Starting a Self-Help Center

Report: Clearing a Path to Justice (MD Working Group on Self-Representation 2007)

This Report is a useful example for jurisdictions thinking about how to build analysis and support as they develop self-help services. From the table of contents:

Maryland Centralizes District and Circuit Court Self-Help While Expanding Phone and Mobile Support (News 2016)


Pittsburgh Court Doubles the Number of Self-Represented Litigants Served In First Three Months With No-Cost Reengineering Initiative (News 2016)


Article: California’s Family Law Facilitator Program: A New Paradigm for the Courts (Harrison, Chase, Surh 2000)

 In 1997, California introduced its Family Law Facilitator Program to guide unrepresented family litigants through the judicial process.

Interview: Florida’s Clerk Russell On Opening a New Self Help Center (News 2015)


Report: Model Self-Help Pilot Program A Report To The Legislature (California 2005)

Executive Summary

Paper: Self Represented Litigants: Self Help Programs – Making the Case to the Bench and Bar (Greacen, Hough, Ledray 2006)

John Greacen, Bonnie Hough, and Susan Ledray presented at the July 2006 National Association of Court Management meeting in Florida.

Tool: Test Your Court’s Self-Representation Quotient! (Hough & James 2006)

An 18-question quiz/checklist to determine how well a court is doing in providing services to self represented litigants. Web links to various helpful resources are also provided.

Best Practices: Best Practices for Programs to Assist Self-Represented Litigants in Family Law Matters (Maryland 2005)

From the introduction:

Best Practices: Best Practices For Court Help Centers: A Guide for Court Administrators and Help Center Staff Inside and Outside New York State (New York 2015)

A comprehensive best practices guide developed by New York covering the details of day-to-day operations of a self-help center, including a history of the New York state court help centers, initial considerations, types of services to offer, staff