Document Type


Publication Date



The newest version of problem-solving courts has scarcely reached adolescence. Many of these courts remain in the "model" stage, attempting to create a structure and vision that will have a transformative, systemic effect. Others, drug courts in particular, have proliferated across the country and are on the verge of going to scale in many states. Lawyers representing individual clients in these courts are struggling to identify, define and perform their professional duties, at the same time that the courts are being created. To understand why it is a struggle, we need to contextualize the lawyers' experiences: what is it about the creation of these courts, and the individual representation that follows, that causes lawyers to question whether they are providing ethical and effective representation to their clients?