Monday, February 25, 2008

Law Libraries Offer Pro Se' Litigants A Place to Learn

It takes a lot of money to hire an attorney. More and more people are handling their own legal matters creating a greater need for access to legal information. A long standing, but not so well known secret is the local county law library.

The Sacramento County Public Law Library (founded in 1891) is housed in the former Hall of Justice Building at 813 Sixth Street, in downtown Sacramento (near the entrance of the State Capital). Newly renovated, available resources include law books, legal software, and a self-help room with books in English and Spanish. Free internet access and computers are also available. The library also offers private meeting rooms.
You can bring in a disk or USB drive and take home forms and other sample documents. Large work tables accommodate projects and you may avail yourself of the copy room complete with office supplies and typewriters. There is even a small table set up with children’s books to keep the little ones busy while you work. The library also employs research librarians and offers workshops such as legal research to help people.
The Sacramento County Superior Court, VSLP and other referring agencies who offer legal advice services to pro se' litigants, utilize a prescription type form with adequate room for information to be written down. The librarians and the clerks call the time and space between leaving a referring agency and arriving at the desk of a law librarian "The Sea of Forgetfulness" due to the frequency in which people confuse or forget what they were told to ask the librarian. Together, the court, with its referring agencies and the law library are working to bring legal access to consumers.

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