Last updated: September 26, 2013
Do you have a legal issue, but can’t afford to hire an attorney? There are many free or low-cost legal service options for Baltimore City and County residents. The main ways are through nonprofit legal aid programs such as the Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland or various law school clinics. There may be income limits that apply for you to qualify for free/low-cost help. Contact the specific agency to learn more. Below is a list of several organizations available to help you.
Areas of Law: Discrimination, Election and Voting, Freedom Speech, Freedom of Religion, Immigration Rights, LGBT Rights, Privacy, Police Practices, Jail and Prison Conditions, and other issues of fair treatment by government.
Good to Know: The ACLU does not have walk-in appointments. They take a very limited number of cases based on alleged civil rights violations. For consideration, call the Civil Complaint Line above or send a 1-2 page letter describing your legal issue via mail or fax only.
Areas of Law: General Civil Law Matters
Good to Know: JLS is a walk-in legal clinic for low-income. Lawyers offer advice on a variety of civil legal issues including consumer/bankruptcy, landlord-tenant, family, and immigration questions.
29 W. Susquehanna Ave. Suite 305,
Towson, MD 21204
Areas of Law: Most areas of general civil law.
Good to Know: This is a nonprofit legal agency serving low-income, children, and elderly residents of Maryland. There is no fee for legal services if you qualify.
Areas of Law: Adult Guardianship, Bankruptcy, Child Custody, Collections, Consumer Disputes, Criminal Record Expungement, Deed Changes, Denial of Public Benefits, Divorce, Foreclosure, Landlord/Tenant, Living Wills, Name Changes, Power of Attorney, School Suspensions, Taxes, and Wills.
Good to Know: MVLS provides free legal representation low-income residents in civil legal matters. Eligible clients are matched with a volunteer lawyer.
Area of Law: Various civil matters, including contracts and negotiations, taxes and tax-exempt status, incorporation, copyrights and trademarks, small claims, and landlord/tenant.
Good to Know: MDVLA provides free or reduced fee legal assistance to arts organizations and visual, performing and literary artists. Clients must meet certain income requirements to qualify for representation, and there is a small administrative fee.
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Employment, Housing, Public Benefits, Police Misconduct, and more.
Good to Know: Legal services are available to low-income African Americans and other minority groups.
Area of Law: Bankruptcy, Foreclosure
Good to Know: DAP is a legal clinic that provides debtors with an opportunity to meet, one-on-one, with a volunteer bankruptcy attorney for a free half-hour consultation. The DAP provides legal advice to individuals without an attorney by answering their questions about bankruptcy, including how bankruptcy may be used to help prevent foreclosure. The DAP Attorney’s cannot complete paperwork or represent you.
Area of Law: Disability Rights
Good to Know: This office provides free legal assistance to disabled persons regardless of income.
Areas of Law: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Family Law including Adjustment of Status, Consular Processing, Employment authorization, Family-based petitions, U visas, and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions.
Good to Know: MEDOVI provides legal assistance to Maryland residents who are foreign born victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.
Area of Law: Domestic Violence, Protective Orders, Divorce, Child Custody and Support.
Good to Know: This is a free legal aid clinic operated in the Baltimore City District Courthouse.
Area of Law: Employment, Discrimination, Worker’s Rights, Sexual Harassment, and more.
Good to Know: This is a statewide employment hotline. Volunteer attorneys answer questions via telephone only.
Area of Law: Employment, Worker’s Rights, Housing
Good to Know: CASA provides legal help to Latinos and their families. They represent day laborers, domestic workers, and tenants in cases such as nonpayment of wages; minimum wage and overtime violations; unlawful wage deductions; discriminatory employment practices; retaliatory discharges; and involuntary servitude.
Area of Law: Tenant/Landlord, Housing
Good to Know: This is a free legal aid hotline for tenants and landlords counseling. Representatives cannot provide legal referrals.
Areas of Law: Immigration, Removal Proceedings, Asylum, Family-based petitions, Trafficking, crime victim, and domestic violence-based immigration applications, visa processing and more.
Good to Know: They may charge a nominal fee for most services. Domestic violence victims will not be charged a fee.
Area of Law: LGBT Rights, Discrimination, Wills and Trusts, Family Law, Name and Gender Changes
Good to Know: This organization provides free and reduced fee legal services to low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals who are experiencing legal problems stemming from their sexual orientation.
Areas of Law: Public Benefits, Long-term Care, Neglect, Home Ownership, Medicare, Utilities, Landlord-Tenant, Consumer
Good to Know: The Senior Legal Helpline is a free telephone service for Maryland residents age 60 and over. They do not provide help with criminal law, personal injury, or traffic court cases.
Area of Law: Civil, Domestic Violence, Employment, Family and Assistance with Legal Forms.
Good to Know: The Women’s Law Center operates several clinics and legal hotlines throughout Baltimore City and County. Call for more information.
Area of Law: Housing and Tenant, Unemployment, Defense of Contract Claims, Juvenile, Guardianships, Public Benefits
Good to Know: Law students represent low-income clients in a variety of civil matters before courts and administrative agencies. The clinic does not accept walk-ins. Call for intake information.
Area of Law: Domestic Violence, Family Law
Good to Know: The clinic does not accept walk-ins. Call for intake information.
Areas of Law: Immigration, Domestic Violence
Good to Know: The Clinic sponsors a free consultation program for individuals who are in removal (deportation) proceedings in the Baltimore Immigration Court. On Immigration attorneys provide free consultations on a first come, first served basis.
Area of Law: Domestic Violence, Family Law
Good to Know: Law students under the supervision of attorneys represent low-income family law clients. Call for intake procedures.