asesoramiento legal y no son apropiados para un centro de autoayuda.
  7. ¿Cómo me ayudarán con mi caso?
    El Centro ofrece talleres educativos, guías de autoayuda y formularios legales. Los voluntarios están disponibles para responder a sus preguntas y proporcionar información. Un abogado también puede revisar sus formularios junto con el voluntario que le ha estado asistiendo, y luego el voluntario le dará seguimiento.
  8. ¿Si tengo sugerencias, críticas o inquietudes, cómo puedo informar al Centro?
    Por favor llene un formulario de evaluación. Queremos escuchar comentarios positivos y negativos. Revisamos los formularios de evaluación para ver cómo podemos mejorar el Centro.
  9. ¿Hay cuidado de niños disponible?
    La corte ofrece el servicio de cuidado de niños gratuito para las personas con niños pequeños (disponible solamente en Long Beach y Santa Mónica). Puede obtener un cupón para estos servicios cuando se registra en la recepción. Con el fin de mantener un ambiente tranquilo y libre de distracciones, el Centro prefiere que las personas no traigan sus niños al Centro, pero si traen niños pequeños, usar el servicio gratuito proporcionado por la corte.
  10. ¿Puedo ser voluntario?
    Tenemos varios voluntarios que inicialmente llegaron al Centro para ayuda. No es necesario ser abogado o conocer las leyes. Los solicitantes voluntarios tendrán que llenar un formulario de solicitud, disponible aquí y asistir a una entrevista corta. Si es aceptado como voluntario, le notificaremos.

About the Self-Help Legal Access Centers

Self-Help Centers began as a collaboration between the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the courts, bar associations and legal aid organizations. The self-help model is part of the California Court’s Core Mission to help self-represented litigants navigate the legal process.

The goals of the Centers are to increase access to justice, educate people about their legal rights and responsibilities, educate litigants about court processes and procedures, link people with existing legal and community resources, and improve public trust in the judicial system.

LAFLA has historically recognized the importance of the self-help delivery of services model as increasing numbers of individuals are self-represented due to economic reasons.

Office Locations

We also have three Domestic Violence Clinics, located at the Superior Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Courthouse and the Long Beach Courthouse.

LAFLA operates four Self-Help Legal Access Centers located in the Inglewood, Long Beach, Santa Monica and Torrance courthouses.