Pro se is Latin for do-it-yourself.
Records show the number of Colorado family law cases without any attorney involved has increased by more than 60 percent over the last decade. Now a new Virtual Pro Se Clinic is available for people representing themselves in court proceedings.
"Sometimes hiring an attorney is just not an option for many reasons," said Elbert, Colo., attorney Ric Morgan. "This virtual project aims to help folks better understand the courts and our legal system when they don't have an attorney."
The Four Corners Bar association has partnered with local courts to present a series of free virtual legal clinics at the Mancos Public Library. The three-hour clinics are held on the second Thursday of the month starting this week at 4 p.m.
"For someone who doesn't have an attorney, sitting down one-on-one with an experienced attorney who can help explain the legal process and court procedures can be a big help, even if it's over a computer link," Morgan said.
By using computers, Morgan said the available pool of volunteer attorneys has increased, but warned that the service is limited on a first-come, first-served basis.
Attorneys are available to cover all civil issues including property law, probate issues, family law, landlord-tenant, foreclosures, collections, appeals, civil protection orders and other issues as well.
"This free clinic is information only, and is no substitute for legal representation," Morgan said. "Every clinic patron has the right to retain an attorney at any time, and they are each advised to do so."