Once again this coming year, the Self-Represented Litigation Network will be hosting a pre-conference in association with the NLADA/ABA Equal Justice Conference. The pre-conference will be May 8, 2013, and the main conference will be May 9-11. As usual, there will be an Access to Justice Commissions gathering on Saturday the 11th.
Here is the overall “save the date.”
More information here.
I very much welcome suggestions and ideas for what we should be focusing the pre-c0nfernce on. Here is last year’s pre-conference agenda .
We should invite some speakers from Canada (if possible) maybe from Vancouver, BC, and some of the other provinces so they can share with us how they approach these issues. From what I understand the information/referral approach is routed via the libraries, law libraries. The approach to LEP services by courts is also something to cover with them–as they are ahead of the US in some provinces on this. CLEO is a great group–and also Drew Jackson of the Law Libraries of British Columbia. In fact, the province was doing quite an amazing evaluation of services in BC–and they might be able to share the findings and recommendations. Canada shares similar challenges as the US in terms of free legal services–we might be able to learn something from their approaches. Another group that would be good to hear from is Advice Now–in the UK. http://www.advicenow.org.uk/ Marvin Jones is a researchers and academic looking at effective problem solving. If you look at the site you will see how there are a lot of skill building materials here–to help people learn the skills to solve their own problem. I think that in the us we focus a lot on text and on “what is the law”–but we don’t focus on “how to I deal in a situation where I am upset, and I have to get concesions from my landlord, my spouse, my boss?” “how do I get ready for a potentially confrontational meeting?” “how do I practice asking the judge for what I need”?
I would like to focus on the book Brain Rules–and talk about creating a curriculum that helps develop the necessary competencies to complete a case or solve a dispute when you are not a lawyer. ( I am not suggesting teaching people how to be lawyers), but rather helping them get ready emotionally and mentally for taking their case from beginning to end. This will require focus on skills to complete a case, attitudes necessary to complete a case, and then the 3 different type of knowledge SRLs will need to complete a case (substantive, procedural, and the how). We focus on helping people do the first letter or file the first pleading–but how do we help them get ready for the 6 to 18 month journey a case/dispute may take. Some of these skills will keep on giving after the case is over. In essence, how do we develop a model/curriculum of self care in the legal context? I am sharing this webinar that looked at some of this in the context of technology for SRLs–if you look at the first 10 minutes of the intro it will give you a sense of what I am talking about. http://lsntap.org/blogs/video-online-resources-assist-self-represented
Reblogged this on Lawscape.
It would be a great idea to have some self-represented individuals speak and actively participate, whether they are attorneys or not. It would be great if they were heard, allowed to share their experience(s) and to offer some very valuable solutions. It is unfortunate that pro se’s are simply viewed as less than able individuals and/or competition for the bars. Just some thoughts.
Well, when reviewing the prior pre-conference agenda, it appears that there are no pro se litigants who are either speaking or invited to the conference. I’m not sure that I am overlooking something. Nonetheless, that is what i would recommend that since this focuses on the self-represented, it would be appropriate to be inclusive of some individuals who may have represented themselves in various matters. There are individuals who are very competent who might be able to fill this role and it could offer a very unique perspective.
Interestingly, to offer an example of assumptions and prejudice that “pro se” litigants are subject to, I came across an article which was presented by an attorney about his take on why one should not represent themselves. http://personal-injury-ri.tumblr.com/post/24600089496/ri-medical-malpractice-lawyer-dont-go-it-alone What he did not say (and perhaps it was unknown to him) is that the individual who he dubbed as a “pro se” (accurately so) has been a licensed attorney for more than fifty years. http://www.lawyers.com/Rhode-Island/Providence/Martin-S-Malinou-1577938-a.html
My thoughts are that it would be a great idea to have some self-represented individuals, whether they are attorneys or not be heard, be allowed to share their experience(s) and to offer some very valuable solutions. It is unfortunate that pro se’s are simply viewed as less than able individuals and/or competition for the bars. Just some thoughts.