United States District Court - Northern District Court of California

Claudia Wilken, Chief Judge

Richard W. Wieking, Clerk of Court

The Federal Legal Assistance Self-Help Center at the San Jose Courthouse (FLASH)

Are you thinking about filing a case or are you already representing yourself in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California — San Jose Division and need legal advice? If so, you may speak with a lawyer at the Federal Legal Assistance Self-Help Center (FLASH). There is no fee for this service, but help is provided by appointment only

The FLASH lawyer provides limited assistance as follows:

  • Information to help you understand the federal court processes and procedures that you need to follow;
  • Help determining where your case should be filed;
  • Explanations of court orders and other paperwork;
  • Answers to your procedural (but not general legal) questions; and
  • Referrals to appropriate legal, social, and government services.

Location & Hours

United States Courthouse
280 South 1st Street
2nd Floor, Room 2070
San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: 408-297-1480

Regular office hours are Mondays & Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m; Wednesdays by appointment.

Services

The FLASH attorney will provide information about legal rights and responsibilities and about the court procedures applicable to your civil case, limited-scope legal advice, help preparing simple pleadings, and referrals to legal, social, and government services.

If you seek help from FLASH, you will still represent yourself. The attorney at FLASH can provide information, advice and basic legal help but does not represent litigants as their lawyer.

If you do not speak English or have difficulty with English, please bring someone to your appointment who can translate for you. FLASH cannot provide a translator.

Who May Use FLASH

Anyone who is representing him/herself as a plaintiff or a defendant in a civil case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California—San Jose division, or who is considering filing a complaint in that division. This service is not available to litigants who have legal representation.

FLASH does not provide help with:  bankruptcy, habeas corpus, prisoner, appeals, state court, and/or criminal questions, or any question concerning a case not pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California—San Jose division. 

How to Make an Appointment

Help is provided by appointment and in person only (not over the phone). To make an appointment:

  1. Stop by FLASH and sign up in person or
  2. Call 408-297-1480 Monday-Wednesday