Pro Se Clients Increase Use of Forms, Services

With unprecedented numbers of distressed litigants applying for free legal services, reaching out to lawyers for reduced fees, or representing themselves, the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission continues to work to help people who can't afford a lawyer. The Nashville Ledger explores the progress, including the recent data showing an increase of Tennessee attorneys doing free legal work, and the publication of the court's eight plain-language divorce forms. Anne-Louise Wirthlin, the court's Access to Justice Coordinator, says judges and court clerks are reporting an increase in people using the forms, and the ATJ Commission is in the process of developing plain-language forms for other situations.

The Nashville Pro Bono Program and attorneys from Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP are also involved in this effort, hosting monthly programs to explain self representation. The first is Aug. 7, from 5-7 p.m., at the Legal Aid Society’s downtown headquarters.