My name is Bridgette Toy-Cronin and I'm a PhD Candidate at the University of Otago, Faculty of Law. I am looking for people in Auckland and Waikato to participate in a research study on the experience of self-represented litigants.

At the moment I am looking for people who are representing themselves (as plaintiff, defendant, applicant or respondent) in a case that is or will be:

• in the Family Court, District Court or High Court in Auckland or Hamilton;
• is not a criminal prosecution (i.e. the other party is not the Police);
• is ongoing, and preferably in its early stages.

If you agree to take part in this project, I will arrange to meet with you to talk about your case, why you want or need to be self-represented, and the successes or difficulties you are having in taking or defending your case without a lawyer’s help. I will ask you to contact me when you are about to take any major steps in your case (like going to Court). If possible, I will come with you to court and meetings and observe you running your case. You can e-mail or phone me when you want to share any new developments in your case. At the end of your case, or at an earlier point, I will ask you to meet me again to talk about your experience and offer any suggestions you have for improving the system to better serve self-represented litigants.

I will not be able to give any legal advice, but I will discuss your case with you and ask you questions which might help you clarify your strategy and goals. I can point you in the direction of people who might be able to help you. My research will take into account your opinion on how to improve the court system to better serve people who represent themselves.

If you are interested in participating in this study please contact Bridgette. Call or text: 022 315 5972; E-mail: or see the project website for more information:

This project is supported by the New Zealand Law Foundation (an independent charitable trust) and has been reviewed and approved by the University of Otago Human Ethics Committee, reference: 12/315 23 November 2012.