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Description of Program
Self-Represented Litigants, or parties choosing to access the court on their own behalf or without an attorney, may utilize the services of the Self-Help Center (SHC). The SHC is located on the first floor of the Family Law Center and is open every day court is open beginning at 8:30 am. The last client is seen at 3:30pm.
The SHC offers options counseling, with a court employed Options Counselor, as well as referral to the Legal Advice Clinic. Options Counselors will provide a party with procedural information regarding his/her case in order to allow the party to determine how he/she would like to proceed. Options Counselors will not provide legal advice or instruct a party as to what he/she should do. Any Self-Represented Litigant may utilize the services of the Options Counselor regardless of income.
The Legal Advice Clinic is staffed by volunteer attorneys from the Allegheny County Bar Association and law students from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Duquesne University School of Law. The Legal Advice Clinic offers legal counseling and advice to parties that meet the financial eligibility guidelines and are referred by the Self-Help Center. Parties that do not meet the financial eligibility guidelines may still utilize the services of the Options Counselor.
Individuals can sign-up on Tuesday or Thursday at the Information Desk on the 1st Floor, Family Law Facility, when the doors open at 8:00am.
Everyone seeking assistance through the Self-Help Center and Legal Advice Clinic should provide the following information to the court:
Proof of household income (pay stub, bank statement, benefits statement (including Department of Public Welfare benefits, unemployment benefits, worker’s compensation benefits and social security benefits), tax returns, W-2 statements, or any other document showing income,
All pertinent court documents or court orders regarding their case,
The address of the opposing party or parties, and
Information regarding involvement, if any, with the Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF).
Fees or Charges
Types of Fees
Free to eligible parties.
Hours of Operation
Open every day court is open beginning at 8:30am. The last client is seen at 3:30pm.