Empirical Patterns of Pro Se Litigation in Federal District Courts
Pro se litigants face a number of challenges when bringing civil litigation. One potential solution to these challenges, endorsed by members of the judiciary and the legal academy, is pro se reform at the trial court level: offering special services to pro se litigants in order to help them successfully navigate the legal system. This
Comment offers the first publicly available empirical assessment of several pro se reform efforts thus far. The analysis shows that these pro se reforms have not succeeded in improving pro se litigants’ win rates at trial. This Comment thus suggests that, while pro se reforms likely have important merits, such as enabling a more thorough and dignified hearing process for pro se litigants, on average these reforms do not alter the final outcomes of the litigation process.