Update from the Access to Justice Committee

The Access to Justice committee has had a quiet winter, but information about Covid-related eviction protections and policies has been added to Legal Link for most of the New England States. Many thanks to A2J member Dana Lucisano for posting the info on Legal Link and to the LLNE Technology Committee for supporting her on that endeavor.

As we look to the rest of the year, we are exploring program proposals for public library conferences to continue to outreach to our public library colleagues and support them to provide legal information support to their patrons.

Scholarships for Legal Research Instruction Program

All public librarians are encouraged to apply for a scholarship, sponsored by the LLNE Access to Justice Committee, to attend our chapter’s Legal Research Instruction Program.

The Legal Research Instruction Program (LRIP) is a six-week seminar geared towards public librarians interested in learning more about law librarianship. Each week, a different aspect of legal research is covered — everything from an overview of the U.S. legal system, to finding business transactional documents.

The 2021 legal research instruction program is going to be run entirely online. It will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, using zoom, the various google tools, video instruction, and the imagination of the great teaching librarians of the Law Librarians of New England.

The class will be run on six Wednesday evenings from March 17th through April 22nd. The times of the synchronous class will vary based on the amount of asynchronous instruction for each topic, but each Wednesday will be at least one hour of synchronous online instruction.

For more information about the LRIP course, go to https://llne.org/legalresearchinstruction/ or contact Brian Flaherty directly at brian2@bu.edu.

The LLNE Access to Justice Committee is providing two scholarships to cover the cost of registration. Applicants must be public (non-law) librarians from the New England region. Please use this google form to apply. Application deadline is March 8, 2021 and awards will be announced on March 10, 2021.

Please contact Josh LaPorte with questions, jlaporte@bu.edu.

We encourage all LLNE members to share this scholarship opportunity with their local public libraries and any public librarians that would be interested in this excellent professional development opportunity.

Edgar Award presented to Darcy Kirk

Darcy Kirk was presented the Edgar Award at the recent Fall Meeting. Due to the virtual format of the meeting, we arranged the presentation of the award to be done via a video. We reached out to a handful of current and former colleagues and friends of Darcy to contribute tribute videos, arranged for a brief outdoor presentation to be video recorded, and then edited everything together into a presentation video which was shared during the lunch break. You can view the video here.

We would like to thank everyone who helped make this award and its special presentation possible.

Josh LaPorte to chair Access to Justice Committee

I’m Josh, the new chair of the Access to Justice committee. I want to take a moment to reintroduce myself. Formerly, I served as a co-chair of the LLNE Service Committee. I am excited to work with this committee to continue LLNE’s outreach and to develop support for access to justice initiatives.

Prior to law libraries, I worked as a community organizer in Hartford, CT. I worked primarily on tenant & housing issues, education, and jobs. So much need exists for legal information, advice, and guidance. Later, I volunteered extensively with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center’s foreclosure clinic. There I assested with intake interviews, forms, and resources. The access to justice need is overwhelming, and I hope that LLNE can make some real impacts in filling that need.

If anyone has ideas or wants to join the committee, please reach out to me or to the membership committee.