Second Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Melissa Morgan is proud to announce the Second Circuit’s “Lawyer in the Library” program will begin in Olney at the Olney Public Library on October 17. The program provides participants with free legal coaching, document review, and referrals regarding civil issues. These services are made possible through a grant from the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts that seeks to fund programs aimed to assist self-represented litigants. The Second Circuit applied for and was awarded funding last year to create the “Lawyer in the Library” program in Franklin County. This year’s grant award will allow these services to be offered in three additional counties, including Richland County.
Olney native and recently retired Second Circuit Judge Kimbara Harrell has partnered with the program and will begin meeting with individuals at the Olney Public Library located at 400 West Main Street. The program will kick-off on Tuesday, October 17, with additional sessions scheduled for the following Tuesdays through the end of year: October 24, November 21, November 28, and December 19. Pre-Registration is required so all participants must call the library or stop by in advance to schedule an appointment. Services will be provided for civil issues, including but not limited to dissolution of marriage, child custody, child support, landlord/tenant, guardianships, small claims, and probate. The program is open to participants who reside within the Second Circuit, but due to limited space, participants can only be seen once every 60 days. Chief Judge Morgan stated, “I am so grateful for this year’s grant award and the opportunity to partner with Judge Harrell and the Olney Public Library. I appreciate the Administrative Office and the Supreme Court for enabling us to offer these services to our communities. So many times people feel overwhelmed or discouraged with the legal system, especially when they don’t have the financial resources to pay for a lawyer. This program enables them to obtain valuable information and referrals at no cost. I encourage anyone who is looking to speak with someone about a legal issue and doesn’t know where to turn to call the library or just stop by and schedule an appointment to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.”
The Second Judicial Circuit is comprised of 12 counties: Crawford, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne, and White. For more information, please contact the Olney Public Library at 618-392-3711 or the Office of the Second Circuit Chief Judge at 618-244-8036.
Pictured: Retired Judge Kimbara Harrell with the Richland County