Growing up, I spent many of my days at the local library finding the latest books by a favorite author (for many years it was Stephen King), discovering new authors, and listening rapt to the featured storyteller.
In more recent years, when I made the choice to start a part-time business, I used a local university law school library to navigate legal information and ensure that I had everything in place to succeed.
Although I was familiar from my earlier MBA studies, it was daunting to see the rows and rows of beautifully bound books with gold inlays and not know where to begin my search. So from the start, I inquired with the law librarian and assistant on duty.
During that journey, I came to appreciate the value of researching (i.e., doing the “up-front” work) before contacting an attorney. It was time-consuming, but the experience expanded my knowledge and awareness in law pertaining to business, property and estates—and saved money.
I have often found the need to research Ohio state and local ordinances, which has led me online to the Ohio Revised Code and Administrative Code and other online databases. I found out quickly that most online law databases require a subscription fee. The local law libraries are free and open to all.
So the next time you find yourself with a legal question, and if you have the time, start at your local library to do research. Get help. Ask questions.
Here is a list of useful law libraries and a University of Virginia law school video on using the law library to find local cases.
- Library of Congress Law https://www.loc.gov/law/about/faq/faq-use.php
- Cleveland Law Library https://clevelandlawlibrary.org/
- Stark County Law Library www.starkcountyohio.gov/law-library
- Akron Law Library akronlawlib.summitoh.net
What are you doing to increase your legal knowledge and awareness? Send me a message and let me know. Let’s share ideas!