• May 5, 2017

Self-Help Legal Access Centers

Self-Help Legal Access Centers

150 150 Office of Immigrant Affairs

Developed and funded by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Self-Help Legal Access Center (SHLAC) program is administered by the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, and operated by Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS), Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), and Community Legal Services (CLS).

WHAT WE DO

The SHLAC program meets a critical need in Los Angeles County by providing information and resources to litigants that are representing themselves in court without the help of an attorney.

SHLACs:

  • Provide information about court procedures.
  • Provide required court forms.
  • Provide trained legal professionals to review court forms after they have been filled out.
  • Conduct workshops.
  • Provide one-on-one assistance.

Each SHLAC is staffed by a trained attorney, knowledgeable professionals, and volunteers.

There is no attorney-client relationship between SHLAC staff and SHLAC patrons. SHLAC staff does not go to court with the patrons they assist. The purpose of SHLAC is to provide information and resources to patrons so that they can effectively represent themselves in court.

SHLACs provide assistance for the following types of cases:

Family Law

  • Divorce
  • Paternity
  • Guardianship
  • Child Custody

Landlord/Tenant

  • Eviction
  • Unlawful Detainer

Name Change

Obtaining a Civil Restraining Order

Civil Complaint

Expungements

LOCATIONS AND HOURS

All NLSLA run self-help centers to be closed on Friday, June 17, 2016.  To make up this time, All NLSLA run self-help centers will be open on Friday June 24, 2016 all day.

Services available by location

Van Nuys Self-Help Center Van Nuys Courthouse

6230 Sylmar Ave. Room 350, Van Nuys, CA 91401
Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 12pm and 1:30 – 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am – 12pm Only

Pomona Self-Help Center Pomona Courthouse

400 Civic Center Plaza 7th Floor, Pomona, CA 91766
Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 12pm and 1:30 – 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am – 12pm Only

Inglewood Self-Help Center Inglewood Courthouse

1 East Regent St. Room 107, Inglewood, CA 90301
Monday – Thursday 9am – 12pm and 1:30 – 4:30pm
Friday 9am – 12pm Only

Antelope Valley Self-Help Center Michael D. Antonovich Courthouse

42011 4th Street West Room 3700, Lancaster, CA 93534
Monday* – Thursday 8:30am – 12pm and 1:30 – 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am – 12pm Only
(*court referrals are priority)

Long Beach Self-Help Center Long Beach Courthouse

275 Magnolia Ave., Room 3101, Long Beach, CA 90802
Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 12pm and 1:30 – 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am – 12pm Only

Santa Monica Self-Help Center Santa Monica Courthouse

1725 Main St. Room 210A, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 12pm and 1:30 – 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am – 12pm Only

Torrance Self-Help Center Torrance Courthouse

825 Maple Ave., Torrance, CA 90503
Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 12pm and 1:30 – 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am – 12pm Only

Compton Self-Help Center Compton Courthouse

200 West Compton Blvd., 2nd floor Compton, CA 90220
Monday – Thursday 9am – 12pm and 1:30 – 5pm
Friday 9am – 12pm Only

Chatsworth Self-Help Center Chatsworth Superior Courthouse

9425 Penfield Ave., Room 2501 Chatsworth, CA 91311
Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 12:30pm and 1:30 – 4:30pm
Fridays 8:30am – 12:30pm Only

*Please plan to arrive by 8:30am or 1:30pm

HISTORY

There has been a steady increase in the number of litigants that represent themselves in California Courts. People that go to court without a lawyer are called “pro per” or “pro se” litigants. Pro per litigants represent a new challenge for the court system because they are often unfamiliar with court procedures and requirements. The Self-Help Legal Access Center (SHLAC) program was developed to help the large number of pro per litigants by providing information and resources to them. SHLACs help the court process run more smoothly and increase citizens’ feelings of satisfaction about the justice system.

The County of Los Angeles began funding the SHLAC program in 2000. Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) was chosen in a competitive process to operate the centers. The first SHLAC opened in Van Nuys in October of 2000. Since then the County has funded eight additional facilities in Pomona, Inglewood, Antelope Valley, Long Beach, Santa Monica, San Fernando, Compton and Torrance.

STATISTICS

Number of visitors helped at a Los Angeles County sponsored SHLAC since SHLAC’s inception in 2000: More than 850,000

On average, percentage of SHLAC visitors that have a household income below the federal poverty line: 56 percent

On average, percentage of SHLAC visitors that speak a language other than English at home: 35 percent

On average, percentage of SHLAC visitors that are college graduates: Less than 14 percent

On average, percentage of SHLAC visitors that have a family law related legal issue: 72 percent

Volunteer hours donated to SHLACs in 2012: More than 45,000

Last update: March 10, 2017
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