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Pro Bono Divorce Lawyers In Maryland

What Questions Should You Ask An Attorney About Wills

Maryland Attorney General Issues Pro Bono Call To Action For Marylanders Facing Civil Justice Crises

When youre creating a will and looking for a potential lawyer, ask plenty of questions. For example, ask:

  • How long will it take to draw up a will?
  • How much do you charge for will creation?
  • How do you set your prices? Do you charge hourly rates?
  • How long have you been practicing law, specifically estate planning and will creation?

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 Georges, Queen Anne, and Talbot counties .

Income Eligibility

Gross household income may not exceed 50% of the Maryland median income.

How Do I Find A Lawyer & Legal Services

First ask yourself, Do I need a lawyer?

The answer is probably YES if:

  • The case is contested and the other side has a lawyer
  • You do not have an address for the other side
  • You cannot locate the other side to serve him or her with your papers
  • This is a divorce case and either side has a house, a pension, or a large amount of property or income. Even if it is a friendly divorce, you SHOULD talk to a lawyer before you sign any settlement papers or file anything in court.
  • You and your spouse do not agree on who should have custody of the children
  • You think the court will need information that you cannot get
  • You are seeking an annulment

You may also need a lawyer if after reading these instructions you feel you need help to file your case.

You can talk to or get a lawyer at any time during the course of a case, BUT getting a lawyer at the last minute usually will not be grounds for a postponement, and many lawyers will not take a case at the last minute.

More information and general instructions on family cases are available from the Maryland Judiciary.

Assistance if you decide to represent yourself

Please note that whether you receive advice, help with forms, or general information that applies to everyone, will depend first on your income eligibility using established state-wide income guidelines, and second, on the complexity of your case. You will still be responsible for paying all fees and costs associated with your case.


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Give Through Your Workplace

Its easy to support MVLS through your workplace campaign. Use 52-1225979 for the Maryland Charity Campaign or 2420 for United Way of Central Maryland. To maximize your donations impact, check with your employer to see if they offer a matching gifts program. Submit your matching gift request per your employers instructions and please let us know about your intent to give.

If You Contact Mvls About A Custody Matter What Information And Documents Will You Need To Gather


Services are provided regardless of race, nationality, ethnicity, age, religion, disability status, sex assigned at birth, gender identity, gender presentation, sexual orientation, or immigration status.

MD Charity Campaign: 52-1225979

Baltimore City Employee United Way Campaign: 2420

United Way of MD Campaign: 2420

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Community Investment Tax Credits

Individuals and businesses who donate $500 or more to MVLS can earn tax credits equal to 50% of the value of their money, goods or real property contribution. These tax credits are in addition to the deductions on both Federal and State taxes that result from a charitable contribution. Donors are required to call or email a member of our team to confirm availability of credits, obtain a Donor Acknowledgement Form, and complete and submit it to MVLS before making a gift.

Contested Vs Uncontested Divorce Costs

The total cost of your divorce case generally comes down to whether its contested or uncontested. If your case is uncontested, you and your spouse agree on the grounds for the divorce, property division, child support and child custody, parenting time, alimony and any other issues specific to your case. An uncontested divorce is often faster and less costly than a contested action.

If your divorce case is contested and you and your spouse cannot agree on the issues that must be resolved prior to the court granting a dissolution, expect to pay much more. Contested divorces are lengthier and can involve a lot of time spent in court. They may also involve an extensive discovery process to obtain financial information and other documents relevant to the case.

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How Do You Find A Good Attorney For Wills

To find the best attorney to create your will, start your search on Thumbtack. With Thumbtack, you can quickly locate lawyers near you. As youre browsing through potential attorneys you might hire, read their profiles to find out which ones specialize in will creation and estate planning. Then, contact a few of them to request cost estimates.

What Is The Pro Bono Program

Attorney General Brian Frosh Encouraging MD Lawyers To Offer Bono Service

The Montgomery County Bar Foundation Pro Bono Program was the first program of its kind in Maryland and has remained a strong, viable program continuing its excellence in providing free legal services to over 2,000 low-income clients in need through the Attorney Referral Program, the free legal clinics and The Child Custody Program. Assistance is made possible through the generosity of our volunteer attorneys, who provide thousands of hours of free legal services as well as the Maryland Legal Services Corporation and the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Division, which provide us with grants. The Pro Bono Program assists low-income residents of Montgomery County, Maryland obtain free legal representation. Volunteer private practice attorneys are solicited by the Program to provide free legal guidance and/or representation in the areas of absolute divorce, custody, name changes, adoption/guardianship, landlord/tenant , bankruptcy/debt collection matters, wills, powers of attorney, and in limited circumstances immigration and employment cases.

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Geographic Areas Mvls Serves

MVLS provides legal help to individuals in every Maryland county, exceptMontgomery, Prince Georges, Allegany counties, and the eastern shore counties of Queen Annes, Talbot, Dorchester, Kent and Caroline. These jurisdictions have local pro bono agencies.

However, MVLS will handle a few specialized matters in these jurisdictions including tax disputes with the IRS.

Free Legal Services For Victims

Our free attorneys can give you legal advice and may be able to represent you in court. The law offers various forms of protection to victims of intimate partner violence.

  • Obtaining or Enforcing a Protective Order
  • Custody, Divorce, Child Support, and/or Alimony
  • Relocating for Safety: Lease Termination and Address Confidentiality
  • When Dealing with Domestic Violence Interferes with Your Job
  • Pressing Criminal Charges Against Your Abuser

Contact us at one of our locations listed below for more information or to request free legal services.

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How Much Should An Estate Plan Cost

The cost of an estate plan depends largely on the number of parts it includes and the complexity of the documents. The most basic estate plan is simply a will, but it may also include designating power of attorney or a health care proxy to another person, writing a living will, or making a HIPAA authorization. The average national cost to make an estate plan ranges from $350 to $900, but can cost much more in complicated situations. For example, an estate attorney may charge only $900 to prepare a basic will providing outright distribution meaning that property and assets are distributed upon death. Writing a more complicated will and holding assets in trusts can cost $3,000, or more. The process of creating an estate plan generally takes two to four weeks, starting with the initial consultation with the wills attorney to identify areas of concern in order to design an estate plan that fits your goals and budget. Once an estate plan is written, the attorney meets with the clients, a notary, and two neutral witnesses to review and sign the plan and associated documents.

Filing Fees Service Fees And Other Court Costs

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Attorney fees arent the only costs associated with a divorce. If your case requires an expert witness or a property appraiser, the parties will be responsible for paying their rates. You can also expect fees to file court documents and have your petition served.

Heres a breakdown of some of the fees you can expect:

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How Do You Find A Good Immigration Lawyer

Research is key to finding a good immigration lawyer. The immigration process can be overwhelming and complex, so a trustworthy advocate is critical. When you have identified several eligible candidates, verify their immigration law license to protect yourself and your finances. Once you have a set of licensed immigration lawyers in mind, choose one based on these considerations:

  • Mutual respect: You want an immigration lawyer who treats you and your family with kindness and consideration. Youll do the same for them.
  • Availability: Before hiring, note if they have responded promptly to your emails and calls. You dont want to hire someone you have to chase around.
  • Proven success: Read former client reviews and research their success rate with cases similar to yours.
  • Transparent rates: Ask directly about what their rates are, how they bill, and what they estimate your legal fees will be. Ask if they will sign a fee agreement, and get receipts for all fees paid.
  • Verify who will handle your case: Sometimes junior lawyers work on firm cases. This is okay, as long as you have discussed it and are comfortable with it. When junior lawyers or paralegals are working on your case, ask if the hourly rate is lower.
  • Be wary of anyone who promises you specific results: No case is certain, and the immigration lawyer should be honest about what you can expect.

For more, check out our tips for smart hiring on Thumbtack.

What Is A Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawyer fights on your behalf if youve been injured physically, psychologically, economically or in reputation. This injury may be the result of neglect or malicious intent of another person, or it could be at the hands of a business, government or other entity. Personal injury lawyers specialize in tort law, which is the law of civil wrongs like car accidents, company wrongdoing, unlawful imprisonment and more.

To become qualified to be a personal injury lawyer in the United States, a person must earn a bachelors degree, followed by a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from a law school. Most states then require the person to pass the bar exam to become licensed to practice law. Unlike many attorneys who require a retainer, personal injury lawyers often work on contingency fees. This means that in lieu of payment upfront, they receive an agreed-upon percentage of the settlement in case of a win.

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Free Initial Consultation With A Maryland Family Law Attorney: You’ll Talk We’ll Listen

We invite you to call us today to discuss your Maryland family law situation, all initial phone and office consultations are always free of charge. You’ll talk, we’ll listen. We are not like other firms that cut you off after 15 or 20 minutes. We are here to listen, and when you are done we will be honest with you and tell you exactly what needs to be done and how much we believe that it is going to cost. Remember, it’s all about trust. Divorce and family law clients have trusted our services for more than 28 years, and we are looking forward to earning your trust.

Call us today at 766-4044 in the Baltimore area or call 587-8900 in the Washington Metropolitan area. Or, if you prefer, fill out our contact form and we will get back to you right away.

You will be amazed at how quickly we respond to your questions and concerns. Give it a try, you’ll see.

How Much Does A Dui Attorney Cost

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If you’ve been arrested or charged with drinking and driving, it may be time to call a DUI lawyer. DUI stands for driving under the influence. And although your state may refer to the act of intoxicated driving by a different set of acronyms, it is no less illegal when it goes by the name driving while intoxicated , operating under the influence or operating while intoxicated . Each state counts a DUI charge as a criminal offense, so it’s best to get legal representation. You do have the right to be your own attorney, or the court will appoint you a public defender if you request one, but do you want to take chances with your criminal record? If there is a chance that you were wrongly charged, or that you could qualify for a lighter sentence, you would be wise to invest in a seasoned DUI lawyer instead of representing yourself or working with a public defender who is working on too many other cases to give yours full attention.

Here are the factors that affect the national average cost for a DUI lawyer.

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If You Need Legal Assistance

If you need a lawyer, but cannot afford one, you may be eligible to receive FREE LEGAL HELP from volunteer attorneys with the Pro Bono Program.You may contact the Pro Bono Program at 424-7651 Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for an initial eligibility screening. If you appear to be eligible, based on the information you provide us, we will mail you intake forms to complete and return to us. There is a $25.00 processing fee. Once your information is complete, we will place you on a waiting list for the next available attorney. The Pro Bono Program depends on volunteers therefore, it may take several months to find an attorney who is available to represent you in court. For this reason, the Program cannot assist individuals who have emergency cases.

You must meet ALL of the following criteria to be eligible:

  • You must be a resident of Montgomery County
  • You must meet Maryland income eligibility guidelines
  • You must need assistance in an area of law which volunteer attorneys handle

Cases Handled by the Program:

  • Absolute Divorce

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 courts discretion.IMPORTANT: Failure to provide all requested information on the application and supporting documents will delay processing time.

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What Should You Look For In A Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawyer will advocate for your legal rights if youve been hurt in an accident at work or in daily life, have suffered from medical malpractice, or are struggling to have your insurance carrier cover your needs. It may be helpful to talk with two or three lawyers before selecting one. When looking for a personal injury lawyer, research their reviews and make sure former clients have had good experiences with them. Next, make sure the personal injury lawyer has experience and proven success winning cases similar to yours. Confirm that the lawyer is licensed to provide services in your state. When you find a qualified personal injury lawyer with whom you want to work, freely discuss payment and fees before any work begins. Most lawyers offer a free consultation to learn what your case is about and explain their rates. Personal injury attorneys typically receive a percentage of your settlement , so they are paid after the trial or case is complete. Keep in mind that some attorneys have fees that you must pay even if you dont win your trial. Its important to understand these details before work begins so you dont have any unhappy surprises later. Lastly, its wise to choose a personal injury lawyer that you have confidence in and with whom you can communicate openly and honestly.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Living Will

MVLS honors attorneys at annual Celebrate Pro Bono reception

Either a family attorney or an estate, or wills, attorney can help you prepare a living will, either as part of your general estate planning or as an individual document. The cost typically ranges from $250 to $500, depending on your attorneys fees some charge by the hour, while others have a flat rate for writing a living will. Some states require living wills to be notarized, which adds an average of $5 to $15. In a living will also called an advanced healthcare directive you specify whether you want to be kept on life support if you become terminally ill or lapse into a persistent vegetative state. You can also answer other important questions in a living will like your preferences for tube feeding, artificial hydration and pain medication in situations when you cannot communicate your wishes on your own.

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