(Every once in a while, “Represent Yourself – The DIY Lawyer Blog” will drop five of the best and most informative links on you here from around the blogosphere. We won’t necessarily order them in terms of quality and importance. Our goal is simply to drop the knowledge while it is hot; how you use it to make yourself a better advocate for yourself and what you believe in, is up to you.)
1. New York Times: This opinion piece, A Better Way To Teach Math by David Bornstein is the author of “How to Change the World,” is not exactly instructive on how to represent yourself in a court of law or how to conduct legal research, however, in explaining how almost anyone could learn to reach a college proficiency level in math, it reveals the same truths that apply to learning how to understand the law. Successful lawyers are not born. They are no “smarter” than the average Joe or Jill; they are bred with the advantage of having been mentored, parented, supported and provided opportunities that supported their individualized ability to learn. One day perhaps, when we are not perpetuating false differences in intellectual capacity, we will understand that the same principal that makes “Jump Math” so successful as a learning vehicle applies to teaching logic, legal research and the myriad of other aspects of law and legal practice: “make the subject matter relevant and “breaks [it] down to its component parts and builds it back up” repetitively until the principles are understood.
2. The News Gazette: The need for legal self-help aids is increasing nationally and some astonishing partnerships are developing to provide low- and no-cost help. Vermillion County in Illinois has responded to the increase of pro se litigants by starting a legal self-help website (http://vermilion.illinoislegalaid.org).
3. Community News.com: Although it will be open for only one full day a week, the opening of a legal help center in north Pinellas County, Florida is the third branch office in the county. The county’s award-winning services can be accessed on-line at their legal self-help website.
4. Legal Services of New Jersey: The Justice Gap Report details “The Shortfall in Essential Legal Aid for New Jerseyans Living in Poverty and the Necessary Steps to Secure Equal Justice.”
5. Business Insider: Many people become DIY Lawyers because they can’t afford legal services, but not all of them are “poor.” Legal services can be an extraordinary and unnecessary cost for business owners and wanna-bes too. Apparently, the founder of Viddy, a tech business raves about his decision to use the Founder’s Workbench to handle most of his start-up legal needs with minimum guidance from legal counsel.