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Process Options - Pro Se Assistance

For a variety of reasons, people sometimes decide to proceed with a family law matter such as a divorce or post-judgment motion to review child support without retaining an attorney to represent them.  In the legal profession, that is referred to as proceeding "pro se," which is a Latin phrase that literally translated means "for myself."

If you have chosen to proceed with your family law case without an attorney, but would like to obtain at least some assistance to make sure that you are handling things properly, we offer a service that may be helpful to you.  We refer to this service as "Pro Se Assistance."  This form of service involves a form of what is sometimes referred to as limited representation, because it does not involve the full range and scope of services which attorneys have typically provided when representing a client in the traditional, "full representation" model. We prefer to use the term "pro se assistance" because we believe it more accurately describes the nature of the relationship involved.

Pro Se Assistance means that, at your request, you will be representing yourself and will therefore maintain full responsibility for your own case.  We will not appear formally as your attorney of record, and we will not assume responsibility for your case.  Our services to you will consist of, and will be strictly limited to, only those specific services we agree to when you retain us.  Most commonly, that involves one comprehensive office conference in which we walk through the plan you have developed for your case together, making sure that you have all the relevant bases covered and all the information and resources you feel you need to complete the case.  Thereafter, we are available for a period of up to one year for any follow-up questions or clarifications which you may need, typically by phone or e-mail.

Since the scope of our obligation is defined and limited by the nature of the Pro Se Assistance agreement, we are able to offer these services for a relatively modest, non-refundable flat (or fixed) fee.  Clients often prefer that kind of arrangement.

It should be noted that representing yourself in a family law matter involves a significant amount of risk.  We do not necessarily recommend doing so, and in some cases may not be able to agree to provide the form of service described here.  Even if you should retain us for this form of assistance, though, that does not preclude requesting additional help if you do eventually decide that you are in over your head.

For more information about the Pro Se Assistance option, please contact us.