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Spotlight on Civil Legal Aid
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Spotlight on Civil Legal Aid

ABAG Member, the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC) is partnering with the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers to increase awareness and understanding of the value of civil legal aid among the members of Maryland’s philanthropic community.

MLSC, which administers Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) and other funds for civil legal services to low-income persons throughout the state, is one of 10 national recipients of grants from the National Association of IOLTA Programs. The grant to MLSC is being used to increase awareness and understanding of the value of civil legal aid among the members of Maryland’s philanthropic community. 

Incorporating ABAG member input and interests, MLSC and ABAG are working together to develop and conduct a series of four educational programs with ABAG members, each with a corresponding "funder brief.” Our programming is focused on emphasizing the importance of civil legal aid in meeting basic human needs of vulnerable populations and integrating legal aid throughout foundations’ portfolios.

Download the ABAG Funder Briefs:

ABAG programs:

  • Spotlight on Civil Legal Aid, February 18, 2015 The work of civil legal aid groups is instrumental in moving vulnerable people out of crisis. Each year, thousands of low-income Marylanders benefit from direct legal help and policy advocacy in housing, food, health care, protection from domestic violence and other issues of interest to funders. Come hear an overview of the civil legal services landscape: who does the work, who is served and why is it so difficult for Marylanders to get legal help when they need it. Join the discussion of how funders are using legal services to advance their grantmaking goals.
  • Employment, Housing, and Health: The State of LGBTQ Marylanders, May 28, 2015 Despite recent legislative victories, civil rights and basic needs challenges for the LGBTQ population in Maryland persist. At this program, our speakers will give insight into how recent legislation has advanced civil rights and what remains at risk; how discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression impacts the cycle of poverty; and support systems/organizations serving this population including medical-legal partnerships and youth-focused services.
  • Improving Job Quality and Safeguarding Workers, September 30, 2015. At this program, we’ll hear from a national funder, a lawyer, and practitioners about how they are helping low-wage workers receive fair and just treatment; climb out of poor quality jobs into better jobs; and also help make hard work pay and make poor quality jobs better.
  • Vulnerable Immigrants in Maryland: Responding to Unaccompanied Children and Undocumented Adults, October 27, 2015. At this program, panelists will describe how the cases of unaccompanied children and vulnerable immigrant adults are being handled by the legal services community, as well as the efforts taken to address their mental health and other basic needs. They will also discuss the Multi-Ethnic Domestic Violence Project (MEDOVI), which creates an avenue for victims who are immigrants and their children to get legal status; and how Maryland’s legal community is gearing up to serve even more immigrants. Participants will learn what they can do to help the unaccompanied children and other vulnerable immigrants in the state.

Questions about this effort can be directed to ABAG Programs and Initiatives Director, Elisabeth Hyleck.

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