Doing your own legal work

There are many reasons why people decide to do legal work themselves rather than instruct a lawyer. Some people feel that they can do their own legal work, other people prefer to be in control of their own case and some people cannot afford to pay for a lawyer. There are organisations that offer free legal advice and you can find out more on Legal Choices.

Going to Court without a lawyer

It is sensible to seek legal advice as soon as possible if legal proceedings are taken against you, or before you begin legal action yourself. However, there are different reasons why you may decide to deal with a legal case yourself and, if you do, you may find that you have to represent yourself in court.

Litigant in person

A litigant in person, is the name given to a person who goes to court, or a tribunal, without a lawyer. There has been an increase in litigants in person recently because of cuts to legal aid, increases in small claims limits and increases in tribunal fees.

What litigants in person can expect from the other side’s lawyer

The organisations which represent lawyers have produced a Guidelines to help litigants in person know what to expect (and what not to expect) from the lawyer for the other side in court proceedings.

You have a lawyer, but the other side is not legally represented

You may have a lawyer with you when you go into court, but the other side does not. Your lawyer has responsibilities to you and also specific responsibilities and duties to the court.

The organisations which represent lawyers have produced Guidelines. If the other side in a court case does not have a lawyer, the Guidelines explain how your lawyer will deal with them.