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Posts Tagged ‘2015ProBonoWeek’

Calling Attorney Volunteers!

Posted by Chi Song on November 2, 2015

CelebrateProBono_cmykHas National Pro Bono Week inspired you to volunteer your legal services, but you don’t know where to start? If so, contact the Law Library! We can connect you with organizations such as the Maryland Lawyers Service and the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, which provide training and formal volunteer programs as well as more limited volunteer opportunities. We can assist in matching you with the pro bono service or program that best fits your skills and goals.

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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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Congratulations to Joan Bellistri!

Posted by Chi Song on October 29, 2015

The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland’s 25th Anniversary Honorees include Joan Bellistri, Director of the Law Library, as a Partner Honoree. Over the course of her 35-year career at the Law Library, Joanie has dedicated herself to increasing access to legal information and services for the significant and growing self-represented litigant population. This includes outreach such as the library’s weekly Ask a Lawyer in the Library program, which Joanie launched in 2009, the collection of self-help and plain English reference and research materials in the library’s collection, and ongoing reference and research services to the members of the public who walk daily through the library’s doors.

In addition, Joanie’s commitment to providing access to justice services extends beyond the walls of the Law Library. From 2008 to 2011, Joanie was a member of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission and served on the Self-Represented Litigant Committee, the Self Help Center Advisory Sub-Committee, and the Limited Scope Representation Sub-Committee. She worked with the Department of Social Services to develop a legal component for Anne Arundel County’s Homeless Resource Day in 2009 and has coordinated the pro bono legal services for the Annual Homeless Resource Day since then. In addition, Joanie chaired the Anne Arundel County Bar’s Local Pro Bono Committee from its revival in 2011 until July 2015.

Congratulations Joanie on this well-deserved recognition!

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Family Law Resources for Self-Represented Litigants at the Law Library

Posted by Chi Song on October 27, 2015


Questions related to family law matters, such as custody, child support, divorce and visitation, are the library’s most frequently asked questions. Here is a quick rundown of available resources and referrals. If you want to learn more or can’t find what you’re looking for, please
contact us!

 

Are you looking for background and general information? If so, check out these sites.

In addition, the Library carries the following print materials, which may assist you.

  • Maryland Family Law, 5th \ Fader (KFM 1294.F33 2011)
  • Maryland Divorce and Separation Law, 9th \ Thomas (KFM 1300.M37 2009)
  • Maryland Domestic Relations Forms \ Turnbull (KFM 1294A65 T38)
  • Maryland Law Encyclopedia – Children, Custody and Support, Divorce, Husband and Wife, Parent and Child
  • Maryland Digest – Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, Husband and Wife, Parent and Child

 

Are you interested in the Maryland Code and Rules of Procedure? For the Maryland Code, the Family Law Article contains much of the law regarding divorce, custody, child support, etc. You can access them in print as well as online in the Law Library. If you want to access these resources from home, check out these links.

 

Do you need to conduct case law research? The Law Library has both online and print sources to assist you. Online sources include LexisNexis and WestlawNext. Don’t know how to use these online databases? We can show you how! (If you don’t know what case law research is, check out this article – http://peoples-law.org/understanding-legal-research) If you want to conduct case law research from home, here are some options.

 

Do you want assistance with your family law matter? These organizations provide limited legal assistance.

FLSHCThe Family Law Self-Help Center is located in the back of the Law Library; provides legal information and forms to assist unrepresented litigants in matters of divorce, custody/visitation, child support and name changes.
WALK-IN HOURS:

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday and Friday:  9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
TELEPHONE HOURS (410-280-5374):
Monday through Friday:  9:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Women’s Law Center
Family Law Hotline 1-800-845-8550 M- F 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.
Family Law Forms Helpline operates at 1-800-818-9888 Tu, W & F 9:00 am – 12:30 pm, Th 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.
Spanish-1-877-293-2507 (leave message)

 

Are you looking for attorney to represent you in your family law matter? These organizations may be able to assist you.

Legal Aid Bureau
General Civil Legal Services
Income eligibility screening required
Regional Office 410-972-2700
M-F 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
General Legal Services
Income eligibility screening required
410-547-6537 or 800-510-0050
M-TH 9:00AM-1:00PM.

Lawyer Referral Service (Anne Arundel County)
410-280-6961
All civil and criminal cases with no eligibility screening.
Fees set by attorney
M-F 8:45 AM – 2:15 PM

 

Are you looking for domestic violence assistance? These organizations may be able to assist you.

House of Ruth Domestic Violence Legal Clinic
24 Hour Hotline for Domestic Violence Victims
888-880-7884

YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County
Domestic Violence Assistance.
Legal Services Intake 24 Hour Voicemail
410-222-6800

 

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Celebrate Pro Bono Scavenger Hunt!

Posted by Chi Song on October 26, 2015

Pro Bono Website Banner - Smaller copyOrganized and sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Services, this year’s National Pro Bono Week Celebration is October 25th through October 31st! The Law Library is excited to once again participate in National Pro Bono Week, which recognizes and promotes pro bono at both the national and local levels.

Do you want to learn more about resources available to self-represented litigants at the courthouse? If so, check out our Scavenger Hunt!

Everyone who correctly completes the Scavenger Hunt sheet will be entered into a drawing for a fantastic prize! All completed sheets must be submitted to the Law Library by Friday, October 30, 2015 at 4:30p.m. We will draw the Scavenger Hunt winners on Monday, November 2, 2015 and distribute prizes on that date.

You can print out the Scavenger Hunt Page here or pick up a print copy at the Law Library.

 

 

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Next week is National Pro Bono Week!

Posted by Chi Song on October 23, 2015

CPB SmallerOrganized and sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Services, this year’s National Pro Bono Week Celebration is October 25th through October 31st! The Law Library is excited to once again participate in National Pro Bono Week, which recognizes and promotes pro bono at both the national and local levels.

The Law Library’s promotion of pro bono and public services is ongoing. Here’s a brief overview of the ongoing programs and clinics at the Law Library that provide FREE legal services to the public!

ASK A LAWYER IN THE LIBRARY

  • Civil, non-family law matters
  • Participants can speak with a volunteer attorney for up to 20 minutes.
  • Sign-up is via lottery
  • Weekly at the Law Library (Wednesdays, from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sign-up at 10:45 a.m.)
  • Monthly at the Glen Burnie Regional Library (Every third Wednesday, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sign-up at 4:15 p.m.)

FORECLOSURE CLINIC

  • Talk to a volunteer attorney about foreclosure matters
  • Participants cannot be currently represented by an attorney on their foreclosure matter.
  • Sign-up is first-come, first-served
  • Monthly at the Law Library – Upcoming Dates are as follows:
    • November 18, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    • December 16, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Sign-up at the Law Library’s service desk

BANKRUPTCY CLINIC

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Class with an experienced bankruptcy attorney
  • Class materials include a manual and forms, and the attorney will review the forms completed at the class.
  • Generally, registration is required.
  • Various dates/times at the Law Library TBD
  • Dates/Times for clinics at other locations are available here.

To read more about the Law Library’s past celebrations of National Pro Bono Week, check out our blog posts from the 2014 celebration! 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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