Legal Reference


Though legal issues can feel intimidating for library staff, public libraries are well positioned to help patrons with civil legal questions by providing more access points to legal information and services. A wide range of resources and examples are available to help support library staff in both connecting with local and regional experts, and developing their own skills in answering these essential reference questions.

In partnership with the Legal Services Corporation, WebJunction offers learning opportunities and resources for library staff to support the civil legal needs of patrons through the Improving Access to Civil Legal Justice through Public Libraries inititative. Key resources developed for supporting patron civil legal needs include:

Most Recently Added

Libraries at the Disaster Preparedness Table

Publish Date: News / 3 August 2022

Libraries have an important role to play in disaster response planning, and their contributions are welcomed at community disaster preparedness exercises. Building on its Creating Pathways to Civil Legal Justice foundational course series, WebJunctio...

How to Run an Expungement Clinic at Your Library

Publish Date: News / 28 June 2022

Staff at the Worcester County Library (MD) were offering workforce development services for their community when they learned how many patrons encounter roadblocks due to their previous criminal history. Staff also knew that expungement–the process b...

Legal Expungement Assistance by State

Publish Date: News / 20 June 2022

This list of Legal Services by state is a starting point for partnering with a legal service that offers pro bono expungement work, or can refer patrons to someone who does, and is willing to meet virtually.

New Justice Gap Study Confirms Problem Persists

Publish Date: News / 10 May 2022

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) released a far-reaching new report on the crisis in civil legal aid, The Justice Gap: The Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans, in April 2022.

Libraries Learn from Eviction Focus

Publish Date: News / 8 February 2022

As a continuation of the Improving Access to Civil Legal Justice initiative, WebJunction focused on the eviction crisis, developing resources that strengthen library staff’s ability to respond to eviction questions with confidence and help close the ...