Constitution Day

Today, September 17, is the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States in 1787.

For more information check out the Maryland Judiciary’s Constitution Day page.

Read more at the Law Library of Congress about Constitution and Citizenship Day

The National Archives has information in the form of eBooks, online courses and apps:

Exploring the United States Constitution – This eBook connects primary sources to the principles of the Constitution. It can accompany the U.S. Constitution iTunes U course.

Congress Creates the Bill of Rights – The eBook, app, and online resource situate the user in the proposals, debates, and revisions that shaped the Bill of Rights.

Putting the Bill of Rights to the Test – This primary source-based eWorkbook helps students explore protections in the Bill of Rights and how they’ve been tested throughout history. 

The Annotated Code of Maryland includes a Constitution volume that contains both the United States and Maryland constitutions.

Books on constitutional law in the law library include:

The American Constitution: its origins and development / Kelly, Alfred Hinsey (JK31.K4 1983)

Modern constitutional law / by William J. Rich. (KF4550 .A75 2011)

The Reconstruction amendments’ debates the legislative history and contemporary debates in Congress on the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments (KF4756.A29A9)

Treatise on constitutional law : substance and procedure / by Ronald D. Rotunda, Doy and Dee Henley distinguished chair in jurisprudence ; John E. Nowak, Raymond and Mary Simon chair in Constitutional (KF4550 .R63 2012)

American constitutional law / Tribe, Laurence H. (KF4550.T785 2000)

The Maryland state constitution / Dan Friedman ; foreword by Robert L. Karwacki. (KFM1601 1867.A6 F747 2011)

Maryland constitutional law (KFM1600.N5)

The American Constitution: its origins and development / Kelly, Alfred Hinsey (JK31.K4 1983)


A Pro Bono Story: Pro Bono with Friends

Having just reported on the Anne Arundel Pro Bono Recognition Lunch,  seems a good time to share this pro bono story – Pro bono with friends -found in a May blog post by attorney Ivy Finkenstadt describing her work with Anne Arundel’s Pro Bono Committee Chair, Tasnima Apol:

Today I had the pleasure of representing two Guatemalan brothers in a guardianship hearing in a pro bono case I took on with a colleague. Tasnima Apol, of Apol Law LLC is an experienced family law attorney who has done guardianship petitions before and I have experience working with immigrant clients in immigration and other matters. It was the perfect opportunity to pair up to do some good and get additional experience while supporting each other. I handled much of the client interviewing because I speak Spanish, and I was also able to navigate the immigration forms we had to send in. Tasnima rocked the direct examination of our clients in court and her comfort level in the courtroom helped us win.

Teaming up to work with another attorney is one way attorneys branch into new areas of practice or enhance the services they can offer to clients, but it is still not very common. Having made the effort, I recommend it. Especially for solo attorneys, working with a colleague on either a paying matter or doing pro bono could open up new areas of work and deepen your experience while while you maintain your individual practices. In our case together, my colleague and I had a representation agreement with the client that expressed that we worked together. In more complex litigation or a larger team a co-counseling agreement between the lawyers in addition to the consent of the client may be necessary to decide issues of work distribution, allocation of fees, and other issues such as ultimate decision making.

In our case, Tasnima and I both gained valuable skills and experience from working with one another and we are happy to say our clients are well on their way to a better life situation as a result. Do pro bono. With friends.

Do you have a pro bono story to share? Please send it to the Local Pro Bono Committee in care of

lawlibrary Pro Bono

Recognizing Pro Bono 2018-2019

The deadline for reporting pro bono hours is fast approaching – tomorrow!  The time of year for Maryland lawyers to report their pro bono hours to the judiciary has changed.  Maryland attorneys must pay annual CPF assessment and file pro bono and IOLTA reports by September 10. For more information please see the judiciary’s news release dated August 26, 2019.  Attorneys must complete their reporting and may pay their assessment using the Attorney Information System (AIS)

With the change of the pro bono reporting date the Anne Arundel County Annual Pro Bono Recognition Lunch was held in June instead of February.  Judges, court staff and local pro bono attorneys attended the Annual Pro Bono Recognition Lunch in the Law Library on June 20, 2019. Click here to see the list of pro bono attorneys honored at this year’s event: Program 2019.


Court Holiday: July 4th and 5th

photo of fireworks display
Photo by Designecologist on

The Law Library will be closed July 4th and 5th, 2019, for the Independence Day holiday.  The Law Library will reopen on Monday, July 8, 2019.  A list of Court Holidays is available on the Circuit Court’s website at Except on Court Holidays, the Library is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. A federal holiday since 1941, Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July, has been celebrated in the United States since 1776.  If you are interested in learning more about Independence Day and the events leading up to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, check out these sites.

lawlibrary Maryland Law

New Edition of the Journalist’s Guide to Maryland’s Legal System

The third edition of the Journalist’s Guide to Maryland’s Legal System was released on Law Day, May 1, 2019. The theme for this year’s Law Day was “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society.” From the judiciary’s press release:

“It is significant that we are releasing the Journalist’s Guide on Law Day,” said Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. “The Judiciary strives to improve public awareness and understanding of the Maryland judicial branch, the court system, and its role in resolving conflicts, providing justice, and upholding the rule of law. A free press is vitally important to inform the public about court proceedings and events. This guide gives journalists the tools they need to report about our legal system with the necessary accuracy and thoroughness to inform and educate the people we serve.”

Please read more of the press release here.

This is a great resource not just for journalists but for anyone who wants to learn more about our legal system.



AACPLL News is taking a break

but will return by May 2019.

Holiday lawlibrary

Ask A Lawyer in the Library cancelled on 12/5/2018

The Ask a Lawyer in the Library program will not be held December 5, 2018 because the Circuit Court (and the law library) will be closed on Wednesday, December 5, in recognition of the national day of mourning. The court will reopen on Thursday, December 6. Read more here.

The Ask a Lawyer in the Library will resume next Wednesday, December 12, which will be the last program before the holiday break.


Holiday lawlibrary

Law Library Closed for Thanksgiving

The Law Library, the Family Law Self Help Center,  and the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County is closed today November 22, 2018 and tomorrow, November 23, 2018 for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  The Law Library will reopen on Monday, November 26, 2018.  A list of Court Holidays is available on the Circuit Court’s website at . Except on Court Holidays, the Library is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Read this article, Congress Establishes Thanksgiving, at the National Archives website to find out how Thanksgiving became a holiday.

Holiday lawlibrary

Law Library Closed for Veterans Day

The Law Library and the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court are closed today, November 12, 2018 in observance of Veterans Day.  The law library and court will reopen on Tuesday, November 13. Except on Court Holidays, the Library is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. A list of Court Holidays is available on the Circuit Court’s website at

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I.  This year marks 100 years since the end of that war. In 1954, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars.  Read more here.



Election Day: Law Library Closed

The Law Library and the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County will be closed today, November 6, 2018 for Election Day and will reopen on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

For information on the 2018 Maryland general election please visit the website of the  Maryland State Board of Elections. There you can everything you need to know for election day on your voter lookup page – from verifying your voter registration, finding your polling pace or reviewing your sample ballot.

Election results will  be available from the Maryland State Board of Elections and the local boards of elections.​