UK City Councils to Offer Free Legal Advice via Webcam in Libraries

The general public can already get legal information and/or advice from public legal education websites or from legal clinics and pro bono groups.

Some city councils in the United Kingdom are going one step further. Birmingham and Westminster are teaming up with videoconferencing firm Instant Law UK to offer free legal advice via webcam in public libraries:

“The plan is now to be in 100 locations within 12 months and 360 locations in 24 months. Though it will continue to place kiosks in those shopping centres which have already been identified – with three set to launch at the end of January – the focus is now on libraries. Services will in time be extended to cover non-legal issues such as debt problems.”

“Users will access the service through a dedicated computer screen and webcam in a secure location in the library.”

It will be interesting to watch this experiment as it unfolds. Will Canadian public libraries follow suit?

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