A person who represents themselves in court without the help of a lawyer is said to appear pro per.
An abbreviation of the Latin phrase “in propria persona,” or “in their own person,” pro per refers to a circumstance when the litigant represents himself, without the assistance of a lawyer.
Criminal defendants are entitled to representation by counsel, as a result, a defendant has the option of forgoing legal representation in favor of representing themselves.
There are a number of situations in which pro bono representation is not permitted. The executor or personal representative of an estate who is not a lawyer cannot generally appear in court pro per, nor can corporations launch a class action suit.« Back to Glossary Index