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Resources for Self-Represented Litigants: Resources for Self-Represented Litigants

Resources for Self-Represented Litigants

This guide is intended to help public patrons find legal resources in Lewis & Clark Law School’s Boley Law Library, as well as online legal resources, and community resources in the Portland-metro area.

Reference Help

Law librarians are frequently asked for assistance from the public on legal research matters. Unfortunately, because law librarians are not practicing attorneys, they are limited by law from the type of help they can give.

The Law Library staff may:

  • Assist patrons in locating primary and secondary print resources;
  • Demonstrate how to use these library resources effectively;
  • Demonstrate how to use online legal databases, such as Oregon BarBooks and Fastcase.

The Law Library staff may not:

  • Do legal research for the patron;
  • Advise patrons as to what the law on a particular issue is;
  • Advise patrons what the text of a law or legal opinion means; or
  • Advise patrons on legal procedure, court rules, or jurisdiction.
  • Recommend the use of any particular form for any particular purpose.
  • Refer patrons to any particular attorney.
  • Read a legal authority over the phone, even if provided with a citation. 
  • Use their personal Bloomberg, Lexis or Westlaw passwords to provide access to said databases for any purpose. 

As legal issues can be highly complex, consultation with a lawyer is recommended.

Borrowing Materials

Members of the general public may not borrow materials from the law library. 

Public Law Libraries

Public law librarians are experts at helping self-represented litigants locate legal resources and referring litigants to free and low-cost clinics. In the Portland-metro area and Southwest Washington, there are a number of public law libraries that are open to the public.

For a complete list of Oregon law libraries, visit the Oregon Council of County Law Libraries (OCCLL). OCCLL also provides a list of online legal research databases available in each Oregon county law library. Another helpful resource is the Oregon Legal Assistance Resource Guide. For federal court information, consult the Handbook for Self-Represented Parties created by the United States District Court of Oregon.

For a complete list of Washington State law libraries, visit the Washington Association of County Law Libraries.

Lexis and Westlaw access is available at all of the libraries listed below. In addition, Multnomah Law Library provides public access to Bloomberg Law. 

In the Portland-metro area:

Clackamas County Law Library
821 Main St., Room 101
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 655-8248

Multnomah County Law Library
1050 SW 6th Ave., Suite 180
Portland, OR 97204
(971) 888-5961

Washington County Law Library
111 NE Lincoln St., Suite 250-L
Hillsboro, OR 97124-3036
(503) 846-8880

In Southwest Washington:

Clark County Law Library
1200 Franklin St.
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 397-2268

Self-Help Websites

If you cannot afford an attorney or would like to represent yourself, self-help legal websites are a good starting point for your research. These self-help websites may contain links to free legal clinics and lawyer-created legal forms.

Disclaimer: if you search for legal forms or legal information online, you will find many free fee-based forms that may or may not have been created by an attorney and may not be legally sufficient to file in your state. It is always best to consult with an attorney before filing any legal documents.

If you have an Oregon legal issue, start at or the Judicial Department's Self-Help Center. In addition, the State of Oregon Law Library has compiled a list of Oregon legal aid organizations.

If you have a Washington state legal issue, start at

In addition, Nolo books and sample legal forms are available online through the State of Oregon Law Library. 

Legal Assistance

Lewis & Clark Law School operates a number of free and low-cost legal clinics. Visit the individual clinics’ page to see eligibility and other information.

If you need legal assistance in Oregon, start with the comprehensive legal aid listing at; and at the Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral ServicesModest Means; and Legal Aid pages. St. Andrew Legal Clinic attorneys assist low-income clients in Multnomah, Washington, Columbia, and Yamhill counties in child support, domestic violence, divorce, guardianship, parenting time and step-parent adoption cases.

The Portland Community College CLEAR Clinic provides criminal record and eviction expungements, DACA applications and renewals, housing and immigration court navigation, legal name and gender marker changes, and other legal advice and legal services in the Portland area.

If you need legal assistance in Washington, start at the Washington State Bar’s Find Legal Help page and consult the Clark County Law Library’s list of free and low-cost lawyer referral sources. Clark County also has low cost self help form kits available at the Clark County Law Library.

For other states' lawyer referral programs, begin with the ABA's Lawyer Referral Directory

If you are looking for assistance in Veterans issues, start at the Veterans Consortium


Using the Library

Unfortunately, during the pandemic the library is closed to all except for the students, faculty, and staff of Lewis & Clark Law School. However, librarians are available online to assist with questions, normally Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Find out how to contact a Law Library.

Use the library catalog to search for print and online legal resources. Also please see the many services provided by Public Law Libraries in the area.

If you are looking for legal aid resources in Oregon, check out the list compiled by the State of Oregon Law Library.

Computer Use Policy

Once the library reopens to the community, members of the general public may use the Fastcase terminal and any of the other public computers in the law library. The use of these workstations by members of the general public is limited to those performing legal research and should be limited to two hours per day. While the general public may bring their own computers to the library, guest wireless internet access is available.

The State of Oregon Law Library also provides free access to Fastcase as well as the NOLO Press legal guides for all Oregonians. 

Copying & Printing

Once the law library reopens to the community, members of the general public may bring their own flash drives to save material from the public computers for no charge.

Printing is $.10/page. All print jobs may be retrieved from the Library Desk.

Photocopy machines are available in the Copy Center. The charge is $.10/copy. The copiers accept coins, one, two and five dollar bills. Change for larger bills is available at the Library Desk.

Research Help

We're here to help. Contact a research librarian for help with an assignment, project, or resource. 

Mon-Fri, 10am

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