Self-Help Resource Centers (SHRC)


The following is informational only.  The Pro Bono Project is not providing legal advice to the public. The following information, including all files and hyperlinks therein contained, are guides for self-represented litigants. It is not legal advice and should not be considered as legal advice. The Pro Bono Project will not answer questions about content or how it may pertain to an individual case, except as required by law. Those seeking guidance concerning a legal action should consult with an attorney. This information does not, is not intended to, shall not be construed to, and may not be relied upon to create or to limit any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any matter, civil or criminal.  Do not cite this material in filings with any Court; cite the applicable rules and law.

Warning to Incarcerated or Detained Persons:  Please note that some parts of this information will not apply to actions filed by incarcerated or detained persons. Detained litigants are often required to comply with different statutes and Court rules.  These rules may include—but are not limited to—the use of Court-approved forms where applicable and the exhaustion of administrative remedies prior to filing suit.

A Self Help Resource Center is a place where you can find helpful information and services about your legal problem if you are not represented by an attorney. Legal information includes court forms and tools to help you complete court forms, answers to general questions about court process or procedure, and help preparing for your day in court.  The most common issues for people seeking to represent themselves are:

While litigants are encouraged to have a lawyer represent them, financial limitations prevent many from securing counsel.  Both the 24th Judicial District Court (JDC) in Gretna and the Orleans Civil District Court (CDC) have facilities for volunteers to assist with the completion of court approved forms.  Volunteers do not give legal advice, but assist visitors with access to legal forms, information, and referrals.  

If you would like more information on our Self-Help Resource Centers, call us at 504-581-4043.  Volunteers are needed!  Please call today to learn more.  

SHRC Locations

24th Judicial District Court (200 Derbigny Street Gretna, Louisiana 70053) - Second Floor, Suite 2100

Tuesday - 10:00 am – noon
Thursday - 10:00 am – noon

* Closed on legal holidays.  Visit the 24th JDC Clerk of Court site for holiday scheduling.  

Orleans Civil District Court (421 Loyola Ave #402, New Orleans, LA 70112) - Second Floor

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday - 9 am - noon

* Closed on legal holidays.  Visit the Orleans Civil District Court site for holiday scheduling.

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Useful Websites:

For free legal information and additional resources for the state of Louisiana, visit

Louisiana Law Supreme Court Self Represented Litigant Resources:

Orleans Parish residents seeking divorce with no children and no property, visit the following link:

Louisiana Supreme Court In Forma Pauperis form:

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Information Center of Louisiana:

Locate the incarcerated:

Instructions - Forms & Guides (click to view):

Establish Custody Form Instructions

Joint Custody Worksheet

Divorce with No Children Instructions

In Forma Pauperis Information Sheet (Deferring filing fees)

Best Interest - the factors judges consider when deciding custody matters

Divorce Statutes - Remember!  A Self-Represented individual is presumed to know the law!!

Where to get legal advice:

This is a quick list of legal resources in your region.  We always recommend verifying program information by telephone or website.

IMPORTANT: This list is not exhaustive, and additionally, some of the information contained therein may be inaccurate.  No court endorses any programs found on this list—this is merely a listing of services that are available.

Finding an Attorney: In civil cases, which include divorce, custody, wage disputes, eviction, bankruptcy, or other non-criminal matters, the Court is not obligated to provide you with an attorney. It is always in your best interest to speak with a licensed attorney about your legal issue. 

Self-Representation (“Pro Se”): If you do not have an attorney, you still have the right to represent yourself in court. It is your responsibility to know the laws and court procedure. 

* New Orleans Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service: 504-561-8828 or visit –anyone can call and get a referral for a lawyer. Service operates Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Depending on ability to pay, callers are sent to the following options: 
1) Southeast Louisiana Legal Services for those callers under the federal poverty guidelines;
2) NOBA Lawyer Referral Service Modest Means program for clients under $75,000 annual income, hourly rates will be no more than $75/hour;
3) NOBA Lawyer Referral Service - private attorneys are available for those who wish to pay regular fees, which are set by the private lawyer. The lawyers are carefully screened by the bar before we will send referrals to them. Consultation fee is $75 for the first hour. 

* The Pro Bono Project: 504-581-4043 or visit – Services provided by pro bono lawyers include: 
•    Consumer Rights and Contracts, Family Safety and Stability, Oil Spill Claims, Employment and Wage Issues, Intellectual Property, Wills & Estates & Successions, Tenant & Homeowner’s Rights; General Civil Law Issues; Contractor Fraud 

* Additional Online Legal Information: 
• – this website includes civil legal aid resources available throughout Louisiana, as well as Frequently Asked Questions on divorce and custody. 
• – if eligible to use this service, this website allows you to ask volunteer attorneys a specific question about your civil legal issue 

* Louisiana Civil Justice Center Legal Hotline: 1-800-310-7029 – This free legal hotline provides free legal advice, information, answers and forms for various civil law issues Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

* Southeast Louisiana Legal Services: Jefferson Office: 504-374-0977; Orleans Office: 504-529-1000 or visit – SLLS offers free legal aid for low-income people in Louisiana who are currently facing the following problems: 
•    Domestic violence and other family problems; Predatory lenders; Consumer Law problems; Housing problems; Low Income Taxpayer Problems; Government Benefits; Job-related problems; School problems; Homelessness problems; Elderly services; Successions/title clearing; Oil spill claims; Home mortgage foreclosures; Child victims of abuse and/or neglect

* LIFT (Legal Innovators for Tomorrow) Program:– The lawyers listed in this program have established law firms committed to providing quality legal services that are accessible and affordable. Please note that the LIFT Program is not a law firm.