Pro bono: It's in you to give, says Brett Harrison (Lawyer's Daily)  

news & knowledge 

March 2019

It is hardly news that access to justice is in crisis. The courts, lawyers and legal institutions seem to be stretched to capacity, with no easy solutions. Of course, in order to find solutions, we need to understand the problem.

One of the many issues facing the judicial system is the growing number of unrepresented litigants caused by the cost of legal representation. As stated in the National Self-Represented Litigants Project Report, the number of unrepresented litigants has skyrocketed to more than 70 percent of lower court civil cases. As a result, our courts are flooded with individuals who have little or no assistance in navigating our byzantine court system. (Who but a lawyer would know what a statement of claim or affidavit of documents is?) This is taxing on both the litigants, and the judges and court staff that are seeking to assist them.
 
There have been many changes to the court system which have increased accessibility for unrepresented litigants, such as simplifying procedural rules and increasing the use of technology, but there is a long way to go. Until there are much broader changes the most obvious solution to this part of the problem is to provide needy litigants with pro bono assistance so they can litigate effectively and efficiently.

Read the full piece “Pro bono: It’s in you to give” by Brett Harrison at The Lawyer’s Daily