Free legal clinic in Bel Air

The first Pro Bono Day legal clinic will be held Saturday, May 14, at Legal Aid’s Northeastern Maryland office, 103 S. Hickory Ave. in Bel Air.

Lawyers will be on hand to offer free, one-on-one legal help in civil legal matters such as divorce, child support, and custody; housing and landlord/tenant issues; government benefits, wills and advance directives, consumer debt and bankruptcy, foreclosure prevention, and veterans issues.

The free event is hosted by the Harford County Pro Bono Committee, Maryland Legal Aid, and the Harford County Bar Foundation.

“Harford County residents have not escaped the devastating impact of today’s economic climate, particularly low-income citizens,” said Gwendolyn S. Tate, Esq., director of legal services at SARC in Bel Air and the Harford County Pro Bono Committee chair.

“The county’s legal services providers have noted an increase in demand to services in all areas of the law,” Tate continued. “Unfortunately, however, funding cuts to providers and high demand for these services have spread these resources thin.”

That’s why the Harford County Pro Bono Committee, consisting of judges, attorneys, other professionals, and local legal services agencies including SARC, Legal Aid, and the Bar Foundation, teamed up to host the clinic, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event is modeled after successful pro bono events in Baltimore, which helped more than 200 people each day.

Registration is not required. Attendees need to bring any relevant documents and/or court paperwork. A group presentation by APG Federal Credit Union on credit issues, including how to read your credit report, will be taking place concurrently with individual sessions.

More volunteer lawyers are needed for the free clinic. “This event cannot be a success without their assistance,” Tate said.

Interested attorneys can call to Jeanette Cole at 410-836-8202, Cindi Lewis at 410-836-0123, or Gwendolyn Tate at 410-836-8431.

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