Maryland Public Interest Law Project

Public Interest Organizations in Baltimore

Alternative Directions, Inc. 
Executive Director: Michelle Kelly 
2505 N. Charles Street 
Baltimore, MD 21218 
Phone: (410) 889-5072
Fax: (410) 889-5092 
Web site: alternativedirectionsinc.org

Alternative Directions provides free legal assistance, primarily family and domestic legal issues, to persons in prison or recently released from incarceration. The program also provides monthly workshops to prisoners on legal rights and responsibilities.

American Civil Liberties Union--Maryland
Address:  3600 Clipper Mill Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21211
Phone:  (410)889-8555
Website: http://www.aclu-md.org/

Services:  Protects the constitutional rights of Americans through litigation, legislation, and public education. Provides legal representation in select cases. (Often test cases.) Handles cases dealing with freedom of speech, religion, press, and assembly. Due process. Discrimination.

Baltimore Bar Foundation Legal Services to the Elderly Program 
Executive Director: Katherine Sanzone 
111 North Calvert Street 
Baltimore, MD 21202 
Phone: (410) 396-5277
Fax: (410) 332-8468 

The Baltimore Bar Foundation’s Legal Services to the Elderly Program provides free legal representation and advice to Baltimore City residents 60 years and older.

Baltimore Community Relations Commission
Address: 10 N. Calvert Street, Suite 915
Baltimore, MD 21202
Website: http://www.baltimorecity.gov/Government/BoardsandCommissions/CommunityRelations....
Phone: 410-396-3141 (Main Office)
Phone 2: 410-396-3151 (Community Division)

Services: The Investigative Division receives, investigates and attempts to resolve complaints of discrimination. Fact finding conferences are held and mediation  is attempted. Unresolved cases may proceed to a Public Hearing.  Discrimination complaints may be brought by individuals or groups against employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, places of public accommodation, educational institutions, and health and welfare agencies. The Community Division operates a neighborhood mediation  service  for individuals and groups to reduce tension, conflict, and resolve problems between or within neighborhoods. It also operates a Rumor Control Center and various other programs to promote intergroup relations. Handles cases of discrimination on basis of race, religion, color, age, sexual orientation, national origin, sex and mental and physical disability. Neighborhood conflicts. Intergroup relations. Police misconduct.

Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. 
Executive Director: Elijah Etheridge 
2530 North Charles Street, Suite 200 
Baltimore, MD 21218 
Phone: (410) 243-4400
Fax: (410) 889-8653 
Web site: www.bni-maryland.org

MLSC’s grant supports BNI’s operation of its statewide landlord/tenant counseling hotline.

Better Business Bureau of Greater Baltimore, Inc.
Address: 1414 Key Highway, Ste. 100
Baltimore, MD 21230
Website:  http://greatermd.bbb.org/
Phone: (410)347-3990
Fax: (410)347-3936

Services: Answers consumers’ questions. Reprimands businesses that are the subject of consumer complaints. Provides free reliability reports on businesses in the Bureau; files formal mediation and arbitration programs for consumers and businesses; and conducts consumer education on fraud and bad business practices. Refers difficult cases to the Consumer Protection Division of the Maryland Attorney General's Office. Handles cases of arbitration or mediation of consumer complaints against participating businesses.

CASA de Maryland 
Executive Director: Gustavo Torres 
8151 15th Avenue 
Hyattsville, MD 20783 
Phone: (301) 270-0419
Fax: (301) 270-8659 
Web site: www.casademaryland.org

CASA receives MLSC funding for its Employment Rights Project, which assists Latin Americans and other day laborers in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and Baltimore City with employment-related legal issues.

Catholic Charities of Baltimore—Immigration Legal Services
Division Director: Mary Anne O’Donnell 
430 S. Broadway 
Baltimore, MD 21231 
Phone: (410) 534-8015 Fax: (410) 675-1451 
Web site: www.catholiccharities-md.org

Catholic Charities of Baltimore Immigration Legal Services Project provides client screening, counseling and legal representation for low-income persons with immigration problems in the Baltimore metropolitan area in a wide array of immigration matters.

Centro de la Comunidad
Address: 3021 Eastern Ave.
Baltimore, MD: 21224
Website: http://www.centrodlc.org/
Phone: (410) 675-8906
Email: centro_ed@verizon.net

Services:  Provides information and referral services in a number of areas including housing, education, health, employment, and law. Direct services include U.S. Citizenship Workshops, assistance with immigration related applications, and employment referrals. Bilingual (Spanish)

CHANA (Counseling Helpline and Aid Network for Abused Women)
Address:  The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore
101 W. Mt. Royal Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21202
Website:  http://www.associated.org/page.aspx?ID=110470&page=5
Hotline: 410-234-0023
Phone: 410-234-0030

Services:
  • Group and Individual Counseling:  no fee
  • Legal Services:  some services are free, others are based on a sliding scale
  • Education and Community Outreach
  • Kosher faith house
  • Limited to Jewish victims or victims whose batterer is Jewish

Child Support Enforcement Administration
Address: 311 W. Saratoga Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Website: http://www.dhr.state.md.us/csea/
Phone: 1-800-332-6347

Services: Helps to secure child support from absent parent by locating absent parents, proving the paternity, obtaining court orders for support, enforcing court orders, and collecting support payments. Lawyers are available to take the cases to court.

Civil Justice, Inc.
Address: 520 West Fayette Street, Suite 410
Baltimore, MD 21201
Website:  http://www.civiljusticenetwork.org
Phone: (410) 706-0174
Email: cjn@civiljusticenetwork.org

Services: The Civil Justice Network provides free attorney referrals to clients in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Clients are referred to a solo or small firm lawyer in the Network who has agreed to provide legal services at reduced fees in most cases. The client and attorney then decide on fee arrangements and representation. Some forms of representation require upfront fees or a retainer. Civil Justice network members are qualified to represent clients in a broad range of practice areas.

Community Law Center
Executive Director: Kristine Dunkerton, Esq. 
3355 Keswick Road, Suite 200 
Baltimore, MD 21211
Phone: (410) 366-0922 Fax: (410) 366-7763 
Web site: www.communitylaw.org

CLC provides legal counsel and representation to nonprofit organizations that represent issues of low-income people and are unable to afford private counsel. MLSC’s grant also supports CLC’s pro bono project.

Consumer Protection Division--Attorney General's Office
Address: 200 St. Paul's Place,16th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
Website: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer
Phone: (410) 528-8662 (Complaint)
Phone 2: 410-528-1840 (Health)

Services: Enforces Maryland's Consumer Protection Act. This law forbids unfair or deceptive trade practices such as false advertising, phony guarantees, defective goods or services. Consumers are expected to first attempt to resolve the complaint or dispute directly with the business before calling the Consumer Protection Division. Type of Service: Mediates disputes between consumer and business. In addition, a separate Health Education and Advocacy Unit mediates billing disputes with hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and other health care providers. In some instances, cases are referred to enforcement unit and after investigation and review, a law enforcement action may be brought. Also provides a wide range of consumer education materials

Department of Human Resources--Spanish Information Hotline
Address:  311 West Saratoga Street Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  (410)767-7986; (800)732-7850

Services:  Provides information and assistance on benefit programs offered through the local Departments of Social Services (i.e. Food stamps, medical assistance, child support, etc.) immigration counseling, welfare fraud complaints, and general information. Bilingual (Spanish)

Eviction Prevention Program
Address 501 E. Fayette Street, Suite 207 Baltimore, MD 21213
Phone (410) 878-8650

Services Eviction prevention and homelessness prevention through landlord-tenant negotiations, financial assistance, and agency brokering.

Federal Public Defender's Office
Address:  100 South Charles Street
11th Floor, Tower II
Baltimore, MD 21201
Website: http://www.md-fd.org/
Hotline: (410) 962-3962

Services: Provides free legal representation to indigent criminal defendants in federal cases when appointed by the Court. Only Federal Public Defender Office in Maryland. Non-English speaking clients welcome.

Free State Legal Project
Address: 241 W. Chase Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Website: http://www.freestatelegal.org
Phone: (410) 625-5428

Services: Provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals who are experiencing legal problems stemming from their sexual orientation. Also the organization provides training to attorneys and community on issues relevant to LGBT individuals.

Homeless Persons Representation Project 
Executive Director: Antonia Fasanelli, Esq.
1800 North Charles Street, Suite 206 
Baltimore, MD 21201 
Phone: (410) 685-6589
Fax: (410) 625-0361 
Web site: www.hprplaw.org

Homeless Persons Representation Project provides staff and pro bono assistance in a range of housing and other legal matters to clients in at risk for homelessness as well as to those in homeless shelters in Maryland.

House of Ruth 
Executive Director: Sandi Timmins 
Legal Clinic Director: Dorothy Lennig, Esq. 
2201 Argonne Drive Baltimore, MD 21218 
Phone: (410) 889-0840
Fax: (410) 889-9347 
Web site: www.hruth.org

House of Ruth’s Domestic Violence Legal Clinic provides legal assistance to low-income victims of domestic violence from offices in Baltimore City and Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. The clinic also provides technical assistance and training to spouse abuse centers and interested community organizations statewide.

Jewish Legal Services Clinic
Address: 5750 Park Heights Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21215
Website:  http://www.jfs.org/articlenav.php?id=271
Phone:  410-843-7305

Services:  Jewish Legal Services is a community-based, walk-in clinic affiliated with Jewish Community Services. Volunteer community lawyers offer legal information, advice, and referral services for individuals with limited income. Advice on a variety of legal issues is available, including consumer/bankruptcy, landlord-tenant, family, and immigration questions. The monthly walk-in clinic is held the second Monday of each month from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at JCS, 5750 Park Heights Avenue in Baltimore.

Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. 
Executive Director: Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr., Esq. 
500 E. Lexington Street 
Baltimore, MD 21202 
Phone: (410) 951-7777
Fax: (410) 951-7778 
Web site: www.mdlab.org

Established in 1911, LAB is Maryland’s primary provider of civil legal services to low-income persons. The MLSC grant is used to fund attorneys and paralegals providing general civil legal assistance to low-income persons throughout Maryland.

Maryland Department of Aging
Address: 301 West Preston St., Room 1007
Baltimore, MD 21201
Website:  http://www.mdoa.state.md.us/
Phone:  (800) AGE-DIAL
Phone 2:  (410) 767-1100

Services:  The Office offers senior citizens the opportunity to receive free or low-cost assistance with legal problems using funds from the federal Legal Assistance for the Elderly Program. These services are provided predominantly through the local sub-grantees of field offices listed below. Please call the local providers directly. If you do not see a field office program in your area, then call the central office listed above. Spanish-speaking clients are welcome. Handles various civil legal matters, predominantly: abuse, housing, health care, health benefits, social services, Social Security benefits, disability benefits, veteran's benefits, guardianship, rights of nursing home residents, living wills, and durable power of attorney for health care. Typically the programs will not handle accident or other fee-generating cases.

Maryland Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Address:31 Hopkins Plaza, Room 110
Baltimore, MD 21201
Website: http://www.dbm.state.md.us/phonebook/OfficeSub.asp?OID=2736
Phone: (800) 446-4926

Services: Provides veterans. Their dependents and survivors with help in filing claims for Federal and state veteran's benefits. Assists claimants with development of evidence required to support claims. Represents claimants through board of veterans’ appeals. Acts as veteran's advocate for Federal, state, and local agencies.

Maryland Disability Law Center 
Executive Director: Virginia Knowlton
1800 North Charles Street, Suite 400 
Baltimore, MD 21201 
Phone: (410) 727-6352
Fax: (410) 727-6389
Web site: www.mdlcbalto.org

MDLC provides free representation for disabled children and adults statewide with legal problems related to their disabilities.

Maryland Human Relations Commission
Address: 6 St. Paul Street, Suite 900
Baltimore, MD 21202
Website:  http://www.mchr.state.md.us
Phone:1-800-705-3493

Services: Enforces laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, sex, age, marital status, or disability. A complaint alleging discrimination must be made in writing under oath and filed within six months of the date of occurrence, except in cases of housing where the limit is one year. The commission will conduct an investigation, may obtain agreements, hold formal hearings, issue cease and desist orders, and bring civil action or an administrative action to end discrimination. The commission may make surveys and studies concerning human relations and make legislative recommendations based upon them. Spanish-speaking clients are welcome.

Maryland Lawyers for the Arts, Inc.
Address:  113 West North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21201
Website:  http://www.mdartslaw.org/
Phone:  (410) 752-1633
Fax:  (410) 752-0155
Email:  info@mdartslaw.org

Services:  Provides free or reduced fee legal assistance to arts organizations and visual, performing and literary artists. Low-income artists and arts organizations should request and submit an application detailing their arts-related legal problem. A small fee is required to cover administrative costs. Various civil matters, including contracts and negotiations, taxes and tax-exempt status, incorporation, copyrights and trademarks, small claims, and landlord/tenant.

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service 
Executive Director: Bonnie Sullivan, Esq. 
One North Charles Street, Suite 222 
Baltimore, MD 21201 
Phone: (410) 539-6800
Fax: (410) 837-0431 
Web site: www.mvlslaw.org

MVLS is a statewide program that serves low-income persons with a variety of civil legal problems through a referral program that places clients with volunteer or reduced-fee attorneys.

National Federation for the Blind
Address:  1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
Website:  http://www.nfb.org
Phone:  410-659-9314
Email:  nfb@nfb.org

Services: Promotes and protects the rights of the blind through information services, legislative advocacy, and litigation. Informs blind individuals of available governmental and private services as well as facts about laws and regulations concerning them. Works to change legislation that discriminates against the blind. Uses volunteer attorneys for litigation.

National Labor Relations Board--Baltimore Office
Address:  103 Gay Street
Appraiser's Store Bldg., 8th Fl
Baltimore, MD 21202
Website:  http://www.nlrb.gov/
Phone:  (410) 962-2822
Fax:  (410) 962-2198

Services: The National Labor Relations Board was created by Congress to administer the National Labor Relations Act, the basic law governing relations between labor unions and the employers whose operations affect interstate commerce. The Board has two principal functions: (1) to determine, through secret ballot elections, the free democratic choice by employees as to whether or not they wish to be represented by a union in dealing with their employers and, if so, by which union; and (2) to prevent and remedy unlawful acts, called unfair labor practices, by either employer or unions.

Public Justice Center 
Executive Director: John Nethercut, Esq. 
One North Charles Street, Suite 200 
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 625-9409
Fax: (410) 625-9423 
Web site: www.publicjustice.org

PJC provides legal representation to the underrepresented, particularly children, the mentally ill, and victims of discrimination through the services of both an in-house staff and pro bono attorneys. The Center also operates the Tenant Advocacy Project, providing low-income tenants’ representation in rent court by qualified lay advocates.

St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, Inc. 
Executive Director: Vincent Quayle 
321 E. 25th Street 
Baltimore, MD 21218 
Phone: (410) 235-5770
Phone 2: (410) 366-8550
Fax: (410) 255-8795 
Web site: www.stambros.org

St. Ambrose Legal Services Program, a project of St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, Inc., provides legal representation to individuals who are in danger of losing their homes due to foreclosures, tax sales, execution on judgments, or who have problems with home improvement contractors, mortgage lenders or land installment contracts. Handles matters involving home improvement contracts, land installment contracts or mortgage loans.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Address: 10 South Howard Street, Suite 3000
Baltimore, MD 21201
Website: http://www.eeoc.gov/baltimore/index.html
Phone: 1-866-408-8075
Phone 2: 1-800-669-4000

Services: Enforces federal legislation prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, color, age, equal pay, or disability.

Women’s Law Center, Inc. 
Executive Director: L. Tracy Brown, Esq. 
305 W. Chesapeake Avenue, Suite 201 
Towson, MD 21204 
Phone: (410) 321-8761
Fax: (410) 321-0462 
Web site: www.wlcmd.org

The Women’s Law Center was established in 1971 to meet the special legal needs of women. MLSC funds are used to operate a statewide Family Law Hotline and to administer a Judicare project, matching private attorneys with low-income individuals seeking representation in contested custody and other contested family law matters.

World Relief Baltimore Immigration Legal Clinic
Address:  7 East Baltimore St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Website:  http://www.wr.org
Phone:  (410) 244-0002
Fax:  (410) 244-0122

Services: The clinic provides immigrants and refugees in the Baltimore area with legal assistance regarding immigration and naturalization. The clinic also provides referrals on other issues.

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