University of Denver

Self-Represented Litigants

Voice Lessons: What We Can Learn by Listening to People Who've Been to Court

Janet Drobinske
Dedicated judges, attorneys, and court administrators have the power to establish justice in our modern time. By gathering the input of those who use the court system, who rely on it to decide some of the most important issues in our lives—like divorce and child custody—we help ensure that the courts function in a way...

Judge Posner, Self-Represented Litigants, and Changing Our Legal System

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...

IAALS Announces Court Compass Project to Benefit Self-Represented Litigants

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...

Rule of Law Under Attack: Ideas for Building Trusted Courts

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...

Access to Legal Services for Low Income People on President’s List of Cuts

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...