Note, I did not say a “good” lawyer.
“Free” Jailhouse Lawyers end up costing more than you would guess. Logically, the Bar Association is a state-protected guild, so no matter what happens in court, “The House Always Wins“.
A great lawyer or team of lawyers doesn’t ensure victory. Madoff, Olmert, Katzav, Ramon, and others had great lawyers, too, and they still went to jail. However, you must have quality representation, not freebies. When one side has a real lawyer, and the other side has special, “loving and caring” non-profit amateurs, the result is usually foreknown.
One overlooked reason for this bias is the judge himself is always a lawyer. When the judge sees you haven’t spent enough for a high-class lawyer, your refusal to value his prior/present craft offends his sensitive feelings, so he gets even.