Access to Justice


Why does the Law Library matter in Access to Justice?


Our county public law libraries play an important role in providing Californians from all backgrounds with resources to conduct their legal affairs and preserve their legal rights. Self-represented litigants and other non-attorneys represent more than half of the users in most law libraries. In many counties, the law libraries and law librarians are often the last and only option to obtain legal information for litigants who plan to represent themselves in court as well as those looking to find answers to their various legal questions.  Every user – general public, students, lawyers, and the courts – is a primary stakeholder in law library services.

A mission of all public law libraries is to provide access to timely, reliable, and accurate legal information in a format that can be understood and used by the greatest number of people.  This mission is critical to the expectations of the judiciary in order to be able to rule promptly, accurately, and with justice on the variety of issues brought before the courts. A 2014 white paper from the American Association of Law Libraries explains the myriad ways law libraries contribute to the administration of an effective access to justice system and how libraries successfully work with others on the front lines of access to justice.

By providing ready access to legal information, our county law libraries address a fundamental role in preserving the public's access to justice and the effective functioning of the judicial system.