The San Diego Law Library is excited to announce the start of a new era for our East County and South Bay branches.

Since civil matter consolidation, both law libraries have seen usage shrivel to almost nothing.  This has made it difficult to justify the expense of a full-time law librarian, and hours of operation have dwindled to only one day per week. We have been thinking about ways to better use the two courthouse libraries in El Cajon and Chula Vista, while at the same time reach and serve more people.

We have hit on a solution that we think will be good for our users, the court, and us.  If people aren’t coming to us, we want to go to them!

As part of our outreach efforts to extend services to patrons beyond the physical library building, we are transferring law library services to the El Cajon Public Library and the Chula Vista Public Library, both being in close proximity to the courthouses. We want to go where the people are, and this model has been very successful for other county law libraries in California.  Law Library services at the courthouses will cease at the end of November and services begin at the public libraries in early 2016.

Some services have already transitioned to the El Cajon Public Library.  For example, the legal incubator clinic run by Thomas Jefferson School of Law is now doing great work with a 100% increase in users being served at the public library. Assistance is available in the areas of family law, immigration, consumer law, employment law, business law, wills and trusts, civil litigation, and more. This free legal clinic is a joint project of the El Cajon City Council, the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Center for Solo Practitioners, El Cajon branch of the San Diego County Library, and the San Diego Law Library.

The East County Law Library facility will continue to be used by used by the law library.  Currently, we are partnering with the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, who will use this location to provide clinics for those in need of legal assistance.  This location will also be the future home of our legal research archive.  Stay tuned to our website and newsletter for more information about other potential partnerships.

If you need legal reference assistance in the meantime, please come by our downtown or Vista branches during the week, call us (619-531-3900), or visit our website, email, or chat services (www.sandiegolawlibrary.org).