The Ins and Outs of Legal Resources

Jennifer Pickett, the Reference Librarian at the Brooks Free Library in Harwich MA, gives readers of Wicked Local some resources to check in regard to seeking legal advice (without giving legal advice).

In Massachusetts, she suggests starting at your own public library (in her case the Brooks Free Library), then checking the Barnstable Law Library and the website Mass Legal Help website. The Bar Association, like many state bars, also has a free referral service.

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National resources and an upcoming conference

Thanks for highlighting Jennifer's nice article and these resources. LISNews readers may also be interested in LawHelp.org, which links to statewide legal information websites, including MassLegalHelp.org, in every state. The content on each state site is provided by local nonprofit legal services providers.

On a related note, several national organizations that work in this arena are hosting a two-day conference in Austin in January on Public Libraries and Access to Justice. Participants will learn about online legal resources to serve patrons and how to develop partnerships between libraries and legal services organizations, among other topics. More information is available here:

http://www.selfhelpsupport.org/libraries/

Liz Keith, LawHelp.org Program Manager at Pro Bono Net

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