The Lawyers in Libraries program is designed to inform library staff, members and patrons of the many free resources available online for researching and resolving legal matters. Lawyers and librarians have joined forces to make this vital information available in an understandable and usable format.
The attorneys are meeting and speaking with citizens in one-hour presentations. During the presentation, the attorneys describe on-line resources for: legal information, electronic filing and monitoring of cases, where to locate pro se forms, and how to find an attorney.
Some pro bono attorneys are also providing the librarians with training on the available legal resources and on how to avoid the unlicensed practice of law.
Florida Legal Services has prepared the presentation materials, legal resource lists and program brochures for use during the presentations and for future use and reference with patrons.
These Northeast Florida librarians and libraries have been involved in the effort to date (more presentations are being scheduled): Dan Markus, Bartam Trail; Valerie Mull and Mikki Sampson, St. Augustine, Main Library; Cheryl Hirschi, Southeast; Lisa Buggs and Laura Minnich, Jacksonville, Main Library; Carol Forbes, Duval County Courthouse; Theresa Rooney, University Park; Susan Arthur, West Regional; Lynn Baldwin, Mandarin; Gloria Buenavista, Bradham and Brooks; Jessica Serrano, Charles Webb-Wesconnett Regional; Ann Fridl, Highlands; Kathleen Bruner, Willowbranch; Allison McCarty, Callahan; and Rosemary Rszczygiel, Hilliard.
The librarians are joined by these pro bono attorneys who are conducting presentations both to library staff and library patrons: Monica Lenoci, Larry Griggs, Rusty Collins, B.J. Taylor, Imani Boykin, Deborah Reid, Peter Stroumbelis, David Milton, Bram Scharf, Jamie Karpman, LaVerne Andreasen, LaToya Williams, Kelly Usery, Rob Ellis, Chardea Murray and Steve Fahlgren.
The American Bar Association's Celebrate Pro Bono Week was Oct. 20-26. Lawyers in Libraries is a new program that was launched during Celebrate Pro Bono week. In Northeast Florida it will be an ongoing program and additional presentations will be scheduled.
Lawyers in Libraries is sponsored by Florida Legal Services Inc., The Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Service of The Florida Bar, The One Campaign, the Florida Pro Bono Coordinators Association, the Florida Library Association and the Florida Division of Library and Information Services.
The effort in Northeast Florida is facilitated by the pro bono coordinators of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and Three Rivers Legal Services, Kathy Para and Chardea Murray.
Attorneys and librarians are encouraged to contact Para or Murray to indicate their interest in participating in Lawyers in Libraries (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com).
From St. Augustine to Callahan and all points in between, attorneys are joining with librarians in Northeast Florida to provide education to library staff and patrons.