Date of this Version
People come to the courts about a wide variety of problems and disputes. Although this has always been the case, in recent years the court system has become the branch of government in which people deal with an ever broader variety of issues and concerns. And the people who bring their problems to court have themselves become increasingly diverse in terms of their ethnic and social backgrounds. In addition, more and more of these people choose to represent themselves, rather than acting through lawyers. Finally, these changes are occurring in an environment in which people have generally lower levels of trust and confidence in all forms of governmental authority. All of these trends pose a challenge for the courts.