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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
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Self-Help Centers in the Legal Field: Family Law

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why we need more centers

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

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

low maintenance, low cost - Hilbert

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

helping patrons

number of pro se patrons is rapidly rising

"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

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

so far, centers are in all 50 states- Schulte

Effects on the legal system

judges must help more - Hilbert

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

increases number of ADR options and resources - Hilbert

effects on pro se litigants

they are more educated and informed

stand better chance of getting their voice heard

better understanding of the legal system

what is working

helps those who have no where else to go

people save money they don't have

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

what needs to be changed

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

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