Law Week: Bringing Law to the People

Innovations in the California Courts - 20 of Years of Great Ideas

Connecting the Court to the Community: California Law Week

On May 2 through 7, 2011, the Administrative Office of the Courts helped bring together local bar associations, pro bono organizations, law libraries, and public libraries to celebrate Law Week in California.

National Law Day is recognized on May 1 as a day that honors the role of law in our nation. Many state and local programs throughout the country are held just before or after that date to celebrate Law Week or Law Month.

Judge Maureen A. Folan of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County helps celebrate Law Week by reading during children's story time at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Library in San Jose.The California Law Week collaboration brought together community partners, many of which had already planned to hold Law Day events. But by joining forces, the team was able to coordinate events and to advertise them to a much broader audience.

Concurrent events took place throughout Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Clara Counties. These public events included immigration clinics, “how-to” legal resources workshops, one-on-one legal consultations with volunteer attorneys, and debtors' rights clinics, as well as resources and activities for children.
JusticeCorps members were on hand for Law Week. JusticeCorps members in nine locations throughout the state provided general information to the public about court self-help centers.
The Law Week collaboration built upon successful partnerships established through other initiatives within the judicial branch. For example, on May 7, California JusticeCorps members staffed information tables at participating libraries, providing 230 people with general information about the courts' legal access self-help centers. (Click here for more information about JusticeCorps, an AmeriCorps program operating in the courts.)

The Law Week collaboration also drew on the work of California On My Honor program by making resources available to public libraries, including recommendations for children's books to display and read during the week, links to online civics-related games, and suggested activities to host in children's libraries.

In addition, the Law Week collaboration celebrated a successful partnership between the courts and California's public libraries. The partnership, the California Court and Library Partnership, was created by the AOC to provide training and resources to librarians, with the goal of increasing the public's understanding of the California court system.

 

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