The Role of Law Librarians

About This Session

Bringing the Law to the Library: The Importance of Librarian Mediation in Access to Justice Services

Yolanda Patrice Jones

Library access to justice programs and services help people who need legal information and who cannot afford an attorney. Librarian mediation is a critical component in the provision of access to justice services. However, the value of library mediation, or assistance with using library resources, is often unrecognized, particularly where members of the public are trying to access electronic legal information sources, online legal forms, and other law technologies. This article will explore the role of librarians in providing access to justice services from the perspective of the work of Richard Susskind, which emphasizes technological approaches to providing legal services. While there is a place for technology in access to justice services, there is also a valuable role that librarians play in contributing to access to justice.

Access to Justice: Role of Law Librarians – Building Partnerships, Creating Systems, and Providing Legal Information Services for Communities of Need

Yvonne Chandler, Lora Livingston, Aizula Ortega, and Shivani Naickler

Law librarian Julius Marke wrote that the future for law librarianship is highly challenging and exciting, pregnant with the seeds of great changes. Technological breakthroughs have revolutionized communications and the spread of information in every aspect of human life – including the law. Librarian mediation is a critical component in the provision of access to justice services in the information age. The role of law librarians is intricate to the delivery of legal information services to citizens in our communities. Public, academic, or government law libraries should consider how their organizations can contribute to the open access movement. Law librarians connect citizens and self-represented litigants to legal information. How can we assist marginalized citizens to navigate the legal system without an understanding of the law and prior knowledge of sources that are codified, published, or disseminated in some “official” way?

This program will discuss the importance of recruiting and educating a diverse population of law librarians who are knowledgeable of user needs and information behaviors to implement services to meet the access to justice needs for low income and diverse patrons. Speakers will discuss how federal, state, and county public law libraries are developing and expanding services including increased access to legal information and advice in welcoming self-help environments. A law library educator, a law librarianship graduate student, and an Information Science doctoral student will discuss the role of access to justice with a Texas judge and practicing law librarians from the Texas Law Help program and the State Law Library.


photo of Yolanda Jones

Yolanda Patrice Jones

  • Law Library Director and Associate Professor of Law, Florida A&M University College of Law

Yolanda Patrice Jones is the Law Library Director and Associate Professor of Law at the Florida A&M University College of Law, where she teaches Advanced Legal Research and Legal Bibliography.

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photo of Yvonne Chandler

Yvonne Chandler

  • Associate Professor, Department of Information Science, College of Information, University of North Texas

Yvonne J. Chandler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Science (DIS) in the College of Information at the University of North Texas where she is the Director of the Law Librarianship program.  Dr.

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photo of Lora Livingston

Lora Livingston

  • Presiding Judge of the 261st Civil District Court, Travis County

Judge Lora J.

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photo of Aizul Ortega

Aizul Ortega

  • Head of Technical Services, Travis County Law Library and Self Help Center

Aizul G. Ortega received her Master's in Information Studies from the University of Texas School of Information in 2014 with a concentration on librarianship. She is the Technical Services Supervisor at the Travis County Law Library, where she has worked for three years.

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photo of Shivani Naickler

Shivani Naicker

  • Master’s Student in Law Librarianship and Intern, University of North Texas College of Law

Shivani Naicker is a licensed attorney and will graduate with her Master of Science in Library Science degree in May 2019.  During her masters’ degree program, she worked as an intern at the University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law Library.  She is now the Electronic Services Librarian at the prestigious Dallas firm, Jackson Walker.  She obtained her law degree from Texas A&M (for

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