Wake libraries, Legal Support Center launch new “Lawyers in Your Library” program

Wake County Public Libraries and the Wake County Legal Support Center are collaborating to provide free family law legal support and advice to residents who need it at locations across the county starting Saturday. “Lawyers in Your Library” is an expansion of the Legal Support Center’s “Attorney of the Day” program, which assisted nearly 150 families at the Wake County Courthouse in downtown Raleigh in 2023 regarding family law issues, such as custody, child support and divorce.

Organizers hope to build on the success of Attorney of the Day while making it more accessible to people who may not be able to head downtown during the week. Lawyers in Your Library will take place at libraries in four different areas of Wake County on Saturday mornings.

“Coming to downtown Raleigh can be difficult for some, so we decided to bring the program to residents,” said Commissioner Matt Calabria. “We hope that by bringing this program into communities on the weekend, we will decrease the burden of transportation, child care and work constraints on those in need and increase access to the assistance and resources that are currently being provided in the courthouse.”

Sessions will take place from 9 a.m.–noon at four libraries across the county in 2024. Registration is not required.

  • Saturday, March 9: East Regional Library in Knightdale
  • Saturday, June 8: Southeast Regional Library in Garner
  • Saturday, Sept. 14: Oberlin Regional Library in Raleigh
  • Saturday, Dec. 14: North Regional Library in Raleigh

How it works
At each session of Lawyers in Your Library, two to three attorneys will be available to provide free, 30-minute consultations to drop-in clients on any issues related to family law — from child custody and support to alimony and adoption.

The pro bono attorneys will help advise, counsel, provide form documents and drafting suggestions, and more for many families who may not otherwise have access to legal advice as they navigate the complicated system. By helping them better understand the legal process, the service empowers residents to reach resolution in their cases more efficiently.

“Often times, individuals are able to do many things on their own, but meeting with an attorney gives them the confidence or final pieces that they need in order to confidently represent themselves in court,” said Anh LyJordan, director, Wake County Legal Support Center.

In 2023, more than 30 volunteers from local family law firms donated over 80 attorney hours to the Attorney of the Day program. Their continued commitment has made it possible for the Legal Support Center to staff the twice-a-month program through the end of 2024 at the courthouse, and to explore additional partnerships like “Lawyers in Your Library.”

“This partnership is closely aligned with Wake County Public Libraries’ mission to foster the pursuit of knowledge," said Deputy Library Director Ann Burlingame. “Opening the library to this program makes the pursuit of information more accessible, inclusive and equitable. We are honored to be part of this effort and look forward to working with Wake County Legal Support Center.”

Press Release