Q: Do I really need a lawyer?
A: Not necessarily.
A lawyer’s job is to answer questions and help facilitate the legal process in a way that will serve his or her client’s best interests. Lawyers can be incredibly helpful, especially in cases that last for a long time and/or involve issues of significance. Still, not everyone feels they need help with every component of the legal system. While hiring a lawyer may seem unnecessary, representing yourself can be frustrating and confusing when you do not understand the process. This becomes especially difficult when important issues are involved, like money or child custody. Even if you do not have the need or resources to hire a lawyer, you may still feel that you would greatly benefit from legal advice in some capacity.
Workshops on Representing Yourself
If you are looking for some insight into what you should expect when representing yourself in family court, then our Going Pro Se workshop series may be able to help. These small group workshops, offered once a month, give you a chance to ask questions about your individual situation while learning about the processes and nuances of family court. These workshops are specific to family courts in Missouri.
Workshop topics include:
- Filing Your Case
- Gathering Evidence
- Best Interests of Children
- Pre-Trial Conferences
- Hearings & Trials
If your case is particularly complex or sensitive in nature, you may choose to schedule any of the above workshops one-on-one with a licensed attorney so that you may have individual attention and preserve confidentiality. Schedule your private meeting by clicking HERE.
To learn more about the Going Pro Se workshop series, please click HERE or on the banner below.
Limited Scope Representation
Jane Doe offers what is called “limited scope representation” to all new clients. Limited scope representation allows you to represent yourself in court and talk directly with the other side about settlement options. In the background, you have the ability to work with your lawyer to determine what you need their help with and what you can handle on your own. You then proceed with your case on your own and schedule periodic coaching sessions with your lawyer as often as you need them. During these coaching sessions, you can ask questions, review paperwork, develop a strategy, prepare for a court hearing, and do whatever else you need to represent yourself confidently and competently.
Through limited scope representation, you maintain more control and ownership over your case without losing the benefit of a lawyer’s advice. You also generally spend less money on limited scope representation since you are doing a portion of the work yourself.
Clients who have utilized our coaching program for limited scope representation in the past have had success in the following scenarios:
- The case has been going on for a while and they needed help making sure the final paperwork was in order before signing it
- The case was relatively simple, they just wanted to make sure they did not mess up anything along the way
- They have been representing themselves for a while and needed help preparing for a specific hearing or trial
- They wanted to be as involved as possible with their case and wanted to be responsible for all the administrative paperwork and phone calls
- They needed legal advice and help with questions as the case progressed but they did not want to spend the money to hire an attorney to represent them in court
We recommend you opt for limited scope representation if the following situations apply:
- You feel confident and able to stand up in court and speak to the judge
- You have time to dedicate to learning the rules and preparing your case
- You are able to have a cordial conversation with the other party or their lawyer
- Your case will last for less than 6 months and require less than 3 court appearances
- You are going to court for an order of protection
By creating a balance between a lawyer’s traditional role of handling every aspect of a case and completely representing yourself without any legal assistance, limited scope representation allows you to work with a lawyer in a way that is comfortable and financially feasible for you.
Want to talk to someone?
We are happy to offer you a no-charge phone intake to make an action plan for how you can reach your goals. To do this, call our office at 314-329-5339 between 9am-7pm CT, Monday-Friday, or click the corresponding link below to be redirected to our scheduler.