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Law Library News

The Ask a Lawyer in the Library Program – Pro Bono Services at the Library

Posted by Chi Song on October 30, 2015

Untitled drawing (2)Ask a Lawyer in the Library is one of the Law Library’s major outreach programs, which provides much-needed legal services to self-represented litigants and underrepresented litigants. Every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., any member of the public can sign-up to speak with our volunteer attorney on civil, non-family law legal matters. In addition, on the third Wednesday of each month, the program is held at the North County Area Library in Glen Burnie from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. To ensure fairness, sign-up is in-person, via lottery, 15 minutes prior to the program start time, and consultations are limited to twenty minutes. The Law Library’s partners include the Anne Arundel Bar Association and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.

Since its inception in 2009, 131 attorneys have contributed over 1,289 pro bono service hours to assist over 2,500 people. The Law Library would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of the volunteer attorneys, the Anne Arundel Bar Association, the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, and the Law Library staff. This program would not be possible without everyone’s hard work and dedication.

Calling all Volunteers! The Law Library is always looking for new volunteers for the Ask a Lawyer in the Library program. Dates and times are flexible. If you are nervous about volunteering, the Law Library’s staff is always on hand to provide support, including reference and referral services. In addition, the program is a limited legal advice service, and attorneys are only committing to the program hours. Please contact Joan Bellistri if you would like to learn more about available volunteer opportunities.

Recaps! The Law Library’s blog provides regular recaps of each Ask a Lawyer in the Library program. Recaps always include the number of program participants, the names of volunteer attorneys and a sampling of the types of issues addressed during the individual consultations.

Last week, on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, the Law Library hosted its weekly program at the Law Library and coordinated its monthly program at the North County Area Library in Glen Burnie. For the weekly program at the Law Library, Marietta Warren from Hillman Brown & Darrow served as our volunteer attorney and met with 6 individuals to discuss issues such as an Orphan’s Court appeal, bankruptcy, employment, landlord/tenant, estate plans and mortgages. In addition, library staff provided reference and referral services for an expungement matter and a family law matter for participants.

For the monthly evening program, Alan Forman and Susan Mays served as our volunteer attorneys. Alan and Susan met with 13 people to discuss issues including court procedure, probate, Atomic Compensation Waiver and real estate. In addition, Joan Bellistri provided on-site administration and coordination services as well as provided reference and referrals services to 2 individuals seeking assistance with a protective order, family law matters and expungement.

On, October 28, 2015, the Law Library hosted its weekly program, and Paul Farmer of Gormley Jarashow Bowman provided consultations to 7 people on issues such as foreclosure, contracts, court procedure, tort procedure, licensing, estates and a writ of mandamus for a vehicle title.

For more information about the program, check out http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library, or you can check out our past blog posts!

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