Daily Herald
Lake Co. Bar planning 'People's Law School'
By Tony Gordon | Daily Herald Columnist
Published: 2/4/2009 12:01 AM

The Lake County Bar Association is embarking on a program to demystify the business of lawyers in the eyes of the public.

"The People's Law School," set for four consecutive Tuesdays beginning Feb. 10, will not prepare you to hang out your own shingle but rather is designed to help you better understand how the law functions.

Bryan Winter, the LCBA president, said the concept for the school came from the association's goal of getting closer to the people lawyers serve.

"We are always looking for a way to interact with the public, and the school seemed like a good way to do that," Winter said. "People are often frustrated because they haven't had any experience with the process and do not understand why things happen as they do."

The classes, which will be held in Auditorium C005 at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, are broken two 45-minute segments each week.

Up to 15 lawyers and several judges will present information on various aspects of the law that are most likely to impact on the lives of average citizens, Winter said.

The Feb. 10 sessions will feature a general overview of the legal system, followed by a discussion of consumer law and identity protection.

The Feb. 17 classes will cover criminal and traffic law and employment and workplace law.

Family law and personal injury and workers' compensation law will be discussed Feb. 24, and the course will wrap up March 3 with information on real estate law and wills, trusts and estate planning.

Course materials will be provided. Winter said general questions will be invited from attendees, but no legal advice on specific cases will be given.

"We will be dispensing general information and directing people to our Lawyer Referral Service for specific situations," Winter said.

The aim is to increase understanding, he explained.

"We want to demonstrate to people that, because of the finality of the decisions that have to be reached, there are complex rules and procedures that have to be followed," he said.

The classes, which will run from 7 to 8:45 p.m. with a 30-minute break between segments, are free.

Registration, which closes Feb. 6, is available at the bar association's Web site at www.LakeBar.org or by calling (847) 244-3143.

Winter said people can sign up for individual segments, but attendance at all four sessions is encouraged.