Canadian SRL Study Results Confirmed by US ResearchNSRLP
In June, IAALS—the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System – published the results of their research on the SRL experience in four U.S. states (Colorado, Tennessee, Oregon and Massachusetts). The results of the U.S. study – “Cases Without Counsel: Research on Experiences of Self-Representation in Family Court” – mirrored the 2013 Canadian study in almost every way.
- The primary reason for self-representation is lack of financial resources to pay for a lawyer
- “One lawyer told me she worked on a sliding scale – I asked her, ‘can you take a nickel’?”
- US SRLs talked about being “typecast” as “crazy”
- “Don’t forget that there are people who are not crazy out there, they’re just having to figure this out for themselves.”
- Navigating the legal system is far more complex and often overwhelming – that SRLs initially expected.
- “I have a doctorate and I am used to reading technical material – but I would read a sentence over and over again, and I still couldn’t make sense of it.”
- The most common advice that SRLs had for others? “If you possibly can, get a lawyer.”
- The social, psychological, financial and health impacts of self-representation were reported in strikingly similar terms by SRLs south of the border.
Check out the full report here!