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.
Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter & Alyx Mark,
Can a Little Representation Be a Dangerous Thing?,
Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 67, p. 1367, 2016; Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-15
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