May 2015 Bar Bulletin
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Changes at the Public Law Library

 

The Public Law Library of King County is pleased to announce that Marc Lampson has joined the Public Law Library to serve as the library's first public services attorney. The newly created position is an innovative response to the ever-growing phenomenon of people representing themselves in legal proceedings.

Recent statistics from the King County Superior Court show that in 63 percent of general civil cases at least one party was not represented by a lawyer. In domestic or family law cases, the percentage climbed to 80 percent. In 91 percent of the landlord/tenant or eviction cases, only the landlord was represented by a lawyer. In 50 percent of family law cases, neither side was represented. This trend is typical throughout the United States, and law librarians have found that these unrepresented litigants frequently come to the law library for help.

As a result, a few law libraries in other states have developed self-help centers to provide their patrons with not only research assistance, but legal assistance as well. Similarly, Lampson's work at the law library will include both traditional library reference duties as well as providing limited legal assistance to those patrons who are representing themselves in legal proceedings in King County.

In about six months, we hope to establish a self-help center in the library to provide direct legal assistance for patrons and to coordinate further legal assistance through referrals, clinics, workshops and innovative online methods for the delivery of legal services.

Lampson has long been involved in Washington's access to justice community. He served as the director of the Unemployment Law Project for the past eight years and during that time served on many committees of the Access to Justice Board. He has worked as an attorney for the Washington Appellate Defender Association and the Institutions Project at Evergreen Legal Services. He received his master of library and information science degree, with a specialization in law librarianship, from the University of Washington's Information School and his law degree from Antioch School of Law.

Please welcome Lampson to the law library.

 

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