Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Word of the Month for December 2014: Pleb

Everyone is a common people
Have you ever had a job that, when you open your eyes in the morning, you say, "I get to go to work, today!"  Being a law Librarian is just like that for me.  One of the best parts is working with the general public.  I guess my skills might be better suited for a corporate law firm or academia, but in working with the public I get more variety and am exposed to a diverse spectrum of people.  Of course, all this leads up to our word of the month which is PLEBS.

According to Black's Law Dictionary, a PLEB refers to the common people in ancient Rome; the general body of citizens, excluding the patricians (or privileged class).  In the modern world, PLEBs are the general public (i.e. non legal people).  Don't get me wrong, I dig working for/with attorneys and judges all the time but it is the rush I get from helping the everyday/regular people and the variety of problems they have (and the opportunity to turn despair into possibilities and hope) that drives me.

For instance, we had a guy in there the other day.  Seems guy had contracted for some services on his house.  Turns out the work was substandard and the contract that guy had signed said, if he's not satisfied that he doesn't have to pay until he is satisfied.  Well, he wasn't satisfied and when he complained to the owner, owner said - so sad, too bad - pay us or we're going to sue you (and you can't do anything about it because you can't afford an attorney to fight us).

See, it was that last part that got my juices going.  As it turns out, about 45% of the people who use our law library have no legal background and yet are able to defend themselves against people like this guy was facing.  So, knowing our library as I do, I walk guy over to:


and in no time, guy had the forms he needed to defend himself and, in fact, found a couple of legal zingers of his own he could use to mess with the case against him (yeah, he was mad as all get out and was looking for a little payback).

Bottom line, just because you do not have a background in jurisprudence, know that your local county law Librarian has the skills to help you fight your battles.  Yeah, we are that good!