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RPL Working to Expand Public Knowledge

Posted about 9 months ago by Charlie Schmidt

Have you ever wondered how the Virginia General Assembly really works? Perhaps you are looking for an example of a Bill of Particulars? Maybe you overheard talk at a lively party about “Transfer on Death Deeds” and thought “Maybe I should find out more about that”. These are just a few examples of the wide range of questions from patrons coming into the Law Library.

At the Law Library, housed in the Richmond Room of Main Library, we can help answer your questions and connect you to legal resources in the community. According to the Virginia State Bar, over 80% of the civil legal needs of those with moderate incomes go unmet. People sometimes have few options for legal help. While we don’t represent clients or provide legal advice at the Law Library, we can help you access legal information and legal resources in the Richmond region.

Resources at the Law Library

The Law Library has the most comprehensive, most accessible, legal collection in the region. Our services are free and open to the public anytime the Main Library is open. We have free patron access to Westlaw and LexisNexis, the top two professional legal database services. You can also access Gale Legal Forms on our website, which can help you draft legal documents such as a will or a Power of Attorney. We are also excited to expand our Westlaw online access to each of our nine library locations. Go to any RPL branch, ask to log onto Westlaw, and our library staff will get you started.

A goal of the Law Library is to expand public knowledge on legal topics, local government, small business development, and nonprofit governance. One way we hope to accomplish this goal is through free legal workshops. This fall, we are hosting several informative, interactive workshops with local attorneys and community partners.

July Workshop on Expungement Law

Workshops and Programs

Our fall program kickoff will celebrate Constitution Day with a workshop focused on Advocacy and Civic Engagement on Thursday, September 14th at 6:00 PM in the Richmond Room of the Main Library. The event is cohosted with the Sierra Club and will guide participants through the process of how policy ideas become law, how to effectively talk to elected officials, and how to get involved to advocate for change that you want to see in your community! Details and registration can be found here at this link.

And look for other Law Library program on our Calendar of Events. In September, we will also be hosting a Small Business Legal Workshop where we will discuss legal entities such as LLCs, drafting operating agreements, understanding MOAs, and more. Then in October, we will have a Nonprofit 101 workshop focused on starting a nonprofit, complying with government reporting laws, and building a strong governance structure for the organization. We will follow all of this with an Estate Planning Workshop in November, which will highlight the distinctions between a will, a trust, and other estate planning documents.

For those patrons that live closer to one of our branch locations, starting in December, we will have similar workshops at library locations around the city. Check the RPL Calendar for upcoming details!

Charlie Schmidt

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