As more people go without a lawyer, courts offer self-help services. Advice from the judge? No way

Zukin sees many non-represented litigants from her perch on the eighth floor of the downtown Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Judicial officials say their numbers appeared to swell after the last recession.

News Story (California)

Maura Dolan
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
April 7, 2019

Tags: Pro Se/Self-Help


According to court surveys, three-quarters of all civil cases have at least one side unrepresented, and only 10% of family law and eviction disputes have lawyers on both sides. Unlike criminal defendants, the law does not entitle civil litigants to an attorney.

In response, the courts have expanded self-help services. After years of lobbying by judicial leaders, the state last year nearly tripled funding for self-help programs to $30 million.