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Ottawa County Legal Self-Help Center


Do you have an interest in law?
Do you want to help people, help themselves?

Consider joining our team!

What do Legal Self-Help Center volunteers do?

Assist Patrons

  • Welcome patrons and assist them with check-in
  • Assist patrons in person, by phone and online with outstanding customer service
  • Review paperwork for completeness
  • Review electronic case files

Educate & Provide Information

  • Provide information on a variety of non-criminal legal topics including domestic relations (divorce, custody, support, parenting time), probate, landlord/tenant, small claims and collections matters
  • Educate patrons about court processes and answer questions about filling out paperwork
  • Provide information about community resources

Operational Tasks

  • Assist with operational tasks as needed
  • Make copies and organize paperwork
  • Operate a cash register and handle money

What can I expect as a volunteer?

  • Learn how the 20th Circuit, 58th District and Ottawa County Probate Courts operate
  • Learn substantive law in several areas, including family law
  • Learn about forms and resources available to self-represented litigants
  • Have an opportunity to practice customer service skills while serving a diverse population
  • Be a part of the Access to Justice movement


  • Some post-secondary training in law, legal secretarial or other relevant field
  • Experience in a position requiring extensive public contact
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Willingness and ability to learn basic law and procedure
  • Excellent listening and verbal communication skills
  • Respect for and desire to work with a diverse population
  • Patient, compassionate, professional and positive demeanor
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to follow directions


  • One shift per week (4 hours)
  • 2 consecutive terms (8 months)


Schedule a time to observe in the Legal Self-Help Center. During the observation you will have an opportunity to witness center operations and meet current volunteers. You will be given an application and information about the application process after the observation.

You may observe in the morning or afternoon Monday thru Thursday. On Friday, you may only observe in the morning.

I would like to schedule an observation for:


You should receive an email confirming the date and time for your observation within 2 business days.