Report: Making Self-Help Work: Bet Tzedek’s Conservatorship Clinic (Bet Tzedek 2013)

Since 2007, Bet Tzedek Legal Services has been running a self-help conservatorship clinic in partnership with the Los Angeles Superior Court. Originally designed to serve 150 self-represented litigants per year, the program served more than 1,400 self-represented litigants by 2012, which amounts to more than 40 percent of all new conservatorship filings in the county. These incredible gains in efficiency were due to 1) plain language document assembly tools that simplified the navigation of court forms and procedure, 2) engaging volunteers and building collaborations, 3) triaged intake and assistance, and 4) streamlined processes. Through video conferencing, this model has the potential of being deployed in counties throughout the state wherever there is need, without limitations of where the expertise is located.