Core Pro Bono Program
The mission of Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) is to provide quality pro bono civil legal services to Marylanders of limited means. MVLS is the largest pro bono legal services provider in the state both in terms of volunteers, over 2,000 lawyers on its panel, and clients served, 65,000 since its founding in 1981. Our core pro bono program expands the capacity of Maryland’s overburdened legal services delivery system which can serve only 20% of low-income clients in need of civil legal services. The current economic downturn has exacerbated the need for legal services, MVLS volunteers helped approximately 3,000 low-income Marylanders every year.
Community Development Project
The Community Development Project provides free legal advice and representation to nonprofit organizations across Maryland that serve low-income communities by building affordable housing, providing job training, drug treatment, and offering other vital human services. The Project matches nonprofits with volunteer lawyers who review contracts, negotiate leases, prepare personnel manuals, answer tax questions, provide advice on complying with regulations and help with other transactional legal needs.
Foreclosure Prevention Project
Since the national foreclosure crisis began in 2008, MVLS has been the largest pro bono legal services provider in the statewide Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono. MVLS relies on trained foreclosure volunteer lawyers and our staff housing counselor to help distressed homeowners in Maryland.
The Judicare Project is a reduced fee program designed to provide free legal services to clients who otherwise would be unable to afford representation in high conflict family law cases. Judicare panel attorneys must have at least three years of family law experience or be supervised by an attorney.
Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
The MVLS Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic provides pro bono legal assistance to low-income Marylanders with IRS tax disputes. Launched in 1999, this program helps taxpayers with tax issues that include denial of the Earned Income Tax Credit, audits, innocent spouse relief, filing back taxes, and setting up payment plans.
Washington County Courthouse Clinic
MVLS operates a Family Law Self-Help Clinic in the Circuit Court of Washington County. Experienced family law attorneys provide free advice and information in a clinic setting to low-income litigants who do not have an attorney.