Lawyers in the Library

Caroline Zakarian, Librarian, Lifelong Learning Department,
blue text lawyers in the library

Did you know that you can get free legal help at two of our branch libraries?

It’s true. Twice a month lawyers from the legal aid organization Public Counsel, visit our Vermont Square and Benjamin Franklin branch libraries.

These free legal clinics offer an opportunity to speak one-on-one with an attorney about issues relating to finances and housing. The attorneys specialize in real estate fraud, debt collection, foreclosure, financial elder abuse, fraudulent loans, bail issues and other unfair business practices. Basic advice and referrals are also available on a wide range of other issues, such as landlord-tenant problems. However, immigration law is a very specialized field, and only referrals are available for immigration questions.

Public Counsel originally chose to open this clinic in Vermont Square because it was receiving so many calls about problems with home improvement contractors in South Los Angeles. Anyone who has been promised energy-efficient home improvements as part of a “free government program” is encouraged to attend the clinics. Public Counsel now represents, for free, several homeowners who came to the clinic with this type of problem and helped them resolve their issues.

If you are in need of legal help, come and join the Lawyers in the Library at the Vermont Square and Benjamin Franklin libraries. Public Counsel is at the Vermont Square Branch the first Tuesday of the month from 3 to 6 p.m., and at the Benjamin Franklin Branch the third Tuesday of the month from 1 to 4 p.m. Reservations are important to ensure that you are seen promptly and that there are appropriate translators on hand if needed, but walk-ins are welcome.