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Legal Self-Help Desk Pilot Project Underway in Lancaster County

Self-Help Desks in Lincoln and Omaha

There are Self-Help Centers in Lincoln and Omaha operated by volunteer lawyers which may be able to be of assistance to you.  Legal information, assistance with forms, and brief legal advice is provided through the centers which are opened limited hours (see below). 

  • Lincoln (Lancaster County)

    Open Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Thursdays from Noon to 4:00 p.m. and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.

    The Self-Help Desk is located off the Jury Lounge on the third floor at the Lancaster County Courthouse at 575 South 10th Street in Lincoln.  No appointments are needed and individuals are offered assistance on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Omaha (Douglas County)

    Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    The Self-Help Desk is located in the Douglas County Law Library.  Follow the connector-hallway between the Douglas County Courthouse and the 1st Floor Hall of Justice, 17th and Farnam in Omaha.  For questions or further information, call the Library at 402-444-7174.

The centers do not offer assistance with criminal cases and questions are not taken by phone. Both centers are coordinated by the Nebraska State Bar Association Director of Legal Services.

NEBRASKA SUPREME COURT
For Immediate Release


Legal Self-Help Desk Pilot Project Underway in Lancaster County

(Lincoln, NE) – July 23, 2007 – A new Legal Self-Help Desk opened in the Lancaster
County Courthouse located next door to the Clerk of the District Court’s office on July 2, 2007. The office is designed to provide legal information to individuals who are not able to retain the services of an attorney for representation in civil matters before the courts. “While the Self-Help Desk is not a substitute for representation by a lawyer, the reality is that many individuals appear in court unrepresented by legal counsel. Most of these people have few or no resources to hire an attorney. They attempt to navigate the court system on their own without correct information and with an incomplete understanding of the workings of the court system. The Self-Help Desk will make available correct and current information on Nebraska law and court proceedings in family law matters such as divorce, child custody, support, and visitation” said Court of Appeals Judge Richard D. Sievers, Chairperson of the Nebraska Supreme Court Pro Se Committee. The Self-Help Desk is located off the Jury Lounge on the third floor at the Lancaster County Courthouse at 575 South 10th Street in Lincoln and is open Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Thursdays 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. No legal advice is provided, only legal information. The Lancaster County Self- Help Desk houses a small library of legal resources including manuals and brochures specific to Lancaster County. “We are particularly pleased that Lancaster County has been selected as the first site in the state for this type of legal self-help center. The high level enthusiasm shown by volunteer lawyers from Lancaster County who will provide most of the staffing as well as Legal Aid of Nebraska and the Nebraska State Bar Association is critical to the success of this project,” said Judge Karen Flowers. “We thank them, as well as Sue Kirkland, Clerk of the District Court, and her staff for their time and effort on this project which is designed to facilitate citizen access to the judicial system.”
The effort to establish a Self-Help pilot project began in November of 2006 as an
initiative of the Nebraska Supreme Court Committee on Implementation of Pro Se
Litigation, chaired by Sievers. A partnership between Legal Aid of Nebraska and the
Nebraska State Bar Association evolved to operate the Self Help center under the
supervision of the Committee as an 18 month pilot project. Legal Self-Help Centers have been well established in many other states across the country by Court Systems and Bar Associations to deal with the challenges presented to courts and court staff by the increasing number of self-represented litigants in America’s courts.

For additional information, please contact:
Honorable Richard D. Sievers, Nebraska Court of Appeals and Chair of the Nebraska
Supreme Court Committee on the Implementation of Pro Se Assistance,
402-471-3732.

Jean McNeil, Nebraska State Bar Association Director of Legal Services and Self-Help
Desk Coordinator, 402-475-7091, or
Jen Gaughan, Legal Aid of Nebraska Managing Attorney,
402-435-2161.

 

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