Self-Represented Litigants

Nonlawyer Navigators in State Courts: An Emerging Consensus

Researchers at The Justice Lab at Georgetown Law Center surveyed the current national landscape of nonlawyer navigators. They identified and analyzed 23 programs in 15 states and the District of Columbia. The report is based on extensive outreach and interviews with more than 60 informants who created, oversee or manage nonlawyer navigator programs in court settings. The report describes program features and offers practical considerations for creating and implementing such programs.

Statewide Action Plan for Serving Self-Represented Litigants

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.

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.

Pro Se Phenomenon

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.