Did you know that there are only three law libraries open to members of the public in Washington, DC, and none of them are designed to serve non-lawyers? We are going to bring the law library to the communities that need it the most by setting up a reference desk outside public libraries and parks and at community events throughout the District. You might be thinking this is a bit too ambitious for a $1000 grant, and you’re right! We share more specifics about the $1000 below, but here I will explain how this project fits into our broader plans as an organization.
Where we are now: our organization is less than two years old, and is run entirely by volunteers. We provide law library services online two to four hours a day through our virtual reference desk.
Where we want to be: when we are financially sustainable, we will have paid staff providing law library services up to 12 hours a day both online through our virtual reference desk and in person on a bookmobile.
How this project fits in: this project will bring us into the community to provide reference service in person. This grant won’t give us the ability to provide the consistency in service that our long-term plans anticipate, but by introducing ourselves to our neighbors and providing information about how to get service from us online, we will be able to reach more people, which is both critical to our mission and to giving our organization a record of performance that will help us get additional funding. Our goal from the start has been to bring the law library to residents; indeed it was a brainstorm about basing our library on a bookmobile that gave us the final push to establish JusticeAccess.
Funded by Washington, DC (August 2023)