Can a Little Representation Be a Dangerous Thing?
22 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2016 Last revised: 2 Jul 2016
Date Written: March 7, 2016
Access to justice interventions that provide a little representation, including nonlawyer representation and various forms of limited legal services, may be valuable solutions for low- and middle-income Americans. However, a thoughtful approach to improving access to justice efforts should recognize that a little representation may have risks. In particular, one potential risk of a little representation is that while it provides assistance with a discrete legal need in a specific moment, the nature of the assistance is incompatible with challenging the law. As a result, individual litigants do not have the benefit of legal challenges in their own cases and our legal system develops devoid of law reform that reflects the needs of low- and middle-income litigants.
Keywords: access to justice, empirical, legal services, poverty law, legal representation, expertise, professional expertise, law reform
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K23, K40, K41, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation