Bankruptcy Laws

Can I Represent Myself in Court?

Many people preparing to go to court often ask "can I represent myself in court". Whether you are preparing yourself to go to court for a small claim, want to represent yourself in court for a divorce or a bankruptcy case, you need to know how to represent yourself in court and how to prepare to go to court. Over the years, more and more people are finding ways and reasons to represent themselves in court instead of hiring attorneys.

The National Center for State Courts conducted a study on people representing themselves in court vs hiring lawyers in the Self Serve Legal Aid by M. Tebo in the ABA Journal of August 2002 shows why more and more people are opting for representing themselves in court. Below are key reasons why people choose to represent themselves in court which is perfectly legal and within one's rights to do so.

Lawyers are expensive

Yes, lawyers and attorneys charge a lot of money. Some lawyers do not charge for initial consultation but if you need any real help, you will have to start paying by the hour.

Lawyers provide insufficient services

Even when you pay them alot of money, many people are finding that even when they pay the lawyers a ton of money, they are not getting the services and results they were initially promised. Of course, when they first sit in the office of a lawyer, the lawyer will sell them on how he or she could help them with the case. Then you will have to pay them money and a retainer fee if you want an ongoing service. Lawyers are effectively salesmen and you are the buyer. The difference between a lawyer and other types of salesman is that when you go to a lawyer, you have needs and desperate needs so you are going to be easily sold.

So, with experience, most people find that their cases are simple enough to not need the services of a lawyer. Unlike in the past, people now want to be in control. They want to know what goes on in their case and lawyers usually do not explain enough. Lawyers and attorneys still treat their clients as if they know nothing and any explanations would either confuse them or take up more valuable time.

People don't trust lawyers

Most lawyers have bad images and, like auditors, most people don't like lawyers. Lawyers are often portrayed as people who would do anything to get what they want no matter how unethical. Most of the time, if you pay them enough, lawyers will do anything to get you to win a case. Lawyers are also well known for striking deals and most people feel like lawyers take control of their case and situation too much.

Free legal help available

There are free legal help or cheap legal assistance nowadays. So, if you are a low income family, you can get free legal help. There are many free resources to help you represent yourself in court and many free places you can learn what to do and how to represent yourself in court. There are also services that charge you a small amount of money but will help you greatly with your case.

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