Legal Services

SUBMIT AN APPLICATION

Organizations wishing to apply for legal assistance from Community Law Center should complete and submit an Application for Legal Services (click here to download the application) along with the nonrefundable application fee (click here to pay the application fee online) and all requested information including bylaws and a budget (can be a draft) for the organization.

See the FAQ for Completing the Application for Legal Services for more information about completing the Application for Legal Services.

Organizations applying for tax-exempt status must also submit a draft of IRS Form 1023 and attend one of the How to Start a Nonprofit workshops offered monthly before being matched with an attorney. Organizations requesting assistance with a zoning, liquor license, or other administrative agency matter must also submit a copy of all documents from the agency’s file, including the applicants’ application, drawings, or other proposed documents.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SUBMIT MY APPLICATION?

Once received, the Application for Legal Services will be reviewed.  A Community Law Center staff member may contact the applicant for additional information. Once an application is accepted by Community Law Center, Community Law Center will seek an appropriate staff or volunteer attorney to match with the organization.  Finding a match generally takes three to four weeks after all information has been received.  Community Law Center cannot guarantee placement of all cases.  However, Community Law Center has a long history of successfully matching organizations with attorneys.

Beyond the nonrefundable application fee, no fees are charged for the assigned attorney’s time, but clients are responsible for direct expenses (filing fees, postage, copying expenses, etc.) related to their cases.

WHAT KIND OF CASES DO YOU ACCEPT?

Community Law Center, Inc. only represents organizations and makes decisions on whether to accept Applications for Legal Services on a case-by-case basis by examining the details of each potential case, conflicts of interest, evaluating the timing of the request, and determining how it fits into current program priorities.

Please note: Community Law Center does not represent individuals. Community Law Center cannot typically accept the following types of cases: Cases with two or more nonprofits or community organizations on opposite sides or with opposite stances, internal organizational disputes, and disputes with funders.

IS THERE OTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO HELP MY ORGANIZATION?

Nonprofit and community organizations in Maryland are encouraged to read Community Law Center’s publication, How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in Maryland, which provides essential information necessary to start a nonprofit as well as to keep the organization running efficiently and effectively.

Community associations in Baltimore City are also encouraged to read Community Law Center’s manual, Strengthening Baltimore’s Neighborhoods: A Legal Handbook for Community Associations, which provides essential information necessary to start a community association, to keep the organization running efficiently and effectively, and to utilize laws designed specifically for Baltimore’s community associations to take actions to strengthen their neighborhoods.

WHERE DO I FIND LEGAL REPRESENTATION IF I AM NOT ELIGIBLE FOR COMMUNITY LAW CENTER’S SERVICES?

Community Law Center only represents neighborhoods and nonprofit organizations.  If you are an individual or a for-profit entity seeking legal assistance, please visit The People’s Law Library of Maryland’s Legal Services Directory to find a legal services provider that may best suit your needs.