WNYLRC offers a free Ask The Lawyer service to member libraries and library systems. To request the service, members must complete the Ask the WNYLRC Lawyer! Request Form. Members should provide as much information as possible on the issue to ensure the attorney has the information needed to fully answer the member library’s inquiry. Member libraries also have the ability to upload documents that might be helpful in assisting the attorney who is reviewing the issue.
We ask members to check the RAQ section first before completing the form. Another member may have already asked the same question!
Questions sent to WNYLRC's "Ask the Lawyer" service will be reviewed by a WNYLRC staff member who is the service liaison, and sent to our attorney for answers. Responses and answers may be provided in several formats:
Please keep in mind: the "Ask the Lawyer" service is not legal representation of your organization. Always alert officers at your institution if a lawsuit is threatened, or if a matter is so specific or critical that your own institution's attorney should be involved. And yes -- you can always "Ask the Lawyer," if you don't know if a particular issue hits that threshold!
The service is staffed by Buffalo attorney Stephanie ("Cole") Adams, who first developed a deep connection to libraries working as a page, then clerk, at her hometown library in New Hartford, NY. Ms. Adams went on to work at the libraries of her Alma Maters, Hampshire College, and SUNY Buffalo School of Law. She served for over 10 years as the in-house counsel at Niagara University, in Niagara Falls, NY. An attorney admitted to practice in both the state and federal courts of New York, Ms. Adams has extensive experience with the issues confronting information professionals. Ms. Adams works closely with WNYLRC and other library Councils to craft useful replies to member library questions.