Sonoma County Small Claims Advisory Clinic

Sonoma County Small Claims Advisory Clinic

Directed by Empire Law School

About the Clinic
The Sonoma County Small Claims Advisory Clinic provides free procedural and legal information to Small Claims litigants regarding their rights and responsibilities under California Law.

In December 2005, Empire College took on the advisory role for the Sonoma County Small Claims Court. The free service, mandated by the county for users of the court, is provided by Empire Law Students overseen by the Dean of Empire Law School, William Robertson, and Practicing Attorney Mike Gordon.

The students staffing the clinic are third and fourth year law students of Empire Law School and local attorneys. The advisory staff is available to help with all stages of Small Claims cases – pre-trial, during trial, and post-trial. We provide help and advice to any claimant to the court, whether a resident of Sonoma County or elsewhere.

We help claimants with a variety of issues and disputes. Most common are landlord-tenant disputes, unfulfilled contracts, complaints about contractors and disputes among neighbors. About 50 percent of the people our advisers speak with have already filed claims or received a summons. The rest are trying to determine whether they have a case. Additionally, once you have a small claims judgment we are available to help with its collection.

* While we provide legal information and advice regarding small claims forms, we do not fill out the forms for clients. Additionally, we are prohibited by law and contract from advising on matters outside the realm of small claims court. Where such advice is sought we will provide referrals to another appropriate entity when necessary. Small Claims advisors cannot act as your attorney and are not meant to replace the advice of an attorney. If you would like the advice of an attorney, contact the Sonoma County Bar Lawyer Referral Service at (707) 546-5297.

The small claims advisory service would like to thank the Judicial Council of California, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, the Sacramento Small Claims Advisory Clinic, and all others who allowed us to use content from their website in the production of this site.


Empire College School of Law
First upstairs conference room on the left
3035 Cleveland Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403


Walk-in Hours:
Monday and Wednesday
from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Assistance by phone:
Tuesday and Thursday
from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Bilingual assistance for Spanish speakers
Available during walk-in hours only.


The clinic is closed on ALL Federal/Court holidays.

In addition, the clinic will be closed:

  • April 24, 2015 to May 3, 2015 - reopening Monday, May 4, 2015.

  • August 21, 2015 to August 30, 2015 - reopening Monday, August 31, 2015.

  • December 18, 2015 to January 3, 2016, reopening Monday, January 4, 2016.