Mar 02, 2020
Resources at the Marin County Law Library
Mar 02, 2020
By Kristine Cirby
Just across the street from the courthouse, the Marin County Law Library is 127 years old. Originally serving only attorneys, today the law library helps just as many self-represented litigants as attorneys. Our new mission statement is “Providing Justice through Information.”
Funded almost entirely by a small share of court filing fees, the library’s budget is down 35% since its peak in the 2010 fiscal year. While the governor’s initial 2021 fiscal-year budget included no additional funding for county law libraries, we are working hard to secure additional funding. The Legislature has asked for data about the scope of our services and whom we serve and we hope that learning more about the critical resources we provide to the general public as well as lawyers will lead to additional funds. The library still manages to provide many useful resources (a few of which were discussed in the April and May issues last year), including the ones you may not know about below.
LAW LIBRARY FUNDRAISERCome enjoy wine, beer and appetizers as we raise funds to provide access to justice for Marin residents in need. We'll hear from State Senator Mike McGuire about the critical role the law library plays in the legal safety net, and from Marin County Supervisor and attorney Damon Connolly about his direct experience giving back with Lawyers in the Library.
The funds raised will help provide up-to-date legal case books, expand online resources, support Lawyers in the Library, and increase the number of open hours. The event is free to attend and will be held at Wrapmanager (319 Miller Avenue in Mill Valley) on Saturday, April 11, 2020, at 1:00 p.m.
CONFERENCE ROOMThe law library has a conference room available for rent that seats up to 20 people. You can meet with clients, hold larger meetings or conduct depositions. It rents for $30 an hour or $150 for the full day.
Are you an MCBA Section Chair looking for a place to hold your section meetings? If so, you can use the conference room for free! Call the library to reserve the room.
EASY MCLELooking for hard-to-get MCLE? The law library has several DVDs you can borrow for $10 per credit hour. We have plenty of options for specialty credits:
- Attorney-client trust accounts;
- Avoiding bar discipline;
- Cybersecurity and confidentiality;
- The rules of professional conduct;
- Ethics of partnership agreements.
Elimination of bias:
- Understanding and mitigating bias;
- Transgender rights.
- Prevention of substance abuse.
- Judgment enforcement for the non-collections attorney;
- Cyber liability;
- Crossover issues in estate planning and family law;
- E-discovery: How to avoid problems you didn’t know you had;
- Law in motion: How to get what you want from your judge.
FIRST THURSDAY SPEAKERSOn the first Thursday of each month, at 6:00 p.m., the law library features a speaker from a local community organization so patrons can learn more about that organization’s services. Each speaker makes a short presentation, followed by a Q & A session. Past organizations have included New Beginnings Law Center, the Marin County Public Defender, Buckelew’s Suicide Prevention Program and the Family & Children’s Law Center. Future speakers include:
April: Marin Youth Court (Don Carney, YMCA's Director of Restorative Services)
May: Ritter Center (tentative)
June: SPAHR Center (Dana Van Gorder, Executive Director)
PASSPORTSNo need to wait in line at the post office! The law library has recently been approved as a passport service center. All our staff are currently being trained and we plan to offer passport services by July 1, 2020. Keep an eye on our social media posts for updates and more information.
LAWYERS IN THE LIBRARYAnd finally, a reminder that the law library is always looking for attorney volunteers to assist over 400 people every year in our twice-monthly Lawyers in the Library program, a collaboration with the Marin County Bar Association. The program offers the public free 20-minute consultations with attorney volunteers every second and fourth Thursday of each month. The success of the program relies on lawyers like YOU! Can you spare 2.5 hours once per month? You can learn more about the program on MCBA’s website or simply sign up.
Kristine Cirby is a Family Law Attorney. She has over 25 years of experience in family law, with the last 20 years exclusively in Marin County. Kristine currently serves on the Marin County Bar Association Board of Directors as well as on the Board of Trustees for the Marin County Law Library.