Articles Tagged with Legal self-help

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Visit Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites for a news update on limited license legal technicians, including a link to the Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors report:

“Three Notable Updates on Non-Lawyers Providing Legal Assistance,” by Robert Ambrogi, 3/2/15.

Link directly to the Oregon State Bar Task Force report on limited license legal technicians:

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King County (Seattle, Washington) Law Library: Position Announcement: Public Services Attorney (link to full job description)

Excerpt: “The Public Law Library of King County is proud to announce a new full-time, benefit position of Public Services Attorney with the Law Library. The candidate will not only work on as a part-time reference services librarian but will develop policies and procedures to create an Access to Justice Center in the Law Library. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of three years of practice and an active membership with the Washington State Bar Association. A master’s degree in library science and family law experience (or other areas that are commonly needed by a self-represented litigant) are preferred….[Link to article.]

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Please do not be penny wise, pound foolish. Please! Public law librarians see these 2 things every day, day after day, week after week, month after ….:

1) Unrepresented litigants who have an expensive legal mess to clean up (IF it can be cleaned up) because they thought legal self-representation, without ever consulting a lawyer at all, was a good idea.

2) Lawyers who are, at great expense, representing people who thought the law was “all online” or DIY. It’s not, no matter what anyone tries to tell you.

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Read this interesting blog post and discussion (in the Comments).

Future Fridays: Hey, ABA – Why Do Solos and Smalls Bear the Burden of Access to Justice? By Carolyn Elefant, at MyShingle, November 7, 2014.

And this one:

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Commission on the Future of Legal Services website and report.

Background: Easy access to affordable legal services is critical in a society based on the rule of law. Yet our courts are seriously underfunded. Legal proceedings are growing more expensive, time-consuming, and complex. Many who need legal advice cannot afford to hire a lawyer and are forced to represent themselves….” [Link to website and report.]

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You can read the Multnomah Law Library Report at the PSU CPS website:

This report reviews the current operations of the Multnomah Law Library and makes recommendations, based on best practices, for ways to restructure the Multnomah Law Library into a self-help center to better serve pro se litigants.”

The report’s full title: “Building the 21st Century Legal Resource Center and Law Library: A Report on the Current Status of the Multnomah County’s Law Library and Recommendations for Addressing the Needs of Current Patrons”

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Too many shut out of justice, ABA president says:

Wlliam C. Hubbard, president of the American Bar Association, calls it “the justice gap.”

Deep down, all Americans believe they have a right to their day in court. They probably don’t envision that might mean a day in court with no lawyer on hand to guide them through it. But that’s the reality for an increasing number of people, perhaps one reason the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index ranks the United States only 19th out of 99 countries on access to justice ….” [Link to full article.]

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Legal Research is Easy is still one of my favorite blogs. (And I can only dream about working as a law librarian in a state with so many official court forms, practice materials, and self-help resources. Sigh.)

The blog author has fun writing the blog, is smart, funny, profane and profound, doesn’t sweat the small stuff, and is brutally honest about what self-representation is all about and what public law librarians can do – and can’t do. And he cares. When a big heart meets a tough cookie, good things can happen. (And he doesn’t even hint at the amount of dedication and work (and money management) that is required to keep his legal research skills fresh or to create and maintain a law library with the breadth and quality of legal research materials needed to provide this level of service. Easy indeed! Not!)

Try it out: Legal Research is Easy.  You will learn from it, whether you’re a librarian or a self-represented litigant – or if you think you know what public law librarians and public law libraries do, but in fact have barely a clue.

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Our favorite and first-stop legal self-help website is Oregon Law Help.

If you need legal information and referrals on domestic violence, custody, child support, landlord-tenant, foreclosure, bankruptcy, taxes, wages and hours, employment discrimination, public benefits, immigration and workplace safety, elder law, estate planning, disability law, special education, or related topics, make Oregon Law Help one of your first stops on the Internet.

Your next stops might be 211 Info, your public library, and your public law library. And there’s more! But we’ll save those for another blog post.

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“…. A subtle, calculated business principle enabled by today’s electronic technology and increasingly used by businesses and government is to move work to customers….

From: NCSC’s “Multnomah County, Oregon, Circuit Court New Central Courthouse Planning and Space Programming Final Report,” August 2014

Context: “…. 1.2. Customer-Centric, Customer-Friendly Work Processes

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