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Posts Tagged ‘2014ProBonoWeek’

Spotlight on the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland

Posted by Chi Song on October 27, 2014

GENERIC_CELEBRATION_LOGO_3(1)National Pro Bono Week may have come to a close last week, but there are always available opportunities for practicing attorneys, retired attorneys, paralegals and others to participate in pro bono legal service. The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland is a great place to begin your search for pro bono opportunities as it is a statewide coordinator of volunteer legal services. This blog highlighted the Resource Center in 2012 (see post here), but the Resource Center is such a great resource, that it bears another mention (or two).

Current, ongoing Pro Bono Projects, coordinated by the Resource Center, include the following.

As an added bonus, the Resource Center provides attorneys with a wide array of support services. Are you interested in a pro bono project that is outside your practice area? Training, continuing legal education and mentoring services are available. Many of the pro bono projects also extend malpractice insurance to volunteer attorney, even if the volunteer has his or her own coverage.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities coordinated by the Resource Center, you can browse their website at www.probonomd.org, call the Resource Center at (410) 837-9379 or (800) 492-1964, ext. 261 or email the Resource Center at pbrc@probonomd.org.  As always, the Law Library is happy to assist you in your search for pro bono legal service opportunities!

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Spotlight on the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee

Posted by Chi Song on October 24, 2014

GENERIC_CELEBRATION_LOGO_3(1)The 2014 National Pro Bono Celebration this year is October 19th through October 25th. The Law Library is excited to once again be a Celebration Supporter! In honor of the National Pro Bono Celebration, this blog will be featuring posts focusing on pro bono and other free legal services for the entire month of October.  

National Pro Bono Week will come to a close on Saturday, October 25, 2014, but opportunities to engage in pro bono legal service are available year-round. If you are interested in pro bono legal service in Anne Arundel County, you can reach out to the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee. For example, the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee participates in Anne Arundel County’s annual Homeless Resource Day.  This event provides individuals and families experiencing homelessness with access opportunities to a variety of social services, benefits and other resources. The 7th Annual Homeless Resource Day was held on March 29, 2014 – see our blog post here.

Our very own Joan Bellistri, Director of the Law Library, is the chair of the local pro bono committee.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Joan Bellistri at (410) 222-1387 or joan.bellistri@aacounty.org. For more in-depth coverage about the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee, check out our 2013 blog post.

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Calling Anne Arundel Attorneys to take the Pro Bono Challenge!

Posted by Joan Bellistri on October 20, 2014

Challenge Photo

Calling all Attorneys!

Take the Anne Arundel Pro Bono Challenge – Part I:

1.  Simply register (or have registered in the past) with a pro bono legal services provider as a volunteer and agree to take a case.

2.  Once registered, let the Local Pro Bono Committee know by filling out the form at http://goo.gl/forms/iXnnwi9uC9.

All who register with a provider and fill out the form by October 31st will be eligible for a prize drawing. (Prizes include a bottle of wine and more.) Questions? Contact Joanie Bellistri @ joan.bellistri@aacounty.org or 410-222-1387.

Find out more about Parts II and III of the Challenge:  https://aacpll.org/anne-arundel-county-pro-bono-challenge/ 

Do you need suggestions for finding a pro bono opportunity?   Read the rest of this entry »

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Upcoming Pro Bono Events!

Posted by Chi Song on October 16, 2014

GENERIC_CELEBRATION_LOGO_3(1)The 2014 National Pro Bono Celebration this year is October 19th through October 25th. The Law Library is excited to once again be a Celebration Supporter! In honor of the National Pro Bono Celebration, this blog will be featuring posts focusing on pro bono and other free legal services for the entire month of October.  

Here is a very small sampling of some upcoming events in Maryland!

Monday, October 20th:  CLS Family Law Clinic for the Self Represented at the Prince George’s County Courthouse. More information about this clinic as well as other ongoing programs is available at http://www.clspgc.org/WhatWeDo/ProgramsClinics.

Tuesday, October 21st:  Pro Bono Connection at the University of Baltimore School of Law.  The event will provide free expungement training from 2:00 to 5:00 and a Pro Bono Fair and Reception, 5:00 – 7:00, connecting law students and lawyers with pro bono opportunities (includes lite fare, beer and wine). For more information, contact kpierre@probonomd.org.

Wednesday October 22nd:  Ask a Lawyer in the Law Library Program at the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Information about the Ask a Lawyer in the Law Library program is available at http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.  Also, check out our blog posts about this program.

Thursday October 23rd:  Pro Bono Family Mediation Project Clinic at the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.  For more information about the clinic, which is a joint venture among the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, the University of Balitmore School of Law and the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, see http://probonomd.org/about-us/about-family-mediation/ and/or contact Annie Brinkmann at abrinkmann@probonomd.org.

Friday October 24th:

  • Annual Conference and Career Fair sponsored by Equal Justice Works at the Bethesda North Marriott.  More information about the event, which connects law students and public interest employers, is available at http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/law-school/conference-and-careerfair.
  • Mid-Shore Pro Bono and Legal Logs is hosting a Lunch and Learn which will include updates to the MSPB Judicare and Collaborative Law programs, and a demonstration of Legal Logs.  The luncheon will be held on Friday, October 24,11:30 am – 1:30 pm, at the Washington Street Pub, 20 N. Washington Street, in Easton. RSVP megan@midshoreprobono.org or 410-690-812

Saturday October 25th:  Naturalization Clinic at the Esperanza Center Immigration Legal Services (Baltimore, Maryland).  For more information, please see http://www.catholiccharities-md.org/immigrants/immigration-legal-services/immigration-legal-services.html and/or contact Ouranitsa Abbas at oabbas@cc-md.org.

This is only a small sampling of the available services and opportunities to volunteer.  More Maryland events are available at http://www.probono.net/celebrateprobono/events/location.2014-10-01.Maryland. Information about nationwide events is available at http://www.probono.net/celebrateprobono/events/.

 

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Spotlight on the People’s Law Library

Posted by Chi Song on October 15, 2014

The 2014 National Pro Bono Celebration this year is October 19th through October 25th. The Law Library is excited to once again be a Celebration Supporter! In honor of the National Pro Bono Celebration, this blog will be featuring posts focusing on pro bono and other free legal services for the entire month of October.   

The People’s Law Library (PLL), available at www.peoples-law.org, is a legal information and self-help website geared towards Maryland citizens and is maintained by the Maryland State Law Library.  It is a good starting point for your legal research as the PLL provides information for self-represented litigants about the law as well as referrals for legal services.  The PLL’s content development is overseen by a committee of legal professionals from throughout the State of Maryland.  With over 1.3 million hits each month, the PLL is a great resource for Maryland residents.

Top 5 Reasons We Love the People’s Law Library

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Pro Bono at the Library – Ask A Lawyer In The Library

Posted by Chi Song on October 14, 2014

The 2014 National Pro Bono Celebration this year is October 19th through October 25th. The Law Library is excited to once again be a Celebration Supporter! In honor of the National Pro Bono Celebration, this blog will be featuring posts focusing on pro bono and other free legal services for the entire month of October.  

The Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is a civil, non-family law, self-help program sponsored by the Anne Arundel Bar Association and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.  Every Wednesday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., you can talk with a volunteer attorney for up to 20 minutes.

To date, 121 attorneys have contributed over one thousand hours to meet with over two thousand clients.  Our statistics for recent years are as follows:  in 2013, volunteer attorneys contributed 229 hours to meet with 400 clients;  in 2012, volunteer attorneys contributed 205 hours to meet with 445 clients; and in 2011, volunteer attorneys contributed over 201 hours to meet with 479 clients.  The Law Library would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the volunteer attorneys!  If you are an attorney interested in volunteering with this program, please contact us.  For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library, or you can check out our past blog posts about the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program!

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Spotlight on the Family Law Self Help Center

Posted by Chi Song on October 13, 2014

FLSHC

Follow the signs to the Family Law Self-Help Center when you enter the Law Library.

The 2014 National Pro Bono Celebration this year is October 19th through October 25th. The Law Library is excited to once again be a Celebration Supporter! In honor of the National Pro Bono Celebration, this blog will be featuring posts focusing on pro bono and other free legal services for the entire month of October.  
 

Located in the back of the Law Library, the Family Law Self Help Center (FLSHC) assists unrepresented litigants in certain family law matters, such as divorce, child custody/visitation, child support and name changes. Below is a list of questions commonly asked at the Law Library’s Information Desk about the FLSHC.

1.  Who works at the FLSHC? Is the FLSHC part of the Law Library? The FLSHC is staffed entirely by the Annapolis office of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau. Although the FLSHC is housed in the Law Library, it is a separate entity from the Law Library. Information about the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau is available at http://www.mdlab.org/.

2.  What are the self-help center’s hours? The FLSHC is open Monday through Friday. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, the FLSHC’s hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Tuesdays and Fridays, the FLSHC’s hours are 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

3.  Do I need to sign-in? Yes, the FLSHC provides assistance on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a sign-in desk at the FLSHC. The sign-in desk is NOT located at the Law Library’s Information Desk.

4.  Is assistance available in-person only? No, you can always call the Family Law Self Help Center at (410) 280-5374, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Also, you can call the Family Law Hotline at 1-800-845-8550The Family Law Hotline is a statewide, free service, staffed by attorneys, that can provide service for basic family law questions.

5.  I made an error on a form provided to me by the FLSHC.  Can I get a new copy online? Some of the forms provided by the FLSHC are available online. You can check the Maryland Courts Website’s Family Law Forms Index,  Law Help Interactive and the Department of Family Administration’s Family Forms Finder. If you are in the courthouse, stop by the Law Library. We may be able to assist you in locating the desired form.

6.  Do I need to pay the FLSHC? No, the FLSHC is funded through a grant from the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. You do not pay the attorneys and paralegals for their assistance.

7.  Can I make copies? Can I type things up on the computer? Can I print something I prepared at home? There are two copy machines available for public use in the Law Library (copies are 25¢ each), and computers are available for use in the Law Library’s computer room. You can print from the computer room (25¢ per page after the first 5 pages, which are free). The Law Library can help you with the copy machines and computers. Come find us at the Information Desk.

Did you know that SASI-Calc, the Child Support and Alimony Calculator is available in the Law Library? If you would like to use SASI-Calc, it is available on select computers in the Law Library’s computer room. If you have any questions, come find us at the Information Desk or contact us!

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Maryland Rules on Pro Bono Legal Service

Posted by Chi Song on October 8, 2014

GENERIC_CELEBRATION_LOGO_3(1)“You have to learn the rules of the game.  And then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein

Did you know that there are Maryland Rules on Pro Bono Legal Service?  Rule 16-812 (Rule 6.1 Pro Bono Publico Service) of the Maryland Rules is an aspirational (not mandatory) rule that provides that “[a] lawyer has a professional responsibility to render pro bono publico legal service”* and suggests a minimum 50 hours of pro bono service each year.

There are many ways to provide pro bono legal service.

◙  You can provide legal service (without charging a fee or at a substantially reduced rate) to “(A) people of limited means; (B) charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, or educational organizations in matters designed primarily to address the needs of people of limited means; (C) individuals, groups, or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties, or public rights; or (D) charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, or educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes when the payment of the standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization’s economic resources or would otherwise be inappropriate.”

◙  You can also participate in activities to “improv[e] the law, the legal system, or the legal profession.”

◙  You can provide financial support to organizations providing pro bono legal services.

In addition, Rules 16-901, 16-902 and 16-903 address pro bono standing committees at the state and local level as well as mandatory reporting of pro bono legal service.

Do you have questions about the Maryland Rules on Pro Bono Legal Service?  A great place to start is the FAQ section available on the Maryland Courts website.  The Law Library is also always available to assist.

*All quotations, unless noted otherwise, are attributable to Rule 16-812 of the Maryland Rules, which are available online at https://govt.westlaw.com/mdc/Browse/Home/Maryland/MarylandCodeCourtRules?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)#N105FF040B79311DBB4ACEAAAE7EB7386.

 

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October is Pro Bono Month!

Posted by Chi Song on October 7, 2014

20141003_090150

You can find Pro Bono Chocolates, specially wrapped by Joan Bellistri, in the Law Library!

The 2014 National Pro Bono Celebration this year is October 19th through October 25th. This annual celebration of pro bono is organized and sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono to recognize and promote pro bono at the national level, but with a focus on local needs and local projects.  The Law Library is excited to once again be a Celebration Supporter!

In honor of the National Pro Bono Celebration, this blog will be featuring posts focusing on pro bono service for the entire month of October.  Stay tuned as we will highlight ongoing pro bono services and programs available at the Law Library, such as the Ask A Lawyer In The Library Program, as well as opportunities to get involved, such as the Anne Arundel Pro Bono Challenge.  For more information about the National Pro Bono Celebration, including background, events, resources and news, please visit http://www.probono.net/celebrateprobono/.

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