wanted: co-editors for “self-help law” weblog


  [pre-launch posting]

Self-Help Law deserves its own weblog.  It is too important a right for consumers, a vital movement, and a growing virtual and realworld reality, to be outside the spotlight of the blogosphere and the weblogger community. (See Movement/ Shmovement below, plus our About page)  Indeed, if weblogs are even half as important in the world of legal services as everybody* says, it may be malpractice for consumer advocates, proponents of universal access to justice, law-and-technology gurus, or law firm management mavens to start the day without seeking a weblog dose of pro se and self-help news and punditry.

hurrying  That’s why your host (David Giacalone, of ethicalEsq and f/k//a) has been constructing shlep over the past few weeks, in this corner of the blogosphere.   If you haven’t yet realized the need for a self-help law weblog, I hope the prior postings at this site (just scroll down the page), along with the resources you can already find in the SideBar, will convince you, too.   With hundreds of court-based and private self-representation programs in existence, commissions in most states to promote access to justice for all, and an enormous unmet need for legal services and information by the American consumer, there is both plenty of news (see, e.g., the HALT eJournal and the SelfHelpSupport News Page) and plenty of room for constructive commentary. 

So, you might ask, why is shlep still in its “pre-launch” stage?  Quite simply: because I can’t do it alone.  There are many reasons, including those discussed at my original weblog ethicalEsq.  Most important is the fact that I do not have the expertise and insight, much less the energy, to do justice to this important topic.  Frankly, I’d like to post no more than twice a week to shlep, while sharing the task of making this a daily publication with other informed and committed contributors.

 HelpWantedN  Therefore, shlep is seeking co-editors to contribute regularly to its content and help guide its construction and evolution.  [See the About page for a discussion of the current goals for this weblog.]  Pro se practitioners; law librarians; and lawyers, law professors or students committed to achieving access to justice for all Americans (especially through the use of assisted self-help programs and information technology) are likely prospects.  Good writing, good manners and good sense are prerequisites — along with enthusiasm.

Anyone interested in making a significant contribution to shlep is urged to contact David Giacalone at “shlep AT localnet dot com” [no spaces in the address].  Let me know your background, areas of interest, any relevant expertise (including weblogging), and how often/much you would be able to contribute to shlep.  Information on how you might like to structure the weblog and share in posting duties would also be appreciated. 

If you know someone who might be interested in being a co-editor at shlep, please alert them to this posting. 

Until an editorial team is in place, shlep will remain in “pre-launch” stage, with only occasional posting.   Please come back to browse and look for our official launching. 

NormaRae Labor Day update (Sept. 4, 2006): Thanks to Workplace Prof Blog and Blawg Review #73 for pointing to our Help Wanted sign.  We wonder whether Norma Rae feels conflicted over becoming a prosumer — both a producer and consumer of legal services, and part of the growing process of “externalizing labor costs.”

Additional thanks: (a) to Kevin Heller for a mention at TechLawAdviser, and to Robert Ambrogi at Legal Blog Watch, for his extended coverage of our pre-launch (“Shlepping towards self-help justice“, Sept. 5, 2006).  Bob and Kevin are definitely too busy to join the shlep team.  Are you?  (b) to Rob Truman of BoleyBlogs (Sept. 5, 2006), the head of Electronic Information Services at the Lewis & Clark Law School Library, who seems to have found a populist streak “driving the blog’s creation and title.”  (c) to Jim Milles at Out of the Jungle, who both quotes extensively from shlep and raises a few concerns about self-help assistance in practice (Sept. 6, 2006).

NoYabuts  (d) to Carolyn Elefant of MyShingle, who not only supports increased self-help efforts, but who ably explains why her consistency — solos and small firms — should care about the growing pro se trend. (“Be a shlep!” Sept. 6, 2006)  We left a Comment at MyShingle quoting from Civil Legal Assistance for All Americans: The Report of the Harvard Law School Bellow-Sacks Project on the Future of Access to Civil Legal Services (by Jeanne Charn and Richard Zorza, at 29 – 30, 2005, pdf), discussing the potential role of small firms in bringing full access to justice to the American consumer.   (e) to Walter Olson of Overlawyered.com fame, who kindly pointed over here from his perch at Point of Law (Sept. 7, 2006).  (f) to Stephanie West Allen, who has honored shlep by adding us to her selective Blogroll at Idealawg.


*  Everybody from Denise and Dennis, Monica and Carolyn, to Bob, Ernie, Marty, Evan, Kevin, and “Ed“.  And, many more.

** The original meaning of “shlep” and its relationship to the Self-Help Law movement is discussed on our About page.


  1. tech law advisor

    September 5, 2006 @ 9:06 am


    Blawg Review #73…

    at Workplace Prof Blog. They’ve really done a great job citing workplace (law) related blawg entries for Labor Day. Go there. Check it out. Blawg Review has information about next week’s host, and instructions on how to get your blawg……

  2. BoleyBlogs! » New blog - schlep: the Self-Help LawExPress- Paul L. Boley Law Library

    September 5, 2006 @ 11:55 pm


    […] Interested in joining the editorial team? Check out the full help-wanted sign and get on board. […]

  3. PointOfLaw Forum

    September 6, 2006 @ 11:33 pm


    “Shlep: Self-Help Law Express”…

    David Giacalone, now on hiatus from his ethicalEsq legal ethics weblog, is launching a new web project aimed at providing “news & views on self-help law and pro se litigation”. Stop by and check it out, especially since he’s in……

  4. shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress » Blog Archive » even self-helpers have bosses

    October 16, 2006 @ 1:22 am


    […]   Do-It-Yourselfers are by definition independent folk, but most of us nonetheless have bosses (somewhere).  So, I thought I’d remind you that October 16 is Boss’s Day. That is a fact I would not have known, except that a Google search for Help Wanted Signs sent the querist clicking through to shlep.  That’s because our Help Wanted post was the 5th result out of 115 million.  Clicking the #1 result got me to an actual, attractive, printable Help Wanted Sign.  Curiousity then led me to the Home Page of PrintFree, which is  ”A printing site that can be used free of charge to print Calendars, Greeting Cards, Signs, Flyers, Forms, and much more.”  No registration is required.  […]

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