Library Teams with Legal Experts to Put Virtual Sessions on Program Docket

The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) has announced a partnership with Central Arkansas Legal Services to host Lawyers in the Library, a series of presentations on navigating the unique legal challenges related to COVID-19. These presentations are conducted by legal experts and funded by grants from the Legal Services Corporation to supply disaster-related legal aid for both the pandemic and the 2019 flood. The series, delivered via the online meeting platform Zoom, will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. every other Monday, June 1-July 13. The series is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

June 1: General Program
Get an overview and introduction to all topics to be presented in the series, including consumer law, housing law, record sealing, public benefits, family law, and advance directives.
June 15: Consumer Law/Housing Law
Understand consumer issues including bankruptcy, foreclosure, debt collection, contracts, rent-to-own purchases and consumer scams. Legal staff will also present on Arkansas landlord/tenant issues.
June 29: Record Sealing/Public Benefits
Explore the laws related to sealing a person’s criminal record. The presentation will include what records are sealable, how a record is sealed and why should you seal your criminal record.
July 13: Family Law/ Advance Directives
Learn more about divorce, child custody, child support, adoption, and guardianships. Legal staff will also give a presentation on wills, living wills and power of attorneys.

Nate Coulter, Executive Director for the library system, is delighted to be able to partner with the Center for Arkansas Legal Services once again. “Our library system is uniquely equipped to host crucial programming so it reaches as many people as possible in our service area,” Coulter said. “We can host free legal aid in our buildings, as we did last fall, or transition to host online for this series. More people can get the help they need when we bring these dedicated legal experts into the library’s trusted physical and virtual gathering spaces.”

Executive Director Jean Turner Carter of the Center for Arkansas Legal Services sees the critical need for free legal aid to the community, particularly at this time with one disaster still recent and another in progress. “Low-income families and communities suffer disproportionately from disasters,” Carter said. “Access to legal remedies is vital to alleviating the impacts of disaster, but any number of barriers can make that a challenge, especially in the current circumstances. Arkansas has suffered from one disaster to another these past two years—first with the historic flooding, and now the pandemic. As such, when it comes to furthering the legal aid mission, it’s a natural decision to partner with libraries since they have strong community ties and resources available to all regardless of income level. While we may not be able to meet in person, the Center for Arkansas Legal Services is still providing essential services for Arkansans and ready to work with the library system to expand our reach.”

To register for one or all of the programs in the legal series, visit For more information about program content, please contact Sarah Logan at For more information about registration, please contact Mark Christ at