We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Pros and Cons of Pro Per Representation?

Jessica Ellis
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
MyLawQuestions is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At MyLawQuestions, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pro per representation, also referred to as pro se, is what occurs when a person in a legal case decides to represent him or herself, rather than use the services of a lawyer. The pros and cons of pro per representation depend largely on the circumstances of the individual case; simple, uncomplicated lawsuits may be easier to handle pro per than complex cases. Before deciding whether to opt for pro per representation, it is important to carefully examine the laws, case history, and legal process to determine if personal representation is the best choice.

One of the biggest factors in favor of pro per representation is monetary savings. Lawyers are notoriously expensive, and it may be difficult for people with mid-range incomes to qualify for free or low-cost legal assistance. For those unable to afford a lawyer's services, sometimes the best choice may be to self-represent.

Another excellent reason to opt for self-representation is a personal interest in the facts and outcome of the case. As a primary party, a person involved in a lawsuit will have extreme motivation to vindicate him or herself or prove a legal point. While self-representation requires a person to take on a serious burden of research, responsibility, and action, he or she may be in the best position to do so.

Divorce is one of the most common types of cases where pro per representation is favored. If couples are able to work out an equitable division of assets and responsibilities, they can both avoid the considerable expense of a lawyer. Of course, in order for this to work, a couple must be willing to get around the emotionally charged situation of the divorce itself, but self-representation can be an excellent option for those who can handle a cordial division.

One of the largest downsides to pro per representation is that the law is often complex and far out of the realm of expertise of the principal parties. While certain issues, such as divorce laws, may be fairly simple to understand, many legal areas involve decades of complex legislation, conflicting case precedent, and complicated filing and paperwork requirements. The benefit of a professional lawyer's experience in similar cases may far outweigh the potential monetary costs.

Another major problem with self-representation is a misunderstanding of the court's duty. Judges are usually strongly encouraged to adhere to the law and legal precedent, which is not always identical to the ideals of common sense or fairness. A person representing himself may be naturally inclined to argue for the way the law should be for fairness' sake, but most legal cases require the judge to determine the outcome based on the law as it stands. Self-representation requires a person to leave behind subjective feelings of fairness and build a case based on the laws, which may be difficult for many to accomplish.

MyLawQuestions is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis , Writer
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for MyLawQuestions. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

Discussion Comments

By anon192717 — On Jul 02, 2011

Defendant has financially destroyed Plaintiff (owner of home) and six months and has been going to court with an eviction attorney. Now the question is which I can not find an answer for: he wants to go pro per but has trouble talking and wants me to read it to the court. Can I do that?

Jessica Ellis

Jessica Ellis

Writer

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
Learn more
MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

MyLawQuestions, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.