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The Legal Services Corporation recently highlighted their 2016 Library Initiative White Paper. The article points out that

“[t]here are more than 16,000 public libraries in the United States, offering free public access to computers, the internet, and to trained staff equipped to help library patrons access information.

Therefore, libraries have untapped potential to help low-income individuals who need assistance with civil legal problems. With the proper training and support, librarians could provide information to a significant number of Americans who quality for LSC-funded legal aid but are turned away due to a lack of resources.”

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The Oregonian’s 4-part series (starting 2/22/19) on money in Oregon politics:

Polluted by Money: How corporate cash corrupted one of the greenest states in America:

Part One of Four was published on Feb. 22, 2019.

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A Layperson’s Guide to Legal Research and Self-Help Law Books,” by Kendall Svengalis (author and publisher of the extraordinary and invaluable “Legal Information Buyer’s Guide & Reference Manual,” which has been published annually since 1996).

From the publisher NE Law Press website, “A Layperson’s Guide …”:

“Unlike previous bibliographies of self-help law books, this book adopts a new approach. Each subject-specific bibliography is prefaced by commentary on the nature of the law of that field, together with links to online sources for further information, including legal research guides. The intent is to give laypersons some broader context in which to comprehend the nature of the specialty of their concern.

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Meet and listen to Multnomah County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Steven Bushong talk and answer questions about the Rule of Law and the work of the judicial branch of American government.

National Judicial Outreach Week Event

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

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The Psilocybin Service Initiative of Oregon is expected to appear on the 2020 general election ballot.

(If you want to know more about psilocybin, read Michael Pollan’s 2018 book, “How to change your mind.” See also books about LSD microdosing (e.g. Ayelet Waldman’s 2017 “A really good day.”) Compare with Jill Bolte Taylor’s 2006 book (and her TED talk), “My Stroke of Insight,” and her description of how the world looked from her right brain (while her left brain was incapacitated due to a massive stroke.) There is also the Psilocybin Wikipedia page and the Denver, CO, psilocybin ballot measure.)

You can also read the full text of the Psilocybin Service Initiative of Oregon LC (legislative concept) at the Initiatives, Referendums and Referrals database (from the Oregon Secretary of State, Voting and Election website).

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Please do your research before despairing, screaming, and especially before signing anything or saying anything to collection agencies. (Yikes). In the latter situation, the rule is, Say Nothing (but take detailed notes), until you talk to a professional. What you say to a debt collector CAN be held against you. Look for trustworthy sources of student debt information and even then, double and triple check on the accuracy of the advice given.

Remember what Winston Churchill said about trusting and verifying.

1) Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC): “The Student Borrower Protection Center is a nonprofit organization solely focused on alleviating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. The SBPC engages in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance economic opportunity for the next generation of students.”

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Scroll down if you want to skip this intro and go right to the book’s bibliographic info.

The first article I wrote as a new law librarian (I’m now retired!) was on the difference between the meaning of “primary source”  when researching history and the meaning of “primary source” when researching the law. (Yes, there is overlap, but it’s important to understand the distinction so you don’t confuse your readers or your students.)

Then as now, the practice of law librarianship was the practice of Learning New Things Every Day. (That is also why I started this Oregon Legal Research blog when I moved to Oregon, after more than a decade teaching and learning about federal law resources. I could call this blog, What I Learned Today About Oregon Legal Research, but brevity is king and queen in the blogger-space – at least it’s aspirational, ahem.)

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If you are not a licensed Oregon attorney and you need to perform thorough legal research (vs “googling a legal problem,” yikes), you have free access to some of the same legal research databases that Oregon attorneys use: Fastcase is one of them and you have remote access to it through your State of Oregon Law Library (SOLL). (Check out their Blog while you’re at the SOLL website.)

You also have free access to NOLO (formerly Nolo Press) databases through the SOLL.

Remember, Google isn’t enough when you have to appear without an attorney before a judge. I recommend consulting an attorney* or a professional law librarian**, but not everyone (or even most) has access to either, let alone both.

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Happy U.S. Constitution Day! There must be a cocktail you can drink to toast the U.S. Constitution, its origins, and improvements (yes, the founders knew the U.S. Constitution would need to be modernized, through – amendments!).