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lawlibrary Pro Bono

Lawyer in the Library: Wrap-Up for May 2022

Jack Paltell, Steve Migdal, and William Moomau were the “Lawyers in the Library” this month providing legal assistance with such issues as deeds, eviction, debt collection, contracts and homeowner associations.

“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. (The evening program will not be held this summer and will resume in September.) You can talk with a volunteer lawyer for at least 20 minutes about your civil, non-family legal problem for free. All sessions are now conducted over Zoom or by phone.

This program is sponsored by Anne Arundel County Local Pro Bono Committee, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, and the Anne Arundel Bar Association. It is hosted by the Anne Arundel County Public Library.

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) AALawLibrarian@mdcourts.gov

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lawlibrary

What’s New…In the Catalog

While it’s in no way new to the library, our FAQs webpage can now be found in our catalog. For those who have never seen it, the FAQs page provides links to our comprehensive resource pages on the most frequently asked-about topics (See the page on bankruptcy, for an example). Each individual resource page also has a new record in our catalog for those who want to search under specific topics.

These pages provide links to statutes, videos, free articles for the layperson, forms, and bibliographies of relevant print resources in the library. If you need help figuring out which resources to start with on the list, we at the law library can point you to those that would be most helpful and relevant to your situation. 

Categories
lawlibrary Legal Technology Self Represented

Getting Organized for Court: The Maryland Justice Passport is Here

Woman looking down at her phone and grinning

It is tough navigating the court system. There are fees, deadlines, jargon, forms, paperwork, hearings, and many other details to remember. What is a lawyer-less litigant to do? 

To help SRLs (self-represented litigants) keep themselves organized and get help navigating the legal process, Civil Justice and the Maryland Judiciary, with A2J Tech, have partnered to create the Maryland Justice Passport, a free online tool that allows participants to scan and upload their documents, share those documents with legal service providers, set up timelines and reminders, learn about legal topics, and connect with legal aid organizations. Litigants can use the Passport as an app on their smartphone or at the website. 

Interested litigants can sign-up online, and can receive help with the process here at the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library.

Categories
lawlibrary Legal Technology Maryland Law Self Represented

Maryland Law Help App

With the limited access to the courts now, and the law libraries and walk-in self- help centers housed there, it is the perfect time to download the new and improved Maryland Law Help App.

New features listed on the Maryland Law Help webpage include:

  • An improved user interface including more photos and contrasting colors to improve readability and ease-of-use.
  • New categories to aid in finding what you need quicker, including: Maryland Law, Legal Help, Find Your Court, Language Access, Accessibility, and Mediation.
  • Print or share PDF documents, including Tip Sheets and court forms, directly from your phone.
  • Find the nearest courthouses, law library, or self-help center on the new interactive maps.

This APP is your direct link to the Maryland People’s Law Library and the remote Maryland Courts Self-Help Center.

The app is available for iOS and Android.

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lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Ask a Lawyer in the Library: June Wrap-Up

Thanks to our volunteer attorneys who assisted 20 people with issues such as contracts, deeds, estate planning, deeds, emancipation, zoning and debt collection. The program is on the summer schedule in Glen Burnie and will resume there in August.  Eastport will resume in July after having to cancel due to the 2018 Primary Election since that library was also a polling place

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. In addition to the weekly program, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is held monthly at two Anne Arundel County Public Library branches: Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday (except in June and July) and Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

 

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lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Ask a Lawyer in the Library: Wrap-up for April

PIKTO_COLLAGE_2018_04

Susan Mays, Dana Paul, Katelyn Maloney, Carole Brown, Brian Lyman, Cliff O’Connor, Frank Lozupone, Mike Ragland, and Jack Paltell were the Lawyers in the Library for April. The program was held each Wednesday in the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library and at the Glen Burnie Regional Library on the third Wednesday and at the Eastport Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday.

These volunteer attorneys provided 14 hours of free legal advice to 25 people on issues such as wills, contracts, landlord/tenant, foreclosure and employment.

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 at least 20 minutes. No appointment is necessary, but sign-up is required in the library. Sign-up begins 15 minutes before the program start time. Time slots are determined by a lottery. In addition to the weekly program, the Ask A Lawyer In The Library program is held monthly at two Anne Arundel County Public Library branches: Glen Burnie Regional Library on the 3rd Wednesday and Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library on the last Tuesday. For more information, please see http://circuitcourt.org/legal-help/lawyer-in-the-library.

Categories
lawlibrary Pro Bono Self Represented

Thanks and Farewell to Lawyer in the Library: Mike Valadez

Valadez
Mike Valadez

Mike Valadez has been with the Lawyer in the Library program since the beginning.  Mike has been the Lawyer in the Library on the second Wednesday of the odd months since 2010.  He has consistently been in the running for the lawyer with the most hours each year.  His easygoing personality was much appreciated by those he helped.  So we are really sorry that he is “retiring” from the program but understand. He will be missed. When Mike broke the news to me the other day and I mentioned all he had helped, he added that he learned so much about people talking to those who needed his legal advice. We wish Mike the best and look forward to seeing him in the law library.

Categories
lawlibrary Maryland Law Self Represented

Legal Self Help Videos for Maryland

movie cameraRepresenting yourself in a civil case or just interested in learning about the law and Maryland courts?

The Access to Justice Department of the Maryland Judiciary has created a library of videos for the self-represented: My Laws, My Courts, My Maryland: A video series for the self-represented.

Family Law videos include three videos on guardianship. The Getting Started videos cover topics such as how to find legal help, legal research, deciding to represent yourself and how to work with a lawyer.  A number of topics are covered under Law Topics including expungement, rent court, foreclosure and small claims. In Court Basics learn about filing fees, getting ready for court and interpreter services.

 

For every video there are:

  • Transcripts in English and Spanish
  • A printable tip sheet summarizing the video
  • Links to resources, fors, and court services

To see all the topics covered see the full listing of videos.

Categories
lawlibrary

Report on Resources for Self-Represented Litigants in Maryland Courts 2017

The Maryland Courts’ Access to Justice Department has released its report: Resources for Self-Represented Litigants in the Maryland Courts – FY2017. For the first time all of the resources provided by the courts for self-represented litigants has been presented in one place.  The report highlights the work of Family Law Self Help Centers, the District Court Self Help Resource Centers, the Maryland Courts Self Help Center and Court Law Libraries.

Categories
lawlibrary Libraries Pro Bono Self Represented

Celebrating National Library Week: The 21st Century Library

Why libraries? Why law libraries?

The age of Google and smartphones may seem to put all the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, but the reality is that we still need trained professionals to curate all that information, contextualize it and point us toward new sources an algorithm might miss. There is a serendipity in browsing the stacks of a library that the Internet has yet to replicate.

This from a Baltimore Sun editorial published last October that I clipped and saved : The 21st-century library .  It included a description of how libraries “are an indispensable font of information and support that enables them to meet life’s everyday challenges” and that “it’s not a stretch for them to see their mandates broadly and to seek to help those who come through their doors however they can.

This editorial was in reference to how the Pratt Library in Baltimore City would be making social workers available at neighborhood libraries.  I couldn’t help but compare the program to our Ask a Lawyer in the Library program offered in the courthouse and public library branches.

Law libraries long thought to be the province of lawyers and judges are now also the spot where anyone in need of legal information or referrals can find what they need to assist in solving legal issues.  As a result, public law libraries must find ways to meet the needs of these varied user groups. We are meeting those needs, through existing traditional resources still needed for lawyers and the court; and those resources created for the non-attorney.  We are lucky to have the Maryland People’s Law Library available.  We have also created FAQ pages available on the library’s Pro Bono and Self-Help Wiki. Librarians provide assistance to the non-attorney, too, by explaining legal research and the traditional sources of law. The law library has increased its digital resources and as a result, provides online assistance to attorneys and non-attorneys alike. The court law library is ever-changing as it adapts to changes in legal information and the users of that information, making it relevant as a 21st century library. The AACPLL is a 21st Century Library: