Timur Selimovic (J.D. '19)

Selimovic (J.D. ’19) Examines Programs for Self-Represented Litigants in Journal Article

Timur Selimovic (J.D. ’19) wrote “Court-Based Self Help Programs,” which outlines four programs developed to improve access to justice and make courts more user-friendly for self-represented litigants, for the Georgia Courts Journal, published by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).

The AOC selected Selimovic to draft the article based on his resume and writing sample he sent in response to the office’s request for a student author. He worked with AOC division director Cynthia Clanton and the Georgia State Law Center for Access to Justice to identify programs working particularly well in Georgia.

“The AOC, Center for Access to Justice and Georgia’s court system recognize the importance of courts working efficiently for all state citizens, especially low and middle-income citizens,” Selimovic said. “I did not have an academic interest in issues regarding access to justice prior to working with the AOC, but as a result of studying and writing on the topic I developed one. There are massive opportunities for leadership and innovation when it comes to working on behalf of self-represented litigants in Georgia, and as a law student that is exciting.”

In the article, Selimovic cited that Georgia courts heard approximately 800,000 cases involving self-represented litigants in 2016. He also included that Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice P. Harris Hines has made it a priority to improve the way courts assist self-represented litigants – recognizing that self-represented litigants without basic legal knowledge are more likely to lose in court and that they slow courts down.

Selimovic identified the Fulton County Family Law Information Center, Fulton County Probate Information Center, Gwinnett County Self-Help Pamphlet Series, and Cobb County Family Law Workshop as successful programs that offer self-represented litigants advice on various legal issues and help them better navigate the legal system.

Assistant Director of the Center for Access to Justice Darcy Meals and Associate Professor of Law Lauren Sudeall Lucas worked with Selimovic on the project and commended his efforts.

“Darcy and I were impressed with Timur’s enthusiasm, diligence and willingness to wholeheartedly throw himself into the project,” Lucas said. “He wrote a helpful article, and we hope he’ll be able to continue exploring self-help programs as a center fellow next year,”

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Law Jessica Gabel Cino also helped and was pleased to see Selimovic’s hard work pay off.

“It is very rare for a first-year law student to be published. It’s also fairly uncommon to be published outside of a law review article,” Cino said. “The fact that Timur found time to write publication quality work as a first-year is incredible. His publications demonstrate his work ethic, talent and commitment to the profession.”

The journal also published an article Selimovic wrote about the upcoming National Association of Women Judges conference.

Selimovic studied international affairs at George Washington University, but after spending three years interning for Squire Patton Boggs in Washington D.C., he decided law school would be an exciting challenge. His academic interests include litigation, public and private international law and tax law.

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