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Free legal help available at public law libraries

(Editor's note: This post originally appeared on the monthly e-newsletter from the office of Assemblymember Toni Atkins.)

One of the most valuable resources in our community is the system of County Law Libraries, which are funded by a portion of court filing fees. These libraries offer lawyer referral and court services information; computers for legal research; free access to legal databases; and fax machines, printers, and photocopiers. Knowledgeable staff are available to help in person, by phone, or via email.

While librarians cannot offer legal advice, they can assist with business or legal information about topics such as landlord/tenant disputes, creditor's lawsuits, termination of probation, divorce, child custody and support, starting a business, and how to buy a house. The librarians will assist you in locating legal materials in the library and instruct you on how to use the library's resources.

There are four libraries in our county. The most convenient for residents of the 78th Assembly District are the downtown branch at 1105 Front Street; the Vista branch in the North County Regional Center at 325 S. Melrose Dr. #300 in Vista; and the Chula Vista branch at 500 Third Avenue #150, inside the South Bay Courthouse. There is also a law library in El Cajon at 250 East Main Street. More information is available HERE or by calling 619-531-3900.

The Downtown Law Library also offers free legal clinics where you can have a brief consultation about your legal matter with a supervised law student or an attorney. These clinics are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and space is limited, so it is best to arrive early. This month, the Library hosts the following clinics:

Landlord/Tenant Free Legal Clinic
Tuesday, Nov. 5
2-4 pm
1105 Front St.
San Diego, CA 92101

Civil Law Clinic by the University Of San Diego
Thursday, Nov. 21
Noon to 2:30 pm

Topics include housing, finance, collections, consumer, etc.

No Family Law or Criminal Law matters will be addressed.