Legal Research

Legal Research for Non-Lawyers

Last week, a commenter at Lifehacker described LawHelp, which looks extraordinarily useful for non-lawyers: will link you to your state’s legal information web site. Supported by legal aid organizations, pro bono programs and courts, these web sites generally cover information that is applicable to low- and middle-income people in areas such as divorce, orders of protection, landlord-tenant law, and debt collection. The information is generally written in plain language.

The site describes itself as “your gateway to America’s nonprofit legal services providers.” The home page links to self-help sites in all 50 states. Clicking the California link, for instance, takes you here.

When I must turn away prospective clients, I usually refer them to their county’s bar association to inquire about lawyer referrals. From now on, I plan to recommend that they check LawHelp also.