Free Legal Resources for Californians
by Richard Johnson, Administrator, The Los Angeles Skills Pool
These resources may be helpful in case doesn't currently have an attorney among its membership who meets your needs.
  • LawHelpCalifornia. Here you can find a wealth of links under such headings as Housing, Work, Consumer, and many more.

  • California Courts Self-Help Center, a California government site, is designed to help you find assistance and information, either for representing yourself (as in small claims court) or for working with an attorney. The legal forms here (unlike those available on other sites) are free.

  • The very popular Findlaw site will give you help on just about any legal issues, conveniently arranged by category. A useful feature is its searchable database of Supreme Court opinions and summaries.

  • California-based Nolo, which publishes a huge number of plain-English law books, provides useful free information on the Web.
  • Got a ticket? All you may need to know about traffic court is at the Traffic section of the LA Superior Court's website. Want to beat your ticket? Check out Ticket Assassin, aimed specifically at Californians. Or clear your record (after paying the ticket!) by completing Traffic School Online (not free but it guarantees that you'll pass—about $35 as of this writing).

    Hint. If one of these sites (or any site) does not have its own search engine, you can search it with Google by typing site:sitename next to your Google search query. Leave off the http://. For example, to search in Google for a page on the LawHelpCalifornia site concerning pencils, you'd type pencils.
  • Get your question answered by an attorney at Avvo's Ask a Lawyer. (Note that while some other sites invite your legal questions, these may be answered by non-attorneys.)
  • Free Legal Information on the Web will link you to sources favored by attorney Josh Foreman, and gives general advice.