It is a real problem, sometimes, attempting to pursue an action in family court as a self represented party, because, after all, what do we pro se's know! However, it is equally difficult having to pursue an action in family court as a lawyer representing a client, because, again, what do lawyers know! Ok, I'm just trying to be funny!
But maybe not really. One of the things that really struck me when I was going through the worst of my divorce is how little lawyers knew. My guess is the reason why this is so is because while law school provides students with a general overview of what the laws are and how to conduct themselves in court, there is still a whole lot of information out there that lawyers just don't learn in law school.
That is why there are companies out there such as The National Business Institute (NBI). Founded in 1983, The National Business Institute is a for profit business that provides a broad based legal education to lawyers on the practical aspects of the various fields of law, including our favorite, family law. This means that you can sign up with NBI for all day seminars on various aspects of the law and the practice of the law, such as how to prepare and present evidence for trial, strategies for using an expert witness, how to conduct a cross examination, how to prepare for trial, all at the very inexpensive price of $350.00 or so per seminar.
In addition, NBI also provides state specific teleconferences which you can participate in, webcasts, MP3 downloads, downloadable course books, etc., etc., all for relatively inexpensive prices, given how much it would cost your own lawyer to convey all that information to you. The live seminars are available all over the United States and are tailored to the requirements of the particular state that you live in. For a self represented party, there isn't any subject matter that you need addressed which isn't covered in one of NBI's seminars.
The big advantage of the National Business Institute is that it hires highly respected lawyers in your local area to make presentations and the people who come to take the courses are also many of the highly respected lawyers in your local area. This means that you will be shoulder to shoulder with the very people whom you will be facing in court and you can meet them on a casual basis, speak to them informally and get to know them. Frequently, there are opportunities for networking available at the seminars and you can get recommendations and referrals from people.
Also, these seminars can provide you with practical information about the practice of the law which you yourself can use when you get to court, or else you can take the information your receive and use it to guide the lawyer who is representing you. I literally saved myself thousands and thousands of dollars by participating in NBI seminars just obtaining inside information regarding how the law works in the State of Connecticut.
And again, don't underestimate the importance of using the internet to connect with NBI for teleconferencing and the webcasts, and take advantage of the opportunity to download some of the course materials. I've definitely benefited from doing that kind of thing as well.
The URL for The National Business Institute is:
You can also contact them at 800-930-6182 or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Its customer service hours are Monday - Friday, 7:00a.m. to 5:30p.m. central time.
And, by the way, I do not get paid for this kind of endorsement. I only let you know what worked for me. Do what you like with the information.