The way we approach litigation says a lot about our odds in court. If it’s not ideal, the good news is that we can change. Yes, there are types of pro se litigants, defined by skill, emotion and personality. Discover your type to highlight your weaknesses and boost your chances of success.
Those of us involved in litigation experience the full gamut of emotions, from guilt and shame at the financial issues that may have caused it to exhilaration at a tactical win or ultimate victory. We must learn to set our emotions aside and focus on winning.
Feeling vulnerable is something you never quite get used to as a pro se litigant, even though it happens every time you represent yourself in court. There are really only two ways to handle it. You overcompensate for your lack of confidence with a false bravado that ultimately drains your power. Or you acknowledge your vulnerability and develop an authentic confidence that makes you stronger in court.
Legal advice websites are everywhere, and we make good use of them. But lawyers can’t tell pro se litigants how to win in court. They can only tell us how THEY win in court. We’re forced to play by a different set of rules.
Only experienced pro se litigants can teach others how a pro se litigant fights and wins. So the next time a lawyer promises to teach you how to win in court, ask when they last appeared before a judge without a law degree.