Access to Justice lawlibrary Pro Bono

Celebrate Pro Bono in Anne Arundel

As we celebrate Pro Bono this week, it is a good time to recognize those attorneys who have donated their time helping those in need of legal assistance by volunteering for the Lawyer in the Library program.

Last year 11 attorneys helped 143 people by providing 86 hours of legal advice. Issues included landlord and tenant; wills and estates; consumer problems; and HOA neighbor disputes. Steve Migdal, last year’s recipient of the AABA President’s Award, was responsible for more than half of those hours. We would like to send a special thank you to all of the Lawyers in the Library:

Joe Gormley

William Moomau

Jessica Corace

Richard Ronay

Jennifer Jones

John Lynch

Carole Brown

Saul McCormick

Leonard Englander

Jack Paltell

Steve Migdal

lawlibrary Libraries Pro Bono

Celebrate Pro Bono: Anne Arundel Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Award 2021

The Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee celebrated Pro Bono on October 13, 2021 with a virtual recognition event. In the past recognition events included an annual luncheon and the Inn of Court and Bar’s Joint dinner. This year the luncheon was virtual but still members of the Committee, bar and bench gathered on Zoom to see Steven R. Migdal receive the award from AABA President John Doud.

The AABA President’s Pro Bono Award recognizes an outstanding attorney who contributes to the community by providing pro bono service.  John Doud presented the award to Steve Migdal saying that without Steve Migdal, the Lawyer in the Library program may have ceased to exist. Steve signed up for more hours than anyone and was still always ready to step in at the last minute to fill in when an attorney was needed. Steve provided 28.75 hours of service – 40% of all program hours in FY21 and helped 61 people or half of all assisted by the program. You could almost say that the remote program has become the Steve Migdal in the Library Program. With so many facing new legal problems in a very difficult time, the availability of an attorney to provide legal advice was much appreciated by all.

Steve accepted the award and said that he certainly did not volunteer for the award as he did not even know about it but for the same reasons that he became an attorney. He wanted something challenging and he wanted to help people and he enjoys it. Steve said that during this time of COVID, volunteering for the Lawyer in the Library Program let me connect with people in a meaningful way. Whether providing legal advice, practical advice or just a sympathetic ear to someone who is overwhelmed, the real reward is the joy of social responsibility using my abilities to serve the community.

See the video here.

The Lawyer in the Library Program is a limited legal advice program held weekly every Wednesday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and monthly on the third Wednesday from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.  The program is a joint effort of the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, the Anne Arundel County Public Library, and the Anne Arundel Pro Bono Committee.  The program is sponsored by the Anne Arundel Bar Association and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.

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 Pro Bono

Recognizing Anne Arundel County Pro Bono Volunteers!

The Law Library hosted the 7th Annual Pro Bono Recognition Lunch on Thursday, March 8, 2018. This event recognizes and celebrates the attorneys who provide pro bono legal service in Anne Arundel County. Joan Bellistri, Law Librarian and Liaison, Court of Appeals’ Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, and the Hon. Ronald Silkworth, Circuit Court Judicial member of the Anne Arundel Local Pro Bono Committee, provided opening introductions. Judge Silkworth emphasized the importance of pro bono and or reporting the hours each year.  Joan Bellistri mentioned that the Local Pro Bono Committee has an “APP” or Pro Bono Hours Tracker to help attorneys keep track of their pro bono work.  Administrative Judge, Hon. Laura Kiessling, thanked the volunteers for their service and introduced special guest, Judge Clayton Greene, Jr. of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Judge Greene’s remarks were thought provoking as he addressed the need for legal representation for those who cannot afford it and  thanked those pro bono attorneys in attendance for their service.

Those being honored included Court Facilitators and attorney volunteers from the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, the Law Library’s Ask a Lawyer in the Library program and Foreclosure Clinic and the annual Anne Arundel County Homeless Resource Day.

Check out our Program 2018  to see the full list of volunteer attorneys and facilitators.

We had a great turnout for the event, and we would like to thank the following judges and magistrates from the Court of Appeals, Court of Special Appeals and the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County for joining us.

J. Greene

  • Hon. Clayton Greene, Jr.                          
  • Hon. Timothy E. Meredith                           
  • Hon. Laura S. Kiessling
  • Hon. Alison L. Asti
  • Hon. Mark Crooks
  • Hon. Glenn L. Klavans
  • Hon. Stacy W. McCormack
  • Hon. William C Mulford, II
  • Hon. Ronald A. Silkworth
  • Hon. Michael Wachs
  • Hon. Cathleen M. Vitale
  • Hon. Sandra F. Howell
  • Hon. Charles J. Muskin
  • Hon. Timothy P. Thurtle

Attendees were honored, too,  having AABA President, Steve Wrobel and AABA Executive Director, Fran Czjaka representing the bar association. Also, we would like to thank Nancy Faulkner from Court Administration; and Kim Klein, Liz Stephens and Sarah Adams from Case Management for attending the Recognition Lunch. It was great to see Bonnie Sullivan, Susan Francis and Amy Hennen from Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. MVLS’ support of Anne Arundel County programs is much appreciated as well as the great photos that Bonnie took of the event.. Special recognition and thanks must also be given to the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office, the Anne Arundel Bar Association and the James C. Cawood Inns of Court for funding the lunch provided by Main and Market.

Last, but not least, thank you to the Anne Arundel Local Pro Bono Committee for its leadership in providing pro bono service to Anne Arundel County!  Chair, Tasnima Apol, Joan Bellistri, Anita Bailey, Nancy Faulkner, Kim Klein, Lisa Sarro,and Hon. Ronald Silkworth, all members of the committee, were present at the event.

lawlibrary Pro Bono

Pro Bono Celebration: Free Legal Fair and Expungement Clinic

CPB SmallerOn October 14, 2017 the Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee partnered with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Rho Eta Zeta Chapter and the Anne Arundel County NAACP for a Free Legal Fair and Expungement Clinic at the Boys and Girls Club at Freetown Village.  Ginina Stevenson coordinated the event and also provided legal assistance.  Other pro bono attorneys included Margaret Leonard, Amber Perrelli, Anita Bailey and Lisa Sarro, all of Legal Aid; Nickola Sybblis; and Shawn Gaither of the Public Defender’s Office.

Thirteen people were helped with legal issues including expungement (the #1 question), family law, criminal and housing.  It was a bit challenging once it was discovered that the Maryland Judiciary’s Casesearch was out for the weekend making it so attorneys could not review criminal records online.  Legal Aid was able to provide intake so that the cases could be reviewed later in the office and the clients advised then.