We’re all taught from a very young age that the law is designed to protect us, so much so that many who find themselves in legal snafus are unwilling to accept legal advice. Statistics are hard to come by, but a 2017 Buzzfeed News exposé revealed that a court unit designed to support people without a lawyer experienced an explosive 520% increase in cases between 2011 and 2017.
You might think it won’t happen to you, but with government court statistics showing 4.2 million cases entered the UK court system in 2019/20 and 640,000 people arrested by the police in 2019/20, legally going it alone is a choice many of us will face. Here’s why professional legal counsel makes more sense.
They know the law better than you
The most critical difference between your ability to legally represent yourself and your lawyer is that they are professionally trained – often for many years – and have a huge volume of experience to hand.
Legal cases are complex. Even common personal injury claims can involve interviews, research, and other difficult considerations which take a significant amount of time to find and understand, even for an expert. Without any experience, you could find yourself getting confused and ultimately doom your case.
They can offer guidance
Solicitors know how different types of court case progress, and the administrative requirements at each stage of the case. They also understand the things you can do to improve your standing within the case. All of these insights are incredibly valuable, but if you represent yourself, then you simply won’t have access to them.
It can save you money in the long run
If your case has a financial element, such as a fine, your finances rest on success. Yes, representing yourself will mean that you don’t pay legal fees (although you may have court fees to pay regardless), but the price of losing pay cost you much more.
They have resources you could never have access to
If you represent yourself, you are very much alone in court. Yes, you might know a lawyer or be able to call on limited sources of information, but professional lawyers have networks of expertise they can call upon. From other experts in their practice to legal contacts elsewhere in the industry, all the way to legal publications that are costly to access, they are able to access gated expertise that will win your case.
It’s understandable that many people consider representing themselves in court – after all, legal fees can be considerable – but the overall costs of failure, value of expertise, and rich amount of guidance they can offer you are, combined, truly priceless. Would you represent yourself? Let us know in the comments section.