Self-Represented Litigants

Dona Playton
Technology has radically altered how legal help is sought—and how it is delivered—yet there is still an overwhelming need for affordable and accessible legal services in the United States. This gulf can only be bridged when attorneys adopt new ways of approaching the practice of law and the delivery of legal services.
Dona Playton
By now, the word is out that Judge Richard A. Posner is retiring from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. His retirement was unexpected, but his stated reasons for doing so shouldn’t be. In correspondence announcing his departure, Judge Posner sites apparent “difficulty” with his colleagues on the bench over the...
Carolyn A. Tyler
Zachary Willis
In three quarters of all civil cases, at least one party is going to court without an attorney and navigating a legal system not designed for the layperson’s use. To help potential litigants, some courts are leveraging technology and developing websites and portals that offer a vast amount of information and resources...
Rebecca Love Kourlis
The Rule of Law is absolutely under attack in the United States of America—from elected officials, state legislative bodies, and groups of individuals. The attacks are apparent in politicians’ tirades, legislative proposals that would limit the authority of courts, and assaults on established principles of law such as...
Dona Playton
On the front of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., is the proclamation “Equal Justice Under Law.” However, according to our Cases Without Counsel study, in some jurisdictions nearly 80 percent of people with a court case end up representing themselves. For many, not being able to afford a...
Dona Playton
A new report conducted by Ecorys UK, Experiences of consumers who may be vulnerable in family law , explores the impacts of personal and situational vulnerabilities for people seeking legal assistance with family law matters. Specifically, the study explored access, cost, and quality of legal representation in the...
Natalie Anne Knowlton
The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) has launched a new resource in Canada. The National Database of Professionals Assisting SRLs contains contact information for attorneys offering unbundled legal services, and paralegals and other professionals willing to offer affordable services. NSRLP also...
Mark Staines
The American Bar Association’s Commission on the Future of Legal Services recently released a report that identifies problems with the delivery of legal services along with suggested remedies. According to the report, despite persistent efforts to increase the public’s access to legal services, many people still have...
Natalie Anne Knowlton
The Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) recently released America’s Civil Courts: Whom Do We Serve? ­­ —a geospatial story map designed to help the tens of millions of Americans attempting to navigate the civil legal system without a lawyer. According to Richard Zorza , SRLN Coordinator Emeritus, this online...
Mark Staines
As the number of self-represented litigants (or pro se litigants) continue to rise, the legal profession continues to explore alternative means of providing services beyond the traditional lawyer-client relationship. Because many litigants choose to forgo representation due to the cost of hiring an attorney, unbundled...

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