Enacted in 2002, Pennsylvania’s Access to Justice Act is funded by surcharges on legal document filing fees. During FY2004-FY2011, it helped fund work on 117,632 cases and directly benefited 231,735 people.
The plan states that court-based staffed self-help centers, supervised by attorneys, are the optimum way for courts to facilitate the timely and cost-effective processing of cases involving self-represented litigants, to increase access to the courts and improve delivery of justice to the public. Well-designed strategies to serve self-represented litigants, and to effectively manage their cases at all stages, must be incorporated and budgeted as core court functions.
Among states with sufficient data to form a full sample, this study reports the distribution percentages representing the needs of the people using the legal assistance offered under the Older Americans Act.
MLAC conducted a study on the economic benefits and impact of legal aid in Massachusetts during FY 2012. They found that the provision of legal assistance led to a positive total economic impact of approximately $48 million.
The National Self-Represented Litigants Project: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Self-Represented Litigants, Final Report
This major report is the result of research conducted by Dr. Julie Macfarlane in three Canadian provinces from 2011-2013 on self-represented litigants (SRL’s) in family and civil court. It aims to dispel myths about SRLs including the perception that they choose to self represent because they believe themselves as capable as lawyers. It contains extensive recommendations.
This covers 49 published articles written between 1977 – 2012 available on the MEDLINE, Scopus, and Google Scholar databases. Researchers also scanned the Center’s “Academic Articles” page.
2012 annual report to the Chief Judge of New York State.
This study asks whether affordability is the actual reason why low and moderate income households frequently do not seek representation when facing a legal problem. The study finds that whether legal advice was sought depended heavily upon the nature of the problem.
The article reviews the causes of the increase in pro se litigation in the US. Inability to pay is only one of many reasons a litigant will end up going to court pro se. The current state of legal services in the US is failing the people who need help the most. Most clients receive only advice on how to proceed on their own.
This study looked at the impact of pilot programs which established information centers for litigants in family law cases who did not have attorneys. The survey was taken from 1364 customers at the three Family Law Information Centers and 24 judges who oversee family law cases.