A partnership between the State Law Library and the University of Iowa Libraries has resulted in a new resource for Iowans. The Public Law Library offers information on topics from evictions to divorce proceedings.
While the website focuses on consumer, family and landlord/tenant law, it plans to expand its coverage in the future, said Carissa Vogel, director of the UI Law Library. Vogel said the website isn’t a substitute for legal advice, but it’s an important first step into a complex justice system.
“A lot of people who come to the justice system don’t know they need representation, they don’t understand the complexity of what they’re dealing with, or how challenging it is to find representation,” he said. talk. “A lot of people are trying to get help without a face.”
Vogel said interpreting the law can be a challenge for non-lawyers, especially since not every Iowan is involved in a legal case that a lawyer can win. Iowa has one of the fewest lawyers per capita in the country, according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Price also has an impact. Depending on the nature of the case, the attorney will charge anywhere from $100 to $400 dollars per hour.
A national study of civil filings found at least one group was self-represented in 76% of civil, non-family cases, according to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. for State Courts. In those cases, the self-represented party is the defendant. In 1992—25 years ago—a study by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 95% of cases were settled by lawyers on both sides.