Self-Help Centers in the Legal Field: Family Law

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Self-Help Centers in the Legal Field: Family Law by Mind Map: Self-Help Centers in the Legal Field: Family Law

1. why we need more centers

1.1. people need an option if they cannot afford a lawyer, otherwise they have no way of succeeding in the legal system

1.2. often, legal self help centers are the first place that pro se litigants go

1.3. low maintenance, low cost - Hilbert

1.4. pro se litigants in family court can be as high as 67% - Hough

2. helping patrons

2.1. number of pro se patrons is rapidly rising

2.2. "The centers are supervised by attorneys and assist low-income self-represented litigants with forms, information, and resources concerning divorce, separation, parentage, child and spousal support, property division, and custody and visitation." - Hough

2.3. Legal Assistance Center in Grand Rapids (where I volunteer) helps 80-100 people per day.

2.4. so far, centers are in all 50 states- Schulte

3. Effects on the legal system

3.1. judges must help more - Hilbert

3.2. makes more work for judges and court clerks, who have to help pro se patrons - Hilbert

3.3. increases number of ADR options and resources - Hilbert

4. effects on pro se litigants

4.1. they are more educated and informed

4.2. stand better chance of getting their voice heard

4.3. better understanding of the legal system

5. what is working

5.1. helps those who have no where else to go

5.2. people save money they don't have

5.3. "self-help centers have become a critical resource for guidance throughout the entirety of a case." - Hilbert

6. what needs to be changed

6.1. more centers that can handle more cases, and different kinds of case

6.2. lawyers need to become more affordable, offer unbundled services, cheaper options for the poor, sliding scales for hourly pay