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
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.