A significant number of individuals who seek access to the court system are unable to afford a lawyer and are unable to secure the services of legal aid providers. In these instances, individuals may have to represent themselves in court. Individuals who represent themselves in the court system are referred to as self-represented litigants, unrepresented litigants or pro se litigants.

Representing Yourself in Court

It is always best to have a lawyer. The law and court proceedings are complicated, and lawyers have legal training. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and help get the best result possible in your case. Sometimes even simple matters can have consequences that you are not aware of or do not understand.

If you are representing yourself in a case, or thinking about doing so, see Self-Represented Litigants.

Working with Self-Represented Litigants

If you are part of the court system and want information about how to work with people who come to court without a lawyer, see Courts.