Public Art Meets Courthouse Navigation

In the U.S., regardless of the jurisdiction, the court structure involves an appeals process in which a higher court can review a decision of a lower court. For many self-represented litigants, navigating the journey from court to court can be confusing and frustrating. For practicing attorneys, an appeal may not be a common task, so a resource to refresh the memory when appellate work crops up can be helpful. Our solution… public art, of course!

Not just any public art though. This summer we have been fortunate to host Helen Hartman from the Harris Commissioner Precinct One LEE Internship program. Helen’s graphic-design talents have helped us take a dry, nebulous concept and make it more approachable for patrons who need to navigate the Texas court structure in Harris County. Drawing inspiration from the Texas Judicial Branch’s “Court Structure of Texas” flowchart, we have added graphical representations of the buildings in which courts meet to bridge the gap between abstract concepts of jurisdiction and local venues where our patrons interact with the judiciary.

This public art piece is now a permanent exhibit at the Harris County Law Library. Visit Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., to see this impressive work in person.