On October 22, 2013, the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, Inc. (PBRC) released the only statewide legal resource directory in Maryland. The 2014 edition of the Guide to Legal Services in Maryland (Guide), an all-inclusive compilation listing organizations and programs throughout the state that provide Marylanders legal or community services, will be distributed to public libraries, government agencies, courthouses, legal services providers, and elected officials to benefit the public.
The Guide is geared primarily to assist individuals with limited or moderate incomes who are seeking legal assistance. It is intended as a resource for judges, lawyers, social service workers, and persons making referrals or seeking assistance with a range of legal problems. A majority of the organizations and programs included within the Guide have attorneys on staff or involve volunteer lawyers and offer free or reduced-fee legal services for persons who are eligible.
Co-sponsored by the Maryland State Bar Association’s Section of Delivery of Legal Services, the Bar Associations Insurance Trust Fund, and Kahn, Smith & Collins, P.A., the resource also includes lawyer referral programs for individuals who have the means to pay for a lawyer and simply need direction in locating one.
Additionally, the Guide includes community services providers who offer non-legal services ranging from counseling for mental health, drug addiction, and domestic violence to crisis intervention, domestic violence shelters and safe houses, abuser intervention programs, and elder care. Virtually all of these community service providers offering non-legal services have a legal services component as well.
To facilitate its use, organizations and programs are listed and indexed alphabetically, geographically, and topically. The Guide will be available online at PBRC’s website, www.probonomd.org, and at the State Law Library’s website, www.peoples-law.org.
PBRC Executive Director Sharon E. Goldsmith explained the importance of the Guide, stating, “It is an invaluable resource for the human and social service community, steering members of the public to critical legal services which can significantly improve their lives. Providing this resource is part of our mission of ensuring equal access to the justice system.”
For copies of the Guide, please contact PBRC at 410-837-9379 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carey Moore is the Marketing & Communications Manager of the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland.