The Advocate

Winter 2012

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Pro Bono Committee

Co-Chairs: Renée Hood, Niki McCormally, and Patrick McCormally

Maryland celebrated the 2011 National Pro Bono Celebration during the last full week of October.  During this specially designated week, October 23-29, Maryland hosted over thirty events statewide, including six (6) events recognizing pro bono attorneys and other pro bono supporters; five (5) educational events for pro bono attorneys, which were offered for free or a reduced cost in exchange for a pro bono commitment; and at least nineteen (19) client service events. Many of the service events were one-day free legal advice clinics imposing a minor impact on an attorney’s schedule but a large impact on the lives of Maryland’s disadvantaged citizens. 

The Young Lawyers Section, in partnership with the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau and a number of other Maryland organizations, co-sponsored the Baltimore City Pro Bono Day on October 29, 2011 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Despite the snowy weather, over fifty-five (55) volunteer lawyers, paralegals, and community members from solo practices, private firms, local law schools, legal services organizations, and government agencies donated their time, and volunteer attorneys provided brief legal advice to one hundred seventeen (117) clients on one hundred thirty-six (136) different legal issues.

Thank you to all of the volunteers, but especially YLS members Shannon O’Barr Decker, Renée Hood, Robin Jacobs, Kristina Joyner, Niki McCormally, Patrick McCormally, Melanie Murray Mfume, Courtney Shackelford and Mollie Wander for assisting and providing pro bono service during the event. The Pro Bono Committee plans to continue its partnership with the Legal Aid Bureau in planning future Pro Bono Days.  We hope to see you in at the next Baltimore City Pro Bono Day in May!

Members, please let us know if there are any pro bono events or trainings which you think your county is interested in or could benefit from. Each one of you is our section’s eyes and ears in your community and is aware of the needs and barriers to the delivery of legal services in your counties better than anyone else. Contact Patrick McCormally (, Niki McCormally (, or Renée E. Hood ( with any suggestions/questions/concerns or to learn how to get involved with this important committee.

  • One Bar | One Community Public Service Project schedules and organizes at least one monthly public service event to benefit residents of Maryland.
  • Ten Minute Mentor. An online collection of video presentations from young leading lawyers in their areas of expertise.
  • Wills for Heroes. The YLS is an affiliate of the Wills for Heroes Foundation and proudly organizes volunteers for Wills for Heroes events...
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