Mid-Shore Pro Bono has moved into new, larger office space at 8 South West Street in Easton. According to Executive Director Sandy Brown, the relocation demonstrates the organization’s growth and continued commitment to the community.
Since its founding in 2005, Mid-Shore Pro Bono has rapidly expanded the scope of its services, responding to the needs of its low-income client population. Initially, it was strictly a referral agency, matching clients with attorneys who volunteer their time to handle civil matters.
The agency began offering free weekly legal clinics in 2009, significantly increasing the number of Mid-Shore residents served. The faltering economy and explosion of foreclosure cases led to additional clinics specifically focused on bankruptcy, foreclosure and consumer debt issues.
Recent additions to its roster of services include Collaborative Law, an alternative to contested court cases for couples working through divorce, and Community Conferencing, which allows victims and offenders an opportunity to work out agreements in safe, neutral settings.
While it serves a five-county Mid-Shore area, including Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline and Dorchester counties, with its offices located in Easton, most of the new services developed have been offered first in Talbot County. Demand for many of its programs has led to them eventually being offered on site in the other four counties as well.
Expansion of services creates demands on the organization to support the growth. More than 80 attorneys volunteer their time for Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s clients, but on-site staff still need to coordinate programs and provide administrative support for the attorneys. As programs expand, staff needs also grow, which made for cramped conditions in its previous Dover Street headquarters.
The new offices on South West Street are spacious and welcoming to clients, attorneys and staff. The building is handicap accessible and centrally located in Easton, within a block or two of the courthouse, library, Neighborhood Service Center and other sites frequented by both its volunteers and local individuals seeking legal assistance. The offices also are easily reached from either Rt. 50 or the Easton bypass, allowing continued centralized access by clients and attorneys in the other counties served as well.
“We are so delighted to be moving here,” said Brown, noting that there is much more room for the staff to work and for attorneys to meet with clients. “Our clinics, especially, have fueled much of our growth by increasing awareness of our services and letting us know more directly the needs of our low-income residents. The community’s continued support for our program has both helped create the need for the move and helped make this move possible.”
For more information or to make a donation, call Mid-Shore Pro Bono at 410-690-8128 or visit www.midshoreprobono.org.
In photo: The staff of Mid-Shore Pro Bono at their new office on South West Street in Easton. Left to right, Annie Hynes, Alicia Myers, Megan Ryan, Executive Director Sandy Brown and Mandy Caulk.