Thursday, January 23, 2014

All Access: Registration Open for The First Access to Justice Program For Law Librarians

Law Library Association of Maryland is sponsoring "All Access" the first access to justice program  for law librarians. According to Kate Martin of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County Law Library  the program will be  especially valuable for private law librarians by showing them a way to use A2J to raise their profile within their firms and support their firm’s pro bono efforts. A2J will also offers a way to give back to the community.
 
Martin stated that "A2J" seemed a natural fit for our LLAM biannual Legal Research Institute, which won the AALL award last year for its innovative programming."

 She also points out that there hasn’t been a symposium on A2J organized by and for librarians. There will be several tracks on A2J basics, practical hands-on advice and current issues in A2J. The venue at the University of Baltimore is brand-new and beautiful, convenient to the Baltimore train station, and less than two hours from Philadelphia and DC. The organizers are in the process of developing a webpage with all pertinent information regarding the conference. National A2J speakers are coming from Alaska, Montana, Minnesota, Utah and Atlanta.

 
Registration for this one-day event is $65. Registration has been kept low to encourage as many people as possible to attend.  They are also offering for registration fee grants to wider the attendee base further Registration includes breakfast, lunch and a wine reception as well as all programming and hand-outs. So far we’ve gotten sponsorship from AALL, West, Bloomberg/BNA, and Lexis; Fastcase, LLSDC and GPLLA.

 The Day The institute will be a day-long symposium on access to justice. Leading off with a colloquium of national thought leaders, the conference continues with concurrent programs on basic and advanced A2J issues.
 
The closing event will be a stakeholder fair, where attendees can meet informally with workers in the forefront providing A2J services.
They have already lined up national A2J speakers such as Judy Meadows, Joan Bellistri and Sarah Mauldin.
Topics Include:
  • How to raise your profile working on law firm pro bono issues, aid to prisoners
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  • A2J basics, social worker on expectations of SRLs, resources for A2J, Minnesota’s database for pro bono attorneys
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  • Ed Modell on the ombudsman position in the MD courts, how trends in courtroom tech will
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  • affect A2J, new ways legal clinics are working at law schools, how to work with SLRs – what they expect
  • MD incubator programs, the People’s Law Library and how it helps SLRs, how public libraries can assist SLRs
Access to justice is a core value of law librarians -- and it is becoming more critical as professional legal assistance becomes more expensive and beyond the reach of even average, middle-class Americans. Law libraries are being inundated with these self-represented litigants and this trend will only continue to grow.
 
The State of Maryland is developing strategies that lead the nation in service to the self-represented litigant. A state-wide A2J commission works with the courts and has joined national leaders to in developing better A2J policies and practices. The state law library has developed an innovative website, the People's Law Library, to explain court procedures to the layman. County courthouse libraries are working to give free legal advice though Lawyer in the Library sessions. Baltimore law schools are offering novel legal clinics to inner-city areas.
 
For more information contact:
 
Kate Martin

Law Librarian
Circuit Court for Montgomery County
50 Maryland Avenue, Room 326
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Phone: 240-777-9121, Fax: 240-777-9126
Email: kmartin@mcccourt.com
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