by LawMatters, Courthouse Libraries BC
One of the key components in access to justice work is a knowledge of resources and programs available to assist your clients. Public libraries can be important partners in this, often being a starting point for those experiencing legal problems and having information and technological resources people need to address these problems.
LawMatters, a program of Courthouse Libraries BC, works with public libraries across the province to increase access to legal information at the local level. In our work, we’ve heard a desire from both legal advocates and public libraries to get to know each other better, with the goal of ensuring faster and more effective referrals for those experiencing legal issues. CLBC and LawMatters have previously hosted community forums to connect these two groups, both in-person and virtually, the latter in partnership with Legal Aid BC and PovNet. These forums brought together access to justice actors in their communities and across geographic regions, providing space for them to get to know each other, learn more about the programs their organizations offer, and discuss the issues important to their communities.
To support you in this connection building work, LawMatters has updated the Community Legal Information Forums: A Planning Guide. This guide was created in the hopes that it will be useful to those wanting to host their own community forums, whether in-person or virtual, and can support you throughout the process of planning and hosting your event, from start to finish. The guide also includes sample documents such as invitations, agendas, and meeting notes that you can adapt for your own event.
If you have questions about the guide or planning/hosting your own community forum, please feel free to get in touch with LawMatters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LawMatters is a Courthouse Libraries BC outreach program for public libraries. We work in partnership with libraries to provide local access to legal information in print, as well as legal reference and referral services in communities throughout the province.