New website aims to lower barriers to legal resources

Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 11:08 PM CDT
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Iowa (KCRG) - The People’s Law Library of Iowa is a new website that’s working to serve as an accessible resource for understanding state law and legal resources in Iowa.

The State Library of Iowa and the UI Law Library worked together for around a year to develop the website. Right now, it’s focused on three topics: Consumer law, Family law, and Landlord/Tenant law. It also offers guidance on researching legal issues, a glossary of more than 100 legal terms, and more. Director of the University of Iowa Law Library Carissa Vogel says it’s important to lower barriers to accessing these critical resources.

“We know that there is a huge obstacle from the point of having some problem or some issue to knowing how to get assistance, right. We know that the assistance is out there,” says Vogel, “Courts know deeply that their assistance is out there, but it’s sometimes hard for people to figure out when they go where for what.”

Vogel says they’ve already picked the next three topics to focus on, which will be immigration, veterans affairs, and labor and employment. She added they’re always looking for feedback on what people using the site need.

Funding for the site came from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“We are thrilled to provide this resource to Iowans,” said State Librarian Michael Scott. “Our goal with the People’s Law Library of Iowa is to provide a trusted, reliable source of information on Iowa’s laws with no legalese that the average person can easily comprehend. This website will help Iowans understand their rights and feel empowered as they navigate the legal system.”

You can access the website here.