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Benjamin Scharps Prize Paper I. Ayres, D. Grewal, J. Resnik Best paper by a third-year student


Limited-scope representation is on the rise, but it has been questioned: Is it ethical? Does it impose unreasonable delays on the court or other parties? And, most fundamentally, does it work—can a few hours’ assistance change the arc of a case?

This Note evaluates limited-scope representation, with a focus on whether it works, by examining the Attorney for Short Calendar program (“ASC”), a program run by the Mortgage Foreclosure Litigation Clinic at Yale Law School. ASC clients are homeowners defending against foreclosure; ASC volunteers (law students, faculty, and attorneys from the Connecticut Fair Housing Center) advise them and represent them in court for that day’s motions. To measure the efficacy of ASC, I compared outcomes for ASC clients and pro se homeowners—both that day’s orders and the eventual resolution of each case. I studied case files for more than a thousand foreclosure-related interactions from October 2015 through January 2017, including all such interactions in New Haven Superior Court at which a defendant appeared pro se or with limited-scope counsel, and I conclude that limited-scope representation at ASC was effective.

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