“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.
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.”
“What can you do when the wheels of justice don’t turn fast enough? Or when they don’t turn at all? Vivek Maru is working to transform the relationship between people and law, turning law from an abstraction or threat into something that everyone can understand, use and shape. Instead of relying solely on lawyers, Maru started a global network of community paralegals, or barefoot lawyers, who serve in their own communities and break the law down into simple terms to help people find solutions….” [Link to Vivek Maru’s TED Talk Reading List, and link to more TED Talks on justice, law, and crime.]
PUGS (Portland Underground Graduate School) offers this November 2016 class – and many others:
LEARN THE BASICS OF CRIMINAL LAW IN THIS 4-WEEK MINI-LAW SCHOOL COURSE. YOU’LL LEARN HOW TO BRIEF A CASE, EXPERIENCE THE FAMOUS “SOCRATIC METHOD” & GET AN UNDERSTANDING HOW THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM REALLY WORKS. “
This is a short list of guides and gateways to Oregon self-help litigant and legal information resources. You can drill down into any of these websites and find many more legal resources:
This seems to be a relevant post for us here at the Oregon Legal Research Blog given the most recent statewide and local Oregon difficulties (to put it mildly) public officials are having with the true meaning and spirit of our Public Records Laws. (And remember the 2006 Multnomah County Auditor’s report on eliminating barriers to access to public records? There are many more of those, er, aspirational public records proclamations, where that came from, local and statewide. Sigh.) (By the way, Auditor or “accountability” reports at many levels of government are a great research resource.)
These particular Massachusetts’ guidelines start off with this statement of their:
Every public law librarian will recognize that sad tale told by, no, not an idiot, but quite the opposite: a Professional Law Librarian!
Lesson: Unless you’re willing to do ALL the research the law requires, ALL ALL ALL of it, don’t come crying to us (even from the grave). We don’t like to say “I told you so,” but gosh darn-it I will say it if you ignore me when I recommend, strongly, with or without a sigh, that you talk to a lawyer.