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.]
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.
LAW LIBRARIES AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE, A Report of the American Association of Law Libraries, Special Committee on Access to Justice, July 2014
“AALL’s new white paper, Law Libraries and Access to Justice: A Report of the American Association of Law Libraries Special Committee on Access to Justice, is now available on AALLNET. The white paper is the work of AALL’s 2013-14 Access to Justice Special Committee, chaired by Sara Galligan, and explores how all types of law libraries – including private; state, court, and county; and academic – contribute to the ATJ movement.
As AALL Past President Steven P. Anderson noted in his introduction, “As the principal providers of legal information, law libraries are an indispensable part of the services that can be provided to those with legal needs. Law libraries make “The Law” available, and law librarians serve as guides to finding the most relevant legal information.” The white paper explains the myriad ways law libraries can contribute to the administration of an effective ATJ system and successfully work with others on the front lines of ATJ.” [Link to a PDF of the full Report.]
One of my (several) favorite Open Law Lab “images of law” is the blog post titled: Law for Normal People. It includes a graphic with this text that pretty much sums up everything that makes legal self-help center and public law library program management so confounding:
“People don’t want to talk to lawyers, but they really want legal advice.“ (See its original posting at the Stanford d. school blog, Whiteboard.) And read more about the lawyer / artist: Margaret Hagan.
Multnomah County has a job posting for a Library Safety and Security Manager.
If you think this is an easy job, or that libraries are places only for dull dogs, think again (and read Black Belt Librarians).
The Center: National Center for Access to Justice
The Conference: Equal Justice Conference (Portland, Oregon, April 30-May 3, 2014) (there is a Self-Represented Litigation Network Educational Program on Wednesday, April 30 (8:30am-5:30pm).)
The Index: Justice Index
The American Bar Association’s Equal Justice Conference (EJC) 2014 will be held in Portland, Oregon.
You may register for a pre-conference session for $75, without having to register for the entire EJC conference!
Among other EJC and pre-conference programs, there is one for Access to Justice (A2J) professionals, public law librarians, and those who are interested public law library or public library legal reference services and A2J (access to justice) issues:
If you are a public law librarian, a public law library trustee, or interested in pursuing a career in public law librarianship, here’s a great book and a book review:
“Public Law Librarianship: Objectives, Challenges, and Solutions,” by Laurie Selwyn and Virginia Eldridge. IGI Global, 2012, 281 pages.
We have a copy in our Law Library and your law library may have one, too.
Have you ever wondered about the questions public law librarians are asked? Have you ever thought that answers to lawyer and non-lawyer legal questions are “all online?”
The Oregon Special Law Library Association (ORSLA) asked the question. Read the answers (and a few samples below). Public law librarians around the country will recognize these:
“Report on Evolving Role of Law Libraries in the 21st Century,” by Richard Zorza
“Law libraries can continue to play an integral role in the courts and justice system in the 21st Century, but only if they change their orientation towards helping the public access the legal system. A new report released by Zorza & Associates today, titled “The Sustainable 21st Century Law Library: Vision, Deployment and Assessment for Access to Justice,” notes the vast changes to the law library landscape over the past twenty years and the potentially critical new role they can play as an access to justice resource for people without lawyers….” [Link to blog post and full text of report.]