I believe that law libraries can serve as a portal or triage center for providing access to and assistance in working with the legal system.
Five years ago, the Board of Trustees of the Public Law Library of King County hosted a visioning session attended by 46 members of the legal community, representing 42 legal service providers, practicing attorneys, and related organizations and institutions.
Of our top 10 list, No. 1 is a recommendation to employ a staff attorney or volunteer to assist patrons and self-represented litigants with filling out court forms and answering general procedural questions. No. 2 recommends creating a one-stop shop to provide services targeted to assist the self-represented litigant, including facilitators, technical help and "law for the public" activities, and an "office away from the office" for attorneys, including conference rooms, video conferencing, computer space and meeting space.
I am proud to announce that the Law Library is taking a giant step toward implementing these goals. This February, the Board of Trustees voted to revise one of the Law Library's staff positions to recruit and hire a licensed law library staff attorney and reference librarian with the express purpose of building an Access to Justice Center in the Law Library. The first steps include defining the services to be provided, prepare procedures and policy statements, and create forms needed for the launching of an Access to Justice Center.
I am very pleased that the Law Library is now able to begin create this important service.
"This I Believe" was the title of a five-minute CBS Radio Network program hosted by Edward R. Murrow in 1952–55. It is also the name of an international organization, the title of books and lyrics, and the name of a popular NPR series.
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