The JDC Legal Help Center at the San Francisco & Oakland Courthouses

Appointments are available both in-person at the San Francisco and Oakland courthouses or remotely (Zoom or telephone). Schedule an appointment by emailing or by calling (415) 782-8982.


The Legal Help Center is a free service offered by the Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco (“JDC”) to provide information and limited-scope legal assistance to pro se litigants in civil cases. The Legal Help Center is a project of the Bar Association of San Francisco and is not part of the United States District Court. The Legal Help Center is staffed by attorneys employed by JDC.

Services are provided in San Francisco and Oakland. Help is provided by appointment only.

Locations & Hours

San Francisco

In-person appointments available on Thursdays between 9am and 5:30pm (walk-ins may be available)
United States Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Avenue
15th Floor, Room 2796
San Francisco, CA 94102
Appointment line: 415-782-8982


In-person appointments available on Mondays and Wednesdays between 9am and 5:00pm (walk-ins may be available)
United States Courthouse
1301 Clay Street
4th Floor, Room 470S
Oakland, CA 94612
Appointment line: 415-782-8982


The Legal Help Center’s attorney will provide information about legal rights and responsibilities, court procedures, limited-scope legal advice, help preparing simple pleadings, and referrals to legal, social, and government services. If a litigant seeks help from the Legal Help Center, he/she will still represent him/herself. The attorney at the Legal Help Center can provide information, advice, and basic legal help but cannot represent litigants as their lawyer.

Who May Use the Legal Help Center

Anyone who is representing him/herself as a plaintiff or a defendant in a civil case in the San Francisco or Oakland divisions of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, or who is considering filing a complaint in one of those divisions. This service is not available to litigants who have legal representation or are incarcerated.

Attorneys Interested in Pro Bono Opportunities

The Federal Pro Bono Project arranges pro bono counsel for litigants with cases in the Northern District. Learn more.