Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania
County of Allegheny
Family | Self-Help Center

Self-represented or pro se litigants (parties who choose to access the court on their own behalf without an attorney), may utilize the services of the Client Services Center (CSC) for assistance with Court processes. The CSC is located on the first floor of the Family Law Center at 440 Ross Street, in downtown Pittsburgh and is available to service clients, each day that the court is open. Currently, the CSC is operating in a remote capacity. Litigants may appear at the 440 Ross St Information Desk and request to be contacted by the CSC, but all further correspondence with the litigant will be via telephone or email. The CSC has Domestic Relations Officers (DRO) who assist, as well as make referrals to the Legal Advice Clinic (see below for information about the Legal Advice Clinic), which is also operating remotely. The DRO will provide a party with procedural information, so the litigant can determine how best to move forward with his/her case. The DRO may not provide legal advice or instruct a party as to what he/she should do. Any self-represented or pro se litigant may utilize the services of the CSC, regardless of income.

The Legal Advice Clinic is staffed by volunteer attorneys from the Allegheny County Bar Association, as well as law students from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Duquesne University School of Law. The Legal Advice Clinic offers legal counseling and advice to parties who meet certain financial eligibility guidelines. If a litigant does not meet the financial eligibility criteria, they will need to obtain a private attorney or proceed on their own. Court employees are unable to provide legal advice.

Anyone seeking assistance through the Client Services Center and Legal Advice Clinic MUST be prepared to provide the following information when they appear:
  1. Proof of household income (pay stub, bank statement, benefits statement (including Department of Public Welfare benefits, unemployment benefits, workers' compensation benefits and social security benefits), tax returns, W-2 statements, or any other document showing income,
  2. All pertinent court documents or court orders regarding their case,
  3. The address of the opposing party or parties, and
  4. Information regarding involvement, if any, with the Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF).