A Guide to Representing Yourself in Court

Submitted by Sherry Taylor on Wed, 03/06/2024 - 09:01
A Guide to Representing Yourself in Court

We get a lot of visitors in our library who are attempting to educate themselves about a legal issue, find legal representation, find legal forms, or figure out how to represent themselves in a legal case.   The complexity of the law and the court process and rules can be overwhelming to a non-lawyer.   To help these patrons, The Law Library Association of St. Louis decided to create a “Guide to Representing Yourself in Court.”   The Library was able to fund the creation of this guide after receiving a grant from the St. Louis Bar Foundation.

The Guide includes several distinct sections.  The first section explains the process of representing yourself in court, which is called acting pro se.  It also discusses the behavior expected from a pro se litigant.  The next section lists agencies that provide free and reduced-cost legal assistance and their contact information, requirements for representation and how to apply for assistance.  The third section provides links to help find court forms online.  Finally, the last section provides contact information for other legal self-help resources intending to serve the pro se litigant.

This publication is available in print in our library and is also available for download at https://llastl.org/legal-websites on our website. 

Just last week, we dropped off copies at several of the public libraries in the Municipal Library Consortium, as well as at the Saint Louis Public Library Central branch and Saint Louis County Library’s Administrative Center.   We already have received positive feedback from local public librarians, including these comments:

-- “We are excited about your Pro Se guides and would welcome having those here for our patrons. Thank you for thinking of us and for the offer of these guides.”

-- “We frequently have visitors who are looking for legal forms or assistance, so I think having the guide on hand would be very helpful.”

-- “This guide is a wealth of information. The guides will certainly be used!”

Please spread the word about our new pro se guide.