In today's fast-paced, automated environment lay persons often find it
easy to believe that legal matters can and should be handled in the same
"quick fix", "hurry up" manner as so many fast food
chains. In fact, there are several computer software packages and web
sites that tend to suggest "do-it-yourself-lawyering" is a reasonable
alternative to hiring an attorney. While there may be limited instances
where a lay person can handle a simple legal matter without professional
help, it would be wise to be very wary of "self-lawyering".
There are just too many pitfalls and traps that a lay person can be ensnared
by if (s)he attempts to bite off more than (s)he can chew.
There are very good reasons that lawyers are required to undergo years
of training and testing before they can represent people with legal problems.
The law is not an easy thing to understand. Often laws can be interpreted
in many different ways. A skilled lawyer is one who can convince a judge
or jury to interpret the laws in a certain fashion, or to apply facts
to the laws in a specific manner, that leads to a favorable resolution
for the client. Laws can also greatly differ from one state to the next,
further complicating matters. Further, the law is dynamic in nature. It
is always changing. New laws may be made or stricken by various legislatures
or they may be created through judicial interpretation, what is known
as "common law". It is very difficult for a lay person to know
the current status of various laws, let alone understand how to interpret
However, as complicated as the law may be, it is also important to understand
that it works. In fact, even though recent legal news events may have
led many to conclude that our legal system is in dire need of repair,
the truth is that the system works very well for the most part. Of course,
there is always room for improvement.
Just because there is room to improve does not mean that persons should
not take advantage of their rights to the legal system. Nor should anyone
feel embarrassed or ashamed to utilize the legal system to seek remedies
when they have been wronged. That is what the system was designed for.
Though it may not be a perfect system is certainly beats many of the alternatives.
So, if you have a legal problem be wary about handling it yourself. Do
not hesitate to find a lawyer to discuss the situation. Many lawyers will
offer a free first consultation so that you need not worry about paying
when there may not be a case to pursue. The law is for everyone.