Governor Appoints Judge Nichols to MLSC Board

February 11th, 2020

Governor Larry Hogan has appointed the Hon. C. Philip Nichols, Jr., of Prince George’s County, to the Maryland Legal Services Corporation’s nine-member Board of Directors.

Judge Nichols retired as the chief judge of Maryland’s Seventh Judicial Circuit. He was appointed a judge of the Circuit Court in 1992. Prior to that, he served as judge of the District Court of Maryland and was twice elected a judge of the Orphans Court.

Judge Nichols also served as a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve. During his 37 years of military service, he has had tours of duty as a general courts-martial judge and served as a member of the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, the service’s highest uniformed court. Captain Nichols was the first reservist in the nation to be ordered to the Court twice for duty as an appellate military judge. He twice served as a commanding officer.

Since his military retirement in 2007, Judge Nichols has served as a fleet professor in the National Security Affairs Department of the U.S. Naval War College. He teaches Theater Security Decision Making to members of the faculty and staff at the U.S. Naval Academy earning their master’s degrees.

Judge Nichols served as chairman of the board of directors of Dimensions HealthCare System and is the chair of the Patuxent District of Boy Scouts America. In 2019 he was elected chair of the Bar Associations Insurance Trust.

He received his A.B. from Georgetown University, his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law, and his M.A. with highest distinction from the U.S. Naval War College.

MLSC’s mission is to ensure low‐income Marylanders have access to stable, efficient and effective civil legal assistance through the distribution of funds to nonprofit legal services organizations. Since the Maryland General Assembly established the organization in 1982, MLSC has made grants totaling over $310 million to help provide services in nearly 3.5 million legal matters for Maryland’s families in areas of family, housing, consumer, employment and other civil legal matters.

MLSC’s FY19 Annual Report

January 30th, 2020

Maryland Legal Services Corporation is pleased to share our fiscal year 2019 annual report. MLSC grantees served more than 205,000 people in FY19, providing vital civil legal aid.

Click here to read the report.

FY21 Applications Available

January 29th, 2020

Nonprofit organizations interested in continuing or seeking funding from Maryland Legal Services Corporation for civil legal services to low-income Marylanders for fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) must submit an application no later than Monday, March 16, 2020.

Applications are now available via MLSC’s SmartSimple grants portal. A link to Smart Simple and more information can be found on the Grant Application Process page.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-576-9494 or grants [at] mlsc [dot] org.

FY21 Grant Information Webinar – Jan. 28, 2020

January 2nd, 2020

Nonprofit organizations interested in continuing or seeking funding from Maryland Legal Services Corporation for civil legal services to low-income Marylanders for fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) must submit an application no later than Monday, March 16, 2020.

MLSC will hold an informational webinar regarding FY21 funding opportunities on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 10:30 am. The webinar will cover general funding policies and priorities, the grant application process and the forecast for MLSC’s FY21 funding level.

Registration for the webinar is available at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/uZ0lceiqrDwqjTd-l4P9ef9-IvcEb1bwhA. After registering, you will receive an email with instructions on how to join the webinar. You will be able to listen to the audio of the meeting through your computer or by calling in on your phone. We also recommending testing your system at https://zoom.us/test before the webinar.

The webinar system has a maximum number of attendees. If multiple people from your organization will be watching the webinar, please consider registering one participant and watching together. A recording of the webinar will be available after its completion.

If you have any questions, please contact MLSC via email or at 410-576-9494.

MLSC Announces 2019 Award Recipients

October 2nd, 2019

The Maryland Legal Services Corporation board of directors is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Annual Awards. The recipients will be recognized at the MLSC Annual Awards Reception, to be held December 9, 2019 at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore. Learn more about the event at mlsc.org/awards/annual-reception.

Hon. Cathy Hollenberg Serrette, associate judge at the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, will receive the Arthur W. Machen, Jr. Award. Judge Serrette has been a steadfast advocate for access to justice as an active participant in the Prince George’s County pro bono committee. She is a past president of Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County and Pro Bono Resource Center, an active member of the Court of Appeals’ Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Service and a member of the Maryland Access to Justice Commission. Judge Serrette also led the effort to establish the Prince George’s County Family Justice Center, which hosts a wide spectrum of service providers for clients in need.

Nina Shore, chief attorney of Maryland Legal Aid’s Midwestern Maryland office, is the 2019 recipient of the Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award. Ms. Shore has dedicated 40 years to legal services for low-income people in Kansas, Alabama, Nevada, South Dakota and Maryland. She has a superb ability to make connections, leading to many local partnerships that help Maryland Legal Aid better serve their clients. Ms. Shore provides training to local government officials and has established a robust pro bono program for her office. She is an expert in poverty law issues and mentors both staff and volunteers, all in the pursuit of improving the lives of low-income Marylanders.

MLSC will present two Rising Star Awards for 2019. Amy Hennen, managing attorney for housing and consumer law at Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, has shown leadership, energy and a profound commitment to serving low-income Marylanders. At MVLS, she launched the Bankruptcy Bypass Program for clients whose debts are collection proof and expanded outreach to Spanish-speaking communities. Ms. Hennen lends her expertise to several coalitions related to water affordability, tax sale and body attachments.

Ingrid Löfgren, director of the Homeless Youth Initiative at Homeless Persons Representation Project, has revolutionized the way legal services are provided to homeless youth in Baltimore and significantly shifted policy conversations surrounding the needs of homeless youth on a state level in Maryland. She originally designed the Homeless Youth Initiative as a Skadden Fellow with HPRP, and in 2017 the American Bar Association selected the Initiative as a model program. Ms. Löfgren ensures that all services are youth-centered, taking into account her clients’ needs, desires and past experiences with the justice system.

Nora Eidelman, deputy director at Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, will receive the William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award. Ms. Eidelman has worked for CLSPGC for more than 20 years, including a time when she stepped in to direct the organization while the executive director was on leave. She actively seeks ways to improve CLSPGC services and increase visibility in the community, especially among Spanish-speaking clients. Ms. Eidelman serves on the Maryland Partners for Justice Conference planning committee and local pro bono committee.

The Charles W. Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center is the 2019 recipient of the Herbert S. Garten Public Citizen Award. The Gilchrist Center serves as a hub for immigrant services, including English and job-readiness classes. Embracing the importance of legal services for their clients, they have worked with the Montgomery County Bar Foundation, Asian Pacific Legal Resource Center and Ayuda to provide legal clinics and intake for immigration and other civil legal services. The Gilchrist Center’s staff are dedicated to making Montgomery County a welcoming community for immigrants and has promoted civil legal services as an important tool in reaching that goal.

MLSC’s mission is to ensure low-income Marylanders have access to stable, efficient and effective civil legal assistance through the distribution of funds to nonprofit legal services organizations. Since the Maryland General Assembly established the organization in 1982, MLSC has made grants totaling over $312 million to help provide services in more than 3.5 million legal matters for Maryland’s families in areas of family, housing, consumer, employment and other civil legal matters.