A Collaborative Project of:
The Law Firm of Greenberg Glusker, Reed Smith, The Los Angeles County Bar Association ALSP, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, The LACBA Civic Mediation Project, and Southwestern Law School.
Welcome to the Small Claims Project, which provides education and assistance to self-represented litigants in a workshop/clinic setting.
The Project is an innovative and collaborative program first developed in 2009 by the Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA) and Bet Tzedek Legal Services to help Small Claims litigants. The collaboration was joined by the law firms of Greenberg Glusker and Reed Smith, Southwestern Law School, and LACBA's Civic Mediation Project.
On a monthly basis, volunteer attorneys and Southwestern law students conduct detailed Small Claims workshops open to both plaintiffs and defendants, hosted at Southwestern Law School. Following the one-hour PowerPoint presentation, litigants are invited to discuss the option of mediation with a mediation representative, and have the ability to meet one-on-one with a volunteer to clarify procedural issues, ask additional questions, and prepare for their hearings. Litigants are seen on a “first come, first served” basis. With an average of 30 participants attending each workshop, the project has assisted over 1,000 litigants. Outreach efforts specifically target low-income Angelenos. The presentation and one-on-one meetings are conducted in both English and Spanish.
In conjunction with the Small Claims Project, Southwestern Law School additionally hosts the Inner City Law Center’s (ICLC) Small Claims Outreach program. After the general workshop, tenants seeking to enforce their rights in Small Claims Court have the further option of meeting with an ICLC volunteer for free one-on-one legal assistance.
Visit the Southwestern Law School website for more information on the Small Claims Workshop and Clinic.
The Project has created materials hosted on the LACBA website for the general public. Please see below for workshop details and materials.
The workshop is USUALLY held on the Second Thursday of each month from
6:00-9:00 pm at:
Southwestern Law School
3050 Wilshire Blvd. (just east of Vermont- see map below)
Following are the dates scheduled for 2016-17:
If you plan to attend a workshop, you MUST register first by calling (323) 648-4719.
$10.00 parking is available in the lot. The parking lot entrance is on Wilshire Place near 7th street behind the old Bullocks Wilshire building. There will be signs directing you to the room location at the rear of the Bullocks Wilshire building or ask any security guard. Metered street parking is also available along Wilshire Place, Westmoreland and 7th Street. In addition, the school is easily accessible from the Metro Red and Purple lines—Wilshire/Vermont stop and numerous bus routes.
From approximately 6:00-7:00 pm, volunteers explain the Small Claims process from beginning to end, and discuss alternative ways to resolve your dispute. After the presentation, volunteers are available to answer your individual questions about the Small Claims process generally and specific questions you may have about your case, review or assist you in drafting your forms, and assist you in preparing for your hearing. Please note that this part of the workshop is only available to people who attended the presentation.
The forms and informational packets are available online as a complement to the FREE monthly workshop/clinic.
The forms at this website cannot be completed online. You can download and save them to your computer or print them. If you'd like, you can bring completed forms to the next workshop/clinic (you must register first) and a volunteer advocate will review them with you.
In addition to the forms, the informational packets provide an overview of the Small Claims process, with a particular focus on (a) how to identify the appropriate parties to name in your action, and (b) the proper way to serve the action. You will also find practical tips about the Small Claims process, the hearing and the Judgment that you may obtain.
To open an informational packet, click on one of the following links:
By use of this website and the associated forms and informational sheets, you agree that neither The Law Firm of Greenberg Glusker, Reed Smith, The Los Angeles County Bar Association ALSP, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, LACBA’s Civic Mediation Project, nor Southwestern Law School has undertaken to provide you with legal advice and are not providing you with legal advice, and that no attorney client relationship of any kind is intended or created between you and any of these organizations.
In addition to the workshop, the following websites provide helpful, detailed information about Small Claims proceedings:
The California Courts Self-Help Center for Small Claims:
The California Department of Consumer Affairs publication titled "The Small Claims Court – A Guide to Its Practical Use"
The Los Angeles County, Department of Consumer Affairs, Small Claims Advisor Service