It's Access to Legal Information Week!

Harris County Commissioners Court recognized July 14-20 as “Access to Legal Information Week” with a July 9 resolution to encourage all to visit the Harris County Law Library to learn about the valuable resources and services available. Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan and the Law Library are celebrating “Access to Legal Information Week” with a week’s worth of event to raise awareness about legal research resources available to all at our downtown Houston location. Stop by the Law Library Reference Desk Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm to request a tour and learn about legal information resources available to the people of Harris County. Access to Legal Information Week events will include the following:


Sunday, July 14

Our law librarians kicked off the week in Washington, D.C. at the 112th Annual Conference of the American Association of Law Libraries to receive the inaugural Excellence in Community Engagement Award for our Harvey Recovery Resources webpage.


Monday, July 15

The Law Library will begin offering tours for patrons at 8 a.m. Stop by all week to learn about the resources and services available for legal researchers and self-represented litigants. Plan your visit with driving directions and parking information on our Contact Us page.


Tuesday, July 16

Our law librarians will be recognized at the AALL Annual Meeting with the Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award for our work on the Pro Se Litigant Handbook and Manual para Litigantes Pro Se, which connect Harris County’s self-represented litigants with current, accurate information about a wealth of local legal aid resources. Stop by the Law Library to pick up a copy or visit our Self-Help page to access the digital version.


Wednesday, July 17

Join us Wednesday starting at 8 a.m. to receive a copy of our limited edition Digital Destination Passport. The Law Library has greatly expanded the digital resources available to all legal researchers in Harris County. The Passport takes patrons on a journey through eight new resources available for free at the Law Library and provides an opportunity for public and attorney patrons to learn about all the information available at your fingertips within steps of the courthouses at our downtown Houston location. Visit our Digital Destinations Passport page to learn more.




Thursday, July 18

Join us for a Hands-On Legal Tech Training on Thursday at 2 p.m. to learn how to Find & Format Legal Forms using the free databases available at the Harris County Law Library. Each Thursday, our law librarians offers classes accredited by the State Bar of Texas to all of our patrons for free to increase access to legal resources through our Legal Tech Institute. Visit our Legal Tech Institute Course Calendar to sign up for a free session today!


Friday, July 19

Deputy Director Joe Lawson will visit the 1910 Courthouse to lead an advanced legal research class for interns of the 1st and 14th Texas Courts of Appeals. Each summer interns from the Courts and Harris County Attorney’s Office have the opportunity to sharpen their legal research skills with training sessions from the Harris County Law Library to ensure our newest legal professionals have access to the legal information they need to move our justice system forward in their careers.


Saturday, July 20

The Harris County Law Library is closed on Saturdays, but that doesn’t mean access to legal information stops. Visit our Legal Tech Institute On-Demand Learning page to find videos about legal tech topics and access to legal information. Several videos are accredited by the State Bar of Texas and there is something for everyone.

Access to Legal Information Week: July 14-20, 2019

Today, Harris County Commissioners Court passed a Resolution recognizing July 14-20, 2019, as Access to Legal Information Week in Harris County in honor of the exemplary service to the public offered at the Harris County Law Library and the many awards recognizing the Law Library from the American Association of Law Libraries.

We would like to thank Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo for placing the item on the Court’s agenda, the County Judge and Commissioners for supporting the resolution, and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan and Judge Daryl Moore of the 333rd Civil District Court for their kind words shared on behalf of the Law Library at today’s Court session.

Learn more about the Resolution and Access to Legal Information Week with this press release from the Office of Vince Ryan, Harris County Attorney.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack, Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, County Attorney Vince Ryan, County Law Library Deputy Director Joe Lawson, County Law Library Director Mariann Sears, 333rd Civil District Court Judge Daryl Moore, Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, County Judge Lina Hidalgo, and Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis recognized July 14-20, 2019 as "Access to Legal Information Week" during Commissioners Court, July 9.

Law Day 2019 - Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society

Today, we celebrate the rule of law.

Today is Law Day. Law Day was established by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1958 and subsequently codified by Congress in 1961 (see 36 U.S.C. §113) as a day for celebration of the rule of law. Each year, the American Bar Association establishes a theme to help focus our attention on an area of law that is timely and pertinent. This year, the theme is “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.”

Free Speech: A view from the bench

To honor this year’s theme, the Harris County Law Library has created an online exhibit entitled Free Speech: A view from the bench. Visit the exhibit to learn about different factors judges take into account when reviewing issues concerning freedom of speech under the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


Houston Bar Association Law Week Poster Contest

Each year the Houston Bar Association holds a poster contest and encourages area K-12 students to express the meaning of Law Day artistically. The Harris County Law Library is proud to partner with the HBA to display award-winning entries throughout this week-long celebration of the rule of law.

Law Library Recognized by American Association of Law Libraries

Yesterday, the American Association of Law Libraries announced the individuals and institutions honored as part of the organization’s 2019 Awards Program. The Harris County Law Library was recognized with two awards, both of which highlight our work to ensure access to information for those who need it most in Harris County.


JOSEPH L. ANDREWS LEGAL LITERATURE AWARD

The Law Library’s Pro Se Litigant Handbook was recognized with the Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award. The Handbook combines information about sources of forms and local assistance for self-represented litigants with guidance on courtroom procedure and decorum. The Award highlights “a significant textual contribution to legal literature.” Our staff is immensely honored to receive such a prestigious award for our efforts to help those in our community who are unable to afford legal representation access the legal information they need.


EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD

The Law Library was also honored to receive the inaugural Excellence in Community Engagement Award for our Harvey Recovery Resources webpage. When Hurricane Harvey poured record-setting rains on our community, assistance came from all directions. Our law librarians jumped into action - even before our facility reopened - to collect and organize information about programs meant to help our neighbors impacted by the storm with their legal needs. Hundreds in our community accessed the page and community partners shared it with clients. For us, it was a natural way to show the same spirit so many in our community exemplified to pull together and lend a hand to those in need. Our staff is very honored for the recognition and we hope it inspires law librarians throughout the AALL community to lend their talents when their neighbors need access to legal information the most.

For more about the American Association of Law Library and the Annual Awards Program, visit www.aall.org.