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  Do not cite this material in filings with any Court; cite the applicable rules and law.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., New Orleans, LA 70112) - First 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:

Ask our volunteer attorneys a specific question about your civil legal issue by visiting (income based eligibility for services)

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!!

You Can't Get Your Day in Court Without Proper Service! - Importance of Proper Service 

Step-by-Step Guide to Filing for a 103(1) Divorce 

Legal Resources for Self-Represented Litigants (SRL)

How to Find an Attorney:

____ New Orleans Bar Association (NOBA) Lawyer Referral Service: 504-561-8828; – (Open Monday - Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) - Depending on ability to pay, callers are sent to either:

1) NOBA Lawyer Referral Service Modest Means - Program for clients under $75,000 annual income, hourly rates will be no more than $75 per hour;

2) NOBA Lawyer Referral Service - Private attorneys are available for those who wish to pay regular fees (set by private lawyer). Consultation fee is $75 for the first hour.  

_____ LIFT (Legal Innovators for Tomorrow) Program: This program consists of solo practitioners committed to providing quality, affordable legal services. Please note that the LIFT Program is not a law firm.

_____ Modest Means Online Legal Directory (Income Eligibility Required):  - This Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) directory provides contact information of attorneys who charge reduced rates or charge less because they represent someone for just part, and not all, of a case (limited representation/unbundled services).

How to Find Free Legal Help (Income Eligibility Required):

____ The Pro Bono Project (Income Eligibility Required): 504-581-4043; – Services provided by volunteer lawyers include:

Consumer Rights and Contracts; Family Safety and Stability; Employment and Wage Issues; Intellectual Property; Wills & Estates & Successions; Tenant & Homeowner’s Rights; General Civil Law Issues; Contractor Fraud

____ Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (Income Eligibility Required): 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; Other Family; Predatory Lenders; Consumer Law; Housing; Low Income Taxpayer; Government Benefits; Employment; School; Homelessness; Elderly Services; Successions/Title Clearing; Home Mortgage Foreclosures; Child Victims Of Abuse And/Or Neglect

For Brief Advice and Information:

_____Louisiana Free Legal Answers (Income Eligibility Required): – Ask a volunteer attorney about your specific, civil legal issue and they will reply with their professional opinion.

_____Louisiana Law Supreme Court Self Represented Litigant Resources: - This guide offers helpful information to Louisiana self-represented litigants including help finding legal information, resources, and referrals.

_____Louisiana Law Help: – This website includes civil legal aid resources available throughout Louisiana, as well as Frequently Asked Questions on divorce and custody.

_____ Louisiana Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-888-411-1333 – Free.  Confidential.  24-hour hotline.



Reaching Financial Goals 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal government agency, offers a suite of financial empowerment tools and resources to help empower people to take control over their financial lives. Information and tools can be found at Your Money, Your Goals webpage. Topics include setting SMART goals, credit reports, managing debt, how to respond to a debt collector, cash flow budgeting, how to choose financial services and how to protect your money. These are available on the website as well as in print for free from GPO (the links are on the webpages).  There are individual tools available in digital format that may be helpful to link directly to.  The CFPB has trained more than 35,000 frontline staff I  using these tools, which people have integrated into their social services, legal aid, financial services, etc. programs. In addition, the CFPB developed a financial well-being scale (FWB) to help individuals and organizations measure financial well-being. It is an easy to use, tested, validated and reliable scale that provides a numerical score, and is also available on the website. The FWB questionnaire, available in mobile format as well, can be filled out very quickly.

Please contact or for more information.