Law firm of last resort

Today’s Of Service column in the Daily Record looks at Maryland Legal Aid’s downtown Baltimore intake process, which saw 670 prospective clients walk through its doors in June.

“People come in for any number of reasons,” said Bobbie Steyer, the lawyer in charge of Legal Aid’s intake unit, which hosts open intakes three days a week. “We are the law firm of last resort. Courts, other law firms, social services — if they see someone with an inkling of a legal problem, they send them here.”

“The people coming in used to be the poorest of the poor — until the economic downturn,” Steyer said. “Now we’re seeing people who thought they’d never come here. They’re unemployed, their house is in foreclosure.

“Housing is the biggest issue by far,” she continued. “People come in who are getting evicted tomorrow and we try to find places for them to go. But all the financial resources from other agencies have dried up.”

To read the entire column, click here.

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