The number of pro se litigants making their way into the courtroom is climbing.
As Illinois 7th Circuit Judge, Hon. Diane P. Wood puts it, “the increase in the costs of litigation, the decline in funding for legal services for low-income individuals, and the emergence of a “do-it-yourself” culture spawned in part by the availability of legal information and forms on the internet”, it’s not a surprise that many people are representing themselves in court these days.
From the outside looking in, it’s not as easy as it appears. With no prior experience in this type of setting, pro se litigants might need a few pointers for what to expect when they walk through the door. Well, at least that was the mindset of a few law professors at Northeastern University School of Law who developed a free online video game for self-represented litigants this year.
RePresent simulates a number of aspects of a real-life legal proceeding for pro se litigants in the form of an interactive game so they can apply what they learn in practice.
The online video game features the main character “Mr. Player” who the user will direct to go through the court process. Players will be given options via a decision tree that provides them with basic courtroom information and facts (like where to file paperwork; how to introduce evidence; what to call the judge; etc.) that builds confidence in Mr. Player, so he can successfully represent himself in court.
RePresent was created to specifically assist pro se litigants in Connecticut, but much of the knowledge acquired can be applied to courtrooms across the nation.
Want to check out the game yourself? You can do so here, and guess what – it’s free.