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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

Access to Justice Pro Bono

Pro Bono in Anne Arundel

Celebrate Pro Bono by volunteering to take a case or offer legal advice to those in need. See the following list of opportunities for Anne Arundel County attorneys:

Lawyer in the Library (virtual)Volunteer at a free non-family, civil clinic for a two-hour session via Zoom.  Provide brief advice to pro se litigants on general legal issues.  This is a great way to help members of the community in a concrete, manageable way.  During each session, you could speak with a litigant and provide brief advice about issues related to small claims, landlord/tenant, simple wills, and other legal issues.  Contact Joan Bellistri at, for more information. 

Family Law Skills and Study Group:  Join this study group/skills-honing group and learn more about practicing family law in Anne Arundel County.  Take a pro bono family law case and meet with the group to learn more, exchange ideas, and share your experiences.  You can gain knowledge and experience while helping underserved litigants in Anne Arundel County. Contact Tasnima Apol at to learn more.

YWCA Legal Services:  Intimate partner protective order petition cases in Anne Arundel County, serving in both the District and Circuit Courts: Volunteer in the legal department or as an advocate. Contact: Davida Bortmes, Esq. at or 410-626-7800.

Maryland Court Help Center: Provide assistance with civil issues via chat and phone. Lawyers answer questions on a full range of civil case types handled by both Circuit and District courts. Legal issues include:

  • Landlord and Tenant Matters
  • Family Law Matters (divorce, custody, child support, and guardianship)
  • Small and Large Claims
  • Expungement and Shielding of Records
  • Consumer Matters (car repossessions, debt collection, and credit card cases)
  • Return of Property (replevin and detinue)
  • Domestic Violence/Peace Orders
  • Foreclosure

Contact: Tattiana Goluskin @

MVLS – Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service is Anne Arundel County’s Pro Bono Referral Service:

Volunteers are supported with malpractice insurance, mentors, free training, use of MVLS offices to meet with clients, and reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.

Maryland Free Legal Answers – (Pro Bono in your PJs): Provide legal advice via email to low income Marylanders.

Sign-up here:

PBRC – Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland is Maryland’s clearinghouse for and source of many pro bono opportunities:

​​​Not sure what is best for you? The Maryland Call to Action will match you with a Pro Bono Opportunity:  

The Joint COVID-19 Access to Justice Task Force, the Maryland Attorney General, Maryland Judiciary, Maryland State Bar Association and Maryland Access to Justice Commission joined forces to deliver an urgent call to action for pro bono. They urge every attorney in Maryland to take at least one pro bono case or provide a designated number of pro bono service hours over the next year to help in the areas with the most acute need, namely housing, consumer, public benefits or family law.

If you have questions or additional ideas about pro bono projects that you would like to see developed, please contact the law library at 410-222-1387 or

lawlibrary Pro Bono

Lawyer in the Library: October 2021 Wrap-Up

October is Celebrate Pro Bono month. The ABA theme this year is “Moving Forward in a Post-Pandemic World.”  Although the ABA designates a week, October 24 through October 30, Maryland recognizes pro bono throughout the month.

In keeping with the theme, Lawyer in the Library was offered remotely as it has since May of 2020 using Zoom. Four attorneys working from home or office provided more than eight hours of pro bono service to 16 clients.

Many thanks to Jack Paltell, Steve Migdal (AABA Pro Bono Award recipient), Leonard Englander and Carole Brown for their time this month.

Issues this month included estates and wills; landlord and tenant; debt; and employment. The law library supports the work of the program attorneys by sending background information to program participants and the attorney. Most often links to information found on the law library FAQ page are sent. The landlord\tenant page and the wills and estates page are good examples.

Ask a Lawyer in the Library” is held every Wednesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and on the third Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (except for the last two weeks in December). You can talk with a volunteer lawyer for at least 20 minutes about your civil, non-family legal problem for free.

Register online here or call the law library for help. Once you have registered, you will be sent a link to an intake sheet. Instructions for meeting with the attorney will be sent once the intake is competed. 

Contact the library if you have questions: (phone) 410-222-1387 or (email)

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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

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National Pro Bono Celebration has begun

pro bono banner

Maryland and Anne Arundel County have expanded the week-long celebration to the whole month of October.  On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service held its Annual Awards Ceremony.  So nice to be in the room with so many who donate their time to help those in need of legal assistance.  The words of Chief Judge Barbera were inspiring as she highlighted the good that pro bono work provides to those in danger of losing their home or seeing their children.  Tom Mulinazzi whose firm, the Mulinazzi Law Office, was awarded the Law Firm of the Year for pro bono, put it nicely by saying that pro bono work is “an opportunity to be a hero.”

The next night, Thursday, October 5, the Anne Arundel Bar Association President’s Pro Bono Award was presented at the joint dinner of the James C. Cawood, Jr. Inns of Court and the AABA.  Steve Wrobel, AABA President, presented the award with Tasnima Apol, Chair of the Anne Arundel County Pro Bono Committee to Carole Brown, an attorney in a solo practice.  Carole’s nomination read as follows.

Since 2014, Carole has generously donated her time to take pro bono cases to represent numerous victims of domestic violence for the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Carole greets every client with a smile and is kind, compassionate, and caring. Clients feel at ease and are comfortable with Carole’s easy manner. Whenever asked to help, Carole enthusiastically accepts difficult cases in which parties take extreme positions and emotions run high. Carole sets the example in Anne Arundel County of a zealous advocate who is committed to her clients’ best interests.

In addition, Carole has been a flexible volunteer for all of the Lawyer in the Library programs whether in the courthouse, Eastport or Glen Burnie.  Congratulations and thank you to Carole!

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Ask A Lawyer In The Library: Pro Bono Week Wrap-Up

Last week as we celebrated pro bono, we offered two, regularly scheduled, “Ask a Lawyer”

Michelle Smith and Jerry Williams

programs. On Tuesday evening, October 25, the monthly program was held at the Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library and on Wednesday, October 26, the Law Library hosted the weekly program in the courthouse law library.  In Eastport, Jerry Williams of Patel and Williams and Michelle Smith of Brassel, Alexander, and Rice provided legal assistance to four people on such issues as wills, deeds and real estate taxes.

Paul Farmer

On Wednesday, Paul Farmer of Gormley, Jarshow, Bowman, assisted six people with procedure in a federal discrimination case, liens, judgments and guardianship questions.

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.  No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required at the law library’s information desk.  Sign-up begins at 10:45 a.m., and time slots are determined by a lottery. The service is also held in the evening, monthly, at Anne Arundel County Public Libraries. For more information, please see

lawlibrary Pro Bono


pro-bono-banner-2016As we celebrate Pro Bono during the National Pro Bono Celebration, the Local Pro Bono Committee hopes that Anne Arundel County attorneys will consider the many opportunities for pro bono service in our county.  But before we talk about the how of pro bono, perhaps we should talk about why.  As an attorney you have the power to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable in Anne Arundel County – the elderly, children and the poor.  Your help can be the deciding factor as to whether someone has a place to live, custody of their child, or a job.

There are so many ways that attorneys can provide pro bono service in Anne Arundel County – from brief legal advice to full representation.   The many opportunities available to Anne Arundel County Attorneys are included here. 

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Next week is National Pro Bono Week!

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!


  • 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.)


  • 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


  • 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

lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Ask a Lawyer In the Library: Wednesday Wrap-up

Thank you!

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.  No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required at the law library’s information desk.  Sign-up begins at 10:45 a.m., and time slots are determined by a lottery. For more information, please see

On Wednesday, April 15, 2015,  the Law Library hosted another successful Ask A Lawyer In The Library program.  Thank you Sam Brown of Hillman, Brown & Darrow, P.A. for volunteering and providing this service to the public. Five people took part in the program and were able to speak with the attorney to request assistance with issues such as foreclosure, car titles and estates .  The next program date is Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

kurt_roperSince this was the third Wednesday of the month, the program was also held at the Glen Burnie Regional Library of the Anne Arundel County Public Library in the evening from 4:30 to 6;30.  Cliff O’Connor of Holmes & O’Connor, Kurt Roper of Staiti & DiBlasio, and Alan Forman volunteered to help 14 people with questions about such issues real estate, bankruptcy, wills, estates and wills.  The next date for the monthly program will be May 20, 2015.  This will be the last evening program before the summer break.

It is helpful to prepare for your session with the attorney.  Here are some helpful tips:

  • Write a list of specific questions for the attorney.
  • Bring any paperwork and information related to the case.
  • Organize any paperwork from most recent on the top to oldest at the bottom.
  • Identify all deadlines.
  • Prepare a timeline of the legal issue.

cliff_and_alanIf you would like to read up on your issue prior to your session with the attorney, please come find us at the Law Library’s information desk.  We are happy to assist you.

More information about the program is available at  The Ask A Lawyer In The Law Library program is a limited legal advice service. The program is not a substitute for representation. If you need an attorney to represent you, you can contact the Anne Arundel Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service.