Civil Legal Justice: The Crucial Role of Libraries
In this webinar, learn about the ways public libraries can address the justice gap, connecting people with information as they navigate the complexities of the legal system.
This event has passed.
The lofty U.S. ideal of "justice for all" fails the equity test because many people, especially our nation’s poorest individuals, fall into the "justice gap"—the divide between the civil legal needs of low-income people and the resources to meet those needs. Many of your community members who instinctively turn to the library for help with crises in their lives might be on the verge of falling into this gap. Though legal issues can be intimidating for library staff, public libraries are well positioned to help reduce the justice gap. Join us to learn about the status of civil legal justice in our system and about the vital role you can play in connecting people with information and supporting them as they navigate the complexities of the legal system. Law librarian Catherine McGuire, who has conducted extensive trainings with public libraries, will share insights into interacting with patrons who approach the library with civil legal needs. With a basic understanding of the civil legal justice landscape, we hope you will be motivated to plunge deeper into helping close the justice gap by taking the live, multi-week online course to be offered in April.
Presented by: Catherine McGuire, Head of Reference and Outreach, Thurgood Marshall State Law Library, Maryland; Luis Interiano, Reference Librarian, West Baton Rouge Library, Port Allen, Louisiana; and Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager, OCLC
WebJunction and the nonprofit organization Legal Services Corporation have partnered to design and deliver free, national online training for public library staff that will strengthen access to civil legal justice through public libraries.
- View Webinar Recording (You will be prompted to login to our free Course Catalog.)
- Improving Access to Civil Legal Justice through Public Libraries, project page
- Instructor-led course, Creating Pathways to Civil Legal Justice. Enrollment is now closed for the instructor-led online training; look for a self-paced version of the course coming this fall, and next spring, an instructor-led facilitator training that will prepare library staff to guide peer learning groups through the self-paced course.
- Justice Gap Report: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans, LSC, June 2017
- Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
- Baton Rouge Bar Association
- Louisiana State Bar Association
- Read more about Luis' experience in, Legal Reference at the Library—Building Skill Through Practice
- Shared in chat
- Nationwide resource for court forms and info www.lawhelp.org, including Law Help Interactive, a map to find what's available in your state
- Here are a few states' resources shared:
- Washington washingtonlawhelp.org
- Michigan michiganlegalhelp.org
- New York lawhelpny.org and nycourts.gov/courthelp
- New York, LIFT (Legal Information for Families Today) operates a helpline and programs that give free family law information, and legal advice, for Family Court matters happening in New York state.
- Texas texaslawhelp.org
- Ohio ohiolegalhelp.org
- North Carolina legalaidnc.org
- Massachusetts masslegalhelp.org and Massachusetts Law About
- New Hampshire nhlegalaid.org
- Pennsylvania palawhelp.org and PAsafelaw.org
- Oregon OregonLawHelp.org and the Oregon State Bar
- Self-Represented Litigation Network
- Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) including SRLN Brief: Law Library Ethics
- Celebrate Pro Bono (The 2020 National Celebration of Pro Bono takes place October 25-31)
- Center for Civic Education
- School House Rocks video, Three Ring Government
- NEA Civics Education
- AALL Guide to Evaluate Legal Information
- AALL Access to Legal Information
- NCompass Live is hosting a webinar on “Legal Research for Non-Lawyers and Librarians,” on Wednesday, February 12, 10:00am-11:00am CT
- LibGuide the Law Library of Louisiana maintains for self-represented litigants
- Law Library of Congress
11 February 2020
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Eastern Standard Time, North America [UTC -5]
Webinar presenter Catherine McGuire
Webinar presenter Luis Interiano
Webinar presenter Betha Gutsche
10 November 2020
19 November 2020