lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Celebrate Pro Bono: FREE Legal Fair and Expungement Clinic

FREE Legal Fair and Expungement Clinic

Saturday, October 26, 2019
10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Boys and Girls Club at Freetown Village
7820 Darrell Henry
Pasadena, MD 21122

Volunteers needed! 

 Hosted by the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. – Rho Eta Zeta Chapter and the North Arundel County Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. in partnership with the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service


Please contact Ginina Stevenson @ 410-315-8051
OR Joan Bellistri: 410-222-1387 or for information.

lawlibrary Pro Bono

Celebrate Pro Bono: Food, Fun and Pro Bono

The National Celebration of Pro Bono takes place the last week of October, 10/20/2019 -10/26/2019. According to the American Bar Association (ABA):

Every October since 2009, legal organizations across America participate in the National Celebration of Pro Bono to draw attention to the need for pro bono participation, and to thank those who give their time year round.  Read more here

In Maryland, the Pro Bono Celebration tends to go for the whole month of October. In Anne Arundel County, there are a number of pro bono opportunities planned for attorneys that will result in increased access to legal information and services for the public.

Please register for Fun + Food + Pro Bono:

Virtual Advice-a-Thon Pizza Party

An attorney advice-a-thon with food and cheer! Use the Maryland Free Legal Answers website to remotely provide brief advice to low-income Marylanders.  The pizza is real.

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Time: 5pm to 7:30pm

Location: Law Library, Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, 8 Church Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Food: Pizza and …..


Article Review-A-Thon 

 The People’s Law Library of Maryland (PLL), the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, and the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee invite you to participate in a lunchtime article review-a-thon.

PLL is a free, online legal encyclopedia of Maryland law and procedure. PLL has over 500 articles on a wide range of topics, including family law, landlord/tenant law, estates and trusts, civil procedure, and consumer law. 

Drop by during lunchtime to review an article or two. Food, drink, and library resources will be provided. The details are below.

Date: Thursday, October 24, 2019

Time: 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: Law Library, Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, 8 Church Circle, Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Food: Lunch will be provided.

Registration: The registration deadline is Tuesday, October 22, 2019. Drop-ins are always welcome, but we cannot guarantee that lunch will be available for drop-ins. Register @

Questions? Contact Lee Sampson at

lawlibrary Maryland Law

New Maryland Laws Take Effect October 1, 2019

New laws take effect in Maryland today.

HB0240 (CH0028) makes it a crime to threaten certain hate crimes.

SB0236 (CH0750) changes the minimum sentence that would disqualify someone from jury duty.

HB1169 (CH0396)  increased the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products including vaping products from 18 to 21.

SB0449 (CH0755) allows for same day voter registration.

The law banning bump stocks takes effect today but SB0707 (CH0252) was actually passed during the 2018 session. The law prohibits a person “a person from transporting a certain rapid fire trigger activator into the State or manufacturing, possessing, selling, offering to sell, transferring, purchasing, or receiving a certain rapid fire trigger activator, subject to a certain exception; defining “rapid fire trigger activator” as any device, including a removable manual or power-driven activating device, constructed so that, when installed in or attached to a firearm the rate at which the trigger is activated increases or the rate of fire increases…”

This is just a small sampling of the new laws enacted by the 2019 Legislative Session. The Department of Legislative Services (DLS) of the General Assembly of Maryland provides a full listing. Was there a major issue from the 2019 session that was not covered in this series? The 90 Day Report – A Review of the 2019 Session, published by DLS, includes a hyperlinked list of Major Issues from 2019.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?  DLS publishes a Popular Terms List as a reference for current legislation that is often referred to by the public and media by certain popular terms.

Do you prefer paper sources?  The Law Library’s collection includes the the advance (paperback) Laws of Maryland, arranged in chapter number order with separate volumes for a Sponsor Index, the Final Status Report, and Committee Index. In addition, the Law Library’s Maryland collection includes print copies of the current Annotated Code of Maryland. The  2019 pocket parts should be coming soon.

Don’t forget – the Law Library is here if you have questions or would like additional information. Contact us!


Worth a read: Constitution Annotated

Just in time for Constituition Day on September 17, Andrew Winston announced to AALL that the Library is launching the Constitution Annotated, a website that provides online access to a massive Senate document that has served for more than a century as the official record of the U.S. Constitution.

He referred to two blogposts for more information:

The Constitution, Annotated: The Constitution Explained in Plain English from September 16, 2019 by Neely Tucker

The Constitution Annotated Is Now Easier to Search and Browse from September 16, 2019 by Robert Brammer


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.