Did You Know? – Lawyers in the Library

Did you know that 4.3 million people in California come to court without an attorney each year. Seventy-five percent of people in civil cases are unrepresented. In 90% of family law cases, at least one party does not have a lawyer and in 90% of eviction cases, the tenants have no counsel. (Source: Bonnie Hough, Managing Attorney for the California Judicial Council’s Access to Justice Programs). That is a lot of people navigating the legal system without any legal training or help.

Want to help? One afternoon per month, at the Richmond and Martinez Public Law Libraries, you have a chance to help self represented litigants. “Lawyers in the Library” is a program that puts attorneys in the public law libraries to provide legal information to those who need it. It does not create an attorney-client relationship and you are not giving specific legal advice. A common use of the clinic is a request that the attorney check paperwork that the attendee has completed. Sometimes it becomes clear that the case is much too complicated to navigate without an attorney and the attendee is directed to the CCCBA’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service, legal workshops or the Moderate Means Program.

“Lawyers in the Library” is a great way to help people navigate the legal system and is a great way to give back. It helps the participants to be more prepared and confident, and in doing so, it helps our courts. If you are interested in helping, please email Carey Rowan at [email protected] or call her at the CCC Public Law Library at (925) 646-2783.

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