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Learning About Legal Self-Help Video from California's Judicial Council and Supported by the Public Welfare Foundation (News 2017)

The Judicial Council of California, with support from the Public Welfare Foundation, produced a nine minute video that shares how triage and self-help services through San Francisco's Access Center can address civil justice needs.  Please find a letter from Mary McClymont, Public Welfare Foundation's president, below detailing the importance of these concepts and resources.


Dear colleague,

As you know, the Public Welfare Foundation has a special initiative on civil legal aid for the poor. Through this initiative, we hope to catalyze and elevate solutions that advance the civil legal aid field and civil justice reform. As the Conference of Chief Justices called for, the goal is to move toward a system that provides a continuum of meaningful and appropriate services to give effective assistance to all those with essential civil legal needs. 

As you well know, a key element of any system is the role of self-help services, and the use of the concept of “triage” – a  matching process to enable  a user to get access to the information and effective assistance they need, when they need it, and in a format they can use.

I want to share with you a video (see below) that was produced by the Judicial Council of California (thank you Bonnie Hough and Dex Craig!) and supported by the Public Welfare Foundation. In a state that has a self-help center in every trial court jurisdiction, the video features San Francisco, one of the most longstanding of these centers and an example of the importance of self-help services to closing the civil justice gap. As I hope you will agree, the video offers a picture of how a well-developed  self-help center can be an important tool to support a person who is without legal help. It can guide and refer the user to the right kind of legal help or to relevant social services depending on the need. The video also seeks to help the viewer understand  the use of “triage.” 

I hope you will take the time—nine minutes—to review the video. Then, would you please be willing to share it with your own networks in case others want to use this to help explain these concepts to their colleagues.  

The video is located here: To view the video, click the link and scroll down to Learning About Legal Self-Help


Best regards, Mary 


Mary E. McClymont

President and CEO

Public Welfare Foundation