[Libs-Or] Webinar on Civil Legal Justice: The Crucial Role of Libraries (Feb 11)

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Fri Jan 17 17:10:08 PST 2020


Register for Free WebJunction Webinar on Civil Legal Justice: The Crucial Role of Libraries

OCLC’s WebJunction will hold a free webinar on February 11, 2020 at 12:00 pm entitled Civil Legal Justice: The Crucial Role of Libraries<https://www.webjunction.org/events/webjunction/civil-legal-justice-the-crucial-role-of-libraries.html>, where participants will learn about the status of civil legal justice in our system, the vital role public libraries can play in reducing the justice gap, and about the live, multi-week course to be offered in April, which takes a deeper look at supporting people to navigate the complexities of the legal system. Register here<https://oclcwebinar.webex.com/mw3300/mywebex/default.do?nomenu=true&siteurl=oclcwebinar&service=6&rnd=0.7167866887076549&main_url=https%3A%2F%2Foclcwebinar.webex.com%2Fec3300%2Feventcenter%2Fevent%2FeventAction.do%3FtheAction%3Ddetail%26%26%26EMK%3D4832534b0000000460a388717acc6879983fed5e168fb7dbd62dba167d0ed6173fc8e992f1b23271%26siteurl%3Doclcwebinar%26confViewID%3D146379263729216974%26encryptTicket%3DSDJTSwAAAAQNz7SSlp7ButV4oY2V4P1fM1ueMmnLsUmYGEdSTwl9gw2%26> for the free webinar.

This webinar is part of Improving Access to Civil Legal Justice through Public Libraries<https://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/access-civil-legal-justice.html>, a national training initiative for public library staff offered by OCLC’s WebJunction and the nonprofit organization Legal Services Corporation<https://www.lsc.gov/> (LSC) to help strengthen access to civil legal justice.

Barriers to civil legal justice disproportionately affect low-income people in the U.S., creating the justice gap—the divide between the civil legal needs of low-income people and the resources to meet those needs. Though legal issues can be intimidating for library staff, public libraries are well positioned to help reduce this justice gap by providing more access points to legal information and services. Learn more at https://oc.lc/legal-justice

Registration for the April 2020 live course Creating Pathways to Civil Legal Justice will also open at the time of the February webinar. The course will include training topics on conducting the legal reference interview, most commonly addressed civil legal topics, and forming successful partnerships to improve access to civil legal justice for your patrons, among others.

More Resources
Below you will find stories profiling examples of the kind of work public libraries are already doing to close the justice gap and meet the civil legal needs of their community.

·         Minnesota State Law Library partners with Saint Paul Public Library to Promote Access to Justice<https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/minnesota-access-to-justice.html>

Law libraries can provide people with information, forms, and legal aid references to help them with their legal questions. Too often, however, people either don’t know that law libraries exist or may be intimidated to visit them, as law libraries are usually housed in government buildings behind security. By contrast, public libraries are central institutions frequented by community members, but public library staff may not have the specialized knowledge to confidently answer patrons’ pressing legal questions.

The Minnesota State Law Library<https://mn.gov/law-library/> (MSLL) has partnered with Saint Paul Public Library<https://sppl.org/> (SPPL) to create the Legal Reference at the Public Library program. This initiative combines the strengths of each—the specialized expertise of the law library with the accessibility of the public library—to connect more people facing legal issues with the help and support they need at their local public library.

·         Cyber Legal Clinics Create Access to Employment at Wicomico Public Libraries<https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/cyber-legal-clinics-create-access.html>

Free legal representation can be hard to access in rural communities and filing legal documents without representation can be costly and confusing. To improve access to civil legal justice for low-income community members, Wicomico Public Libraries<http://www.wicomicolibraries.org/> partnered with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service<https://mvlslaw.org/> to create the cyber legal clinic, “Legal Clinic @ YOUR Library.” Participants attend clinics in person at Wicomico Public Libraries (WPL) Downtown Branch and connect with Baltimore lawyers remotely using Google Hangouts to receive full civil legal representation free of charge.

·         Civil Legal Aid Program at the Cleveland public Library Meets Local Needs<https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/cleveland-libraries-legal-aid.html>

The Cleveland Public Library and The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland had been working in partnership for years, offering several legal aid workshops on general topics that were open to public. But Aaron Mason, the library’s Assistant Director, Outreach and Programming Services, saw an opportunity and a need to develop a more in-depth program.

The library expanded the partnership with Cleveland Legal Aid, and together they developed a budget, plan, and agreement to increase the library’s offering of free legal advice to patrons in-need. Today, there are 12-13 clinics per year offered in branches throughout the city, allowing the program to reach people from diverse racial and financial backgrounds, and it serves as one of the library’s top-performing services.

·         Lawyers in Libraries: Meeting Local Needs at the Jacksonville Public Library<https://www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/lawyers-in-libraries-jacksonville.html>

The Jacksonville Public Library partnered with two local legal aid organizations to provide Lawyers in Libraries workshops. Topics for workshops have included landlord or renter issues, custody and child support concerns, and other family issues.

Darci Hanning, MLIS
Public Library Consultant / CE Coordinator
darci.hanning at state.or.us<mailto:darci.hanning at state.or.us> | 503-378-2527| www.oregon.gov/library<https://www.oregon.gov/library>
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