The act of representing oneself, or proceeding pro se can be tricky, but it can be done. If you decide to act as your own attorney, make sure to do your homework. Preparing yourself and weighing the pros and cons of acting as your own attorney can make all the difference to your case. Saving money and being able to better represent yourself are two false benefits to acting as your own attorney.
There really are no real benefits to acting as your own attorney, but there are false benefits.
There are many consequences to representing yourself in any kind of legal matter. Take contracts, for instance. Although it may be costly for an attorney to look over a contract before you sign it, signing it without fully understanding the ramifications of what it contains can be disastrous. An example can be found in the recent film The Social Network, which is based on actual events. In it, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin signs a contract without his lawyer reviewing it first. In the end, it costs him about 20 percent of the company, recently valued at $50 billion.Unfortunately, there are many examples throughout history of people representing themselves where they did more harm to themselves than good. Colin Ferguson, the
Long Island Railroad Shooter,is probably one of the most recognizable examples of why representing yourself is not such a good idea.