Free Legal Help

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Free Legal Help

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Other Ways to Apply


Telephone Intake

If you have a family law matter or cannot complete the online application, please call us.   Intake hours are Monday through Thursday, 9am-12pm

410-547-6537 (Baltimore Area) 800-510-0050

We offer assistance in the following areas of law:

Consumer

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
  • Collection
  • Contracts/other consumer disputes

Criminal Record Relief

  • Expungement
  • Shielding
  • Vacatur

Estate Planning and Administration

  • Advance Medical Directives
  • Financial Power of Attorney
  • Life Estate Deed
  • Probate
  • Wills

Family

  • Adoption
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Guardianship (adult and child)
  • Name Changes/Birth Certificate Corrections

Housing

  • Deed Changes
  • Ground Rent Redemption
  • Landlord/Tenant Disputes
    • Security Deposit Returns
    • Because of their urgent nature, we do not handle failure to pay rent eviction cases.
  • Mortgage Foreclosure
  • Tax Sale

Income Tax

  • Audits
  • Collection Issues
  • Denial of the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Innocent Spouse Relief
  • Refund Claims
  • US Tax Court Litigation

Review Eligibility Charts

Do I Qualify for Free Legal Help?

MVLS provides pro bono legal representation to Marylanders with limited income in civil legal matters. To qualify for services, you should check that you meet income, case type and geographic guidelines. If you are eligible, you will be matched with a volunteer who has the skill and expertise to provide quality legal representation to you for the life of your case.

Geographic Areas

Services are provided in every county, except Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne, and Talbot counties (with some exceptions).

Income Eligibility

Gross household income (money earned before anything is taken out for taxes or other deductions) may not exceed 50% of the Maryland median income.

Check My Eligibility
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How Our Process Works

1. Begin Intake Process

Call us Monday – Thursday from 9am-12pm or apply online to complete our intake process. If you have a family law case (such as custody, divorce, guardianship, etc.) you must call to complete an intake. We will determine if you are eligible and send you an application the same day.

2. Submit Your Application & Documents

You must complete all application questions and submit all required documents listed on the cover page. If applying online, this list will appear at the end of the application under ‘Next Steps’. Submit your application via: Mail: 201 N. Charles Street, Ste. 1400, Baltimore, MD 21201; Email: mvlsparalegalteam@mvlslaw.org; or Fax: Look for the fax number at the bottom of your application cover page. Allow 30 days for your application to be reviewed. If you have a court date scheduled within 45 days, you must contact the court to request a postponement. Postponements are granted at the court’s discretion. IMPORTANT: Failure to provide all requested information on the application and supporting documents will delay processing time. Click here for a list of commonly required documents.

3. Application Status Update

We will review your application and contact you via letter and/or email to let you know if you are eligible for our services, request more information, or that we’ve opened your case. If your contact information has changed or you would like to opt into text message notifications please click here.

4. Volunteer Placement Search

Our Legal Advocates will search for a volunteer to assist you based on your legal issue and county where your case is located. Please note that case placements are not immediate or guaranteed and are based on the availability of our volunteers. During this process, you remain solely responsible for your case, including complying with deadlines, and court orders.

5. Volunteer Match

You will receive the volunteer’s contact information by mail and/or email. With your permission, we will also send a text alert notifying you when your case has been placed with a volunteer. Please contact your volunteer within FIVE business days to schedule your first appointment. If you have trouble reaching your volunteer, please contact the Legal Advocate assigned to your case. Their contact information will be on your referral letter.

If you are ready to take the first step towards legal assistance please begin the MVLS online intake application
Begin Intake Application
MVLS & The UB School of Law

Human Trafficking Prevention Project

Trafficking survivors have rights. You can helpOur Human Trafficking Prevention Project (HTPP) staff and volunteers provide free legal representation to survivors of trafficking and other clients who have traded sex or experienced domestic violence, sexual abuse, housing instability, and other types of trauma or inequities that make them more vulnerable to exploitation. The HTPP can assist with criminal record relief, family law matters, consumer debt, name and gender marker change, tax controversy, and other civil legal issues.

Find Out More
Baltimore City Residents

My Home, My Deed, My Legacy

Our My Home, My Deed, My Legacy Program helps primarily Baltimore City residents use legal tools and secure resources to protect their house in the short and long term.  MVLS conducts significant community outreach and public awareness campaigns about the need to ensure that homeowners’ names are on the deed to their home so they can secure benefits like the Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit, water credits and access to home repair programs. Look for upcoming My Home, My Deed, My Legacy clinics on our events page.

Next Steps

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I guaranteed a volunteer?

Unfortunately MVLS cannot guarantee that a volunteer will be available to take every case. We make every effort to match each client with a volunteer within 30 days from the date the case is accepted.

How long does it take to get assigned a volunteer?

Referral to a volunteer can take at least 30 days after acceptance and sometimes a few months. Case placements are based on the availability of our volunteers.

Can I just get advice?

Our telephone intake line is staffed by legal advocates who are unable to provide legal advice. If you are in need of advice, please visit the Additional Legal Resource page on our site.

Can I walk in?

We do not accept walk-ins. Please call us or apply online.

What is the status of my application?

You can check the status of your application anytime on our website - Check My Case Status.

How much will this cost?

MVLS and its volunteers do not charge clients any fees for their work. However, clients may be responsible for other costs associated with their case.

I have a court date soon! Can you help?

We are unable to assist with hearings scheduled within less than 30 days. Please contact the court where your hearing is scheduled to request a postponement, and reach back out to us if it is granted.

Other Legal Assistance

View additional resources which may be available to you.

View Non-MVLS Resources

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