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Representing Yourself

You have the right to go to court without a lawyer.

Some people can’t afford to hire a lawyer; others decide they would rather handle their legal problem on their own. Persons who pursue a legal matter on their own in court, without a lawyer representing them, are described as proceeding pro se. Pro se litigants are subject to the same rules of law and evidence as litigants represented by attorneys.

Court staff can provide you with information about the court process and forms, but they are prohibited from giving substantive legal advice. Contact the clerk’s office in the court nearest you to find out if information or forms are available for people who decide to pursue a legal matter pro se.

Consider Using a Mediator

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) helps people resolve their disputes informally, without going to trial. ADR allows you to talk about the issues that matter the most to you, and can often save you time and money. If you are interested in learning more about ADR, and to see if ADR is a good fit for your case, please visit the Office of Mediation and Arbitration website.

When You Want Limited Legal Help

Court Rules in New Hampshire also provide that litigants can hire an attorney to represent them on a limited basis for part of a legal case. This process is known as “unbundled services” or “limited scope representation” can save money and speed up the effort to resolve a case. For example, a lawyer can be hired to do some or all of the following:

  • Review court papers and give you advice
  • Draft a motion or other papers
  • Represent you at a court hearing
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New Hampshire Legal Aid

New Hampshire Legal Aid

New Hampshire Legal Aid gives free legal services to people who qualify. If you do not qualify, you may be able to get a lawyer for a reduced-fee or a lawyer who can help you with parts of your case. See New Hampshire Legal Aid for more information.