This section gives you information about the various types of legal help available to people in Los Angeles County who do not have a lawyer, whether you are representing yourself, looking for low cost legal help or trying to hire a lawyer. Below you will find information about services available at the Law Library, court-based self-help centers, legal aid and non-profit agencies, lawyer referral services, limited scope representation, and dispute resolution programs.

LA Law Library Services
LA Law Library Reference librarians assist with legal research questions and locating legal resources (including samples, court forms and instructions) in person, by phone or email. At LA Law Library, you can do research, take how-to classes, attend workshops and clinics or even get a free consultation with an attorney at Lawyers in the Library or Talk to a Lawyer Online. CLICK HERE to see our calendar for more information about classes, services and drop-in assistance at LA Law Library.

Los Angeles Superior Court Self Help Resource Centers
Self-Help Resource Centers are available in many court locations to provide free legal help to litigants who do not have lawyers. For specific case types, they give you legal information, provide instructions about how to complete court forms, make referrals to other legal resources, and explain the court rules and process. Self-Help Resource Centers do not cover all areas of law. For hours and locations of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s self-help centers and to find information on which centers have clinics and drop-in assistance for divorce, child custody, child support, paternity, domestic violence, civil harassment, elder abuse, guardianships, conservatorships, name changes and evictions, CLICK HERE. 

Legal Aid and Non-Profit Agencies
Legal aid agencies are non-profit organizations that provide free legal services to people below a certain income level. Before you can get help from a legal aid agency, you usually have to qualify for their help based on your income. Many legal services focus on problems that affect basic needs such as housing, government benefits and family safety. Find legal aid and non-profit agencies at  (You will need to provide your location and the legal topic and question.  Feel free to ask a reference librarian at the Law Library for assistance identifying the topic and question.)  For a list of legal aid and non-profit agencies by legal topic, CLICK HERE.

Lawyer Referral Services
Lawyer referral services help people find lawyers. Most lawyers practice in distinct areas of law, such as personal injury, family law, or criminal law. Finding the right lawyer for your specific legal issue is important. Many of the local bar associations throughout Los Angeles County have lawyer referral services which help you connect with lawyers knowledgeable in particular areas of law. For a list of Los Angeles County lawyer referral services certified by the State Bar of California, CLICK HERE.

Reduced Fee Lawyers
Some lawyer referral services have "modest means panels" which are designed for people who have some ability to pay for a lawyer, but who cannot afford the standard cost of a private lawyer's services. Lawyers on modest means panels have agreed to perform services at a reduced cost to moderate income clients. You must meet specific income and asset guidelines in order to be eligible for these programs. For a list of Los Angeles County lawyer referral services with modest means panels, CLICK HERE.

Community Lawyers
LA Law Library is a participant in the Los Angeles Incubator Consortium (LAIC), which is a program that supports and assists lawyers in starting their own solo practice so they can serve the community’s legal needs at an affordable cost. Lawyers in LAIC represent clients of modest means in a wide variety of practice areas such as immigration, family, criminal, housing, small business, employment, civil rights, consumer, and probate.  LAIC is a collaboration between various law schools and legal aid organizations. For more information about LAIC or to get assistance, CLICK HERE.

Limited-Scope Representation (
Limited scope representation is when you and a lawyer agree that the lawyer will handle some parts of your case and you will handle others. This is different from more traditional arrangements between lawyers and clients in which a lawyer is hired to provide legal services on all aspects of a case, from start to finish. You can contact your local lawyer referral service to find out where you can find a lawyer who will provide unbundled services. For a list of Los Angeles County lawyer referral services certified by the State Bar of California, CLICK HERE

Online Lawyer Directories
Online lawyer directories provide attorney listings. Check out,,, and to identify attorneys who specialize in your area of law.

Dispute Resolution Programs
Many communities have "dispute resolution" programs. These programs try to help "mediate" or work out problems instead of going to court, so you may not need a lawyer. For more information about resolving your dispute out of court, CLICK HERE. The Los Angeles Superior Court provides settlement programs for civil cases ( and a Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program ( for cases involving probate, trusts, estates, guardianship and conservatorships.

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