The October/November Issue  

In this month’s issue of the A2J Dispatch, we continue to celebrate pro bono with more stories that show the impact and importance of providing pro bono legal services. We welcome members of the former DLS Section to the A2JC DLS Committee, we learn about the different efforts to get legal legal help to our veterans and we again request attorneys who have the flexibility to set their rates to take the anonymous Affordable Law Task Force survey re: Legal Services to Modest Means Marylanders.

A2J Commission News

  • Affordable Law Task Force Survey. If you can set your own fees, or work with an organization that lets you, please take this survey from the Affordable Law Task Force. 30% of Marylanders can’t pay market rate but need legal help. This survey will help us find solutions to serving clients of modest means. The survey closes on November 18. Take the Survey Now!
  • A2JC welcomes members of the former DLS Section to the A2JC DLS Committee! Initiated by the MSBA BoG as part of a larger realignment effort last year, the DLS transition presents opportunities for growth and elevation of the mission of both entities. We look forward to the DLS Committee seamlessly continuing to be a home for attorneys in the public interest; planning events and CLEs; and conducting advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable Marylanders. 
  • The Daily Record Webinar. A2JC Executive Director, Reena Shah, along with Maryland Public Defender, Natasha Dartigue, and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Office’s Chief of Operations, Doyle Niemann, discussed the state of criminal and civil justice reforms in Maryland and the impact of those reforms at a webinar hosted by The Daily Record on October 19, 2022. In the webinar, Shah highlighted the intersections between the civil and criminal justice systems and the both systems work to compound harms on the most vulnerable and the need for more funding to sustain reform efforts. 
  • Law on the Frontlines Fall Trainings. Now in its 5th year, A2JC is proud of the partnership with the state librarians and the Maryland public library to offer training to public library staff in legal reference. Access to quality legal information is access to justice. Public libraries are anchor institutions in a community and public librarians are information experts. By training public librarians to do legal reference, we are increasing our capacity to meet the demand for quality legal information. For more information, go here.
  • Recurring Maryland Judiciary Content in A2J Dispatch. We are pleased to offer recurring content from the Maryland Judiciary’s Access to Justice Department as part of the A2J Dispatch. 

A2J Stories

  • Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County (CLS). In December 2020, Sandy came to CLS looking for help to obtain a final protective order against her husband, whom she feared due to emotional and financial abuse. With the help of an attorney from CLS, not only was Sandy able to find a safe apartment to move to, CLS also helped provide the client with information about the Safe at Home program which allows her new address to be confidential. To volunteer, fill out CLS’s volunteer attorney intake form.
  • Harford County Bar Foundation (HCBF). In May 2020, Clinton, a Marylander from Cecil County, submitted an application for the Harford County Bar Foundation’s Judicare Program seeking legal counsel for a custody case. Clinton had previously been in an abusive relationship with the mother of his five-year-old son for several years and he was worried for his son’s safety if his mother was given primary custody. To Clinton’s relief, the case was placed with an attorney and Clinton was awarded sole legal and primary physical custody of his son, with supervised visitation given to the child’s mother. For more information on how to participate in HCBF’s legal referral programming,  visit
  • Maryland Pro Bono Resource Center (PBRC). Cathy, a 77-year-old resident of Baltimore City, needed to have her will and advance medical directive drafted. She had spoken to her doctor about the advance medical directive, received the form, and wanted to think about her choices before memorializing them on paper. After giving it some thought, Cathy remembered that PBRC held an Estate Planning Clinic where volunteer attorneys helped Baltimore City residents prepare wills, advance medical directives, and financial powers of attorney. Cathy decided to attend the clinic, among other things, she wanted to make sure each of her grandchildren received a monetary gift from her after her passing, that a nonprofit hospital that provided her with a life-saving surgery would receive a monetary gift from her as well, and that her body would be donated to science. At the clinic Cathy worked with a volunteer attorney, the attorney was able to find appropriate language to make Cathy’s wishes clear in her will and Cathy walked away with fully executed copies of her will and financial power of attorney. To volunteer for one of PBRC’s day-long estate planning clinics email

Local A2J News

  • Maryland Judiciary Access to Justice Department. The Maryland Judiciary provides interpreters for all court proceedings and for many court-ordered or court-referred services. Visit the Judiciary’s Language Services for information on the Court Interpreter Program and related services.  Language Portals in Spanish, French, Russian, Korean, and Chinese provide an introductory video and links to translated content. All public-facing court forms are translated into those five priority languages. Look for links on the portal pages to family law forms and to other civil forms to find translated forms. A two-part video series available in six languages helps court visitors learn how to request and work with an interpreter. 

National A2J News

  • Equal Access and Disparities. In a recent episode of LSC’s Legal Talk Podcast, Why Civil Justice Matters, Harvard Law School’s Martha Minow discusses the disparities of equal access to justice in the US legal system, especially when it comes to our civil justice system. Listen Here
  • Pro Bono Innovations. Bloomberg publishes inaugural Pro Bono Innovators Report for 2022. The report compiles a list of “legal leaders” that have taken innovative approaches to pro bono client service and the legal issues pro bono clients face across the country and the globe.