Abraham Lincoln is broadly credited with a quotation that goes anything like this: “A male who represents himself has a fool for a customer.”

Regardless of that sage information, a developing number of people today across Indiana are showing up in courtroom every single day to characterize them selves. That trend is driven by any selection of motives — not the least of which is what some see as the prohibitive charge of legal services.

There’s “a huge demand from customers” for absolutely free or reduced-cost lawful products and services in the civil arena, said Chuck Dunlap, President & CEO of the Indiana Bar Foundation, which operates the education and referral site IndianaLegalHelp.org. The web-site had extra than 275,000 people past year.

“And a large amount of individuals,” he explained, “never know that they will need authorized support.”

The self illustration Lincoln warned in opposition to is known as “Professional Se,” which is Latin for something alongside the lines of in one’s have behalf. The tactic is most common in non-legal disputes over things this kind of as money, contracts, housing and family matters.

Hoosiers have a variety of places to turn for free and low-cost legal advice and assistance with civil matters involving issues such as housing, contracts and family law.

Not like legal proceedings where a decide can often assign a general public defender for people who can not afford an attorney, in civil cases there’s no guarantee of legal illustration. Not even for people who certainly are not able to afford to pay for to use a lawyer.

But that would not imply you have to go into courtroom with no lawful help — or, as Lincoln implied, being a foolish client. A variety of no cost or low-expense authorized solutions are readily available to Hoosiers. In some instances, that assistance may be confined to answering thoughts or assistance but some resources can also enable you in court docket.