Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : January 2010

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The Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC) presented its 2009 Legal Services Awards at the organization’s annual awards reception on December 7, 2009, at the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel. F. Vernon Boozer, Chair of the MLSC Board, and Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, Court of Appeals of Maryland, presented the awards to the following recipients:

SEATED(left to right): Carol Ahlum;Deborah Weimer;L. Tracy Brown; STANDING(left to right):F. Vernon Boozer, MLSC Board Chair;Carl R. Gold;Josh Wolf;Chief of Staff for Senator Robert A. Zirkin;Kulley Bancroft and Donald Schuster from Sandy Spring Bank;Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, Court of Appeals of Maryland;Susan M. Erlichman,MLSC Executive Director.

  • Carl R. Gold, of the Law Offices of Carl R. Gold and professor at Towson University, received the Arthur W. Machen, Jr., Award, which is presented annually to an attorney (usually in private practice) who has rendered extraordinary service by providing civil legal services to the poor or by improving the civil legal services delivery system for such persons. Throughout his long and established career as a Maryland attorney, Gold has had a strong record of support of legal services to the poor, especially by providing pro bono services in competency and commitment hearings as well as difficult, long-running special education cases.

  • Tracy Brown and Deborah Jean Weimer were designated co-recipients of the Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award, which is presented annually to an outstanding public interest attorney regularly involved in providing or advancing civil legal services to the poor. Brown has been a strong advocate of family law and domestic violence issues in a public service career spanning more than 30 years, including expanding the work of the Women’s Law Center since becoming director in 2001. Weimer also has devoted over 30 years to public service, including inspiring law students to pursue public interest careers or pro bono service and achieving law reforms benefiting people with HIV/AIDS and their children.

  • Carol Ahlum, a paralegal with the Legal Aid Bureau of Mid-Western Maryland, received this year’s William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award, which is presented annually to a non-attorney who demonstrates outstanding service representing the rights and legal needs of low-income persons or by expanding access to justice for such persons. Ahlum has worked in the Legal Aid office in Frederick for 18 years as an effective advocate for clients in public benefits proceedings, as an active member in community organizations benefiting low-income people and as a trainer and mentor of other legal services advocates.

  • MLSC presented the Herbert S. Garten Public Citizen Award, which honors an entity or organization not regularly engaged in the delivery of legal services to low-income persons, to Sandy Spring Bank, which has the distinction of being a founding and continuous member of the MLSC and Maryland State Bar Association Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Honor Roll. Sandy Spring Bank continues to demonstrate its support for legal aid and the mission of MLSC by maintaining a higher rate of interest on over 200 IOLTA accounts to help sustain legal services to low-income people in these difficult economic times.

  • The MLSC Board also presented an Award of Special Recognition to Senator Robert A. (Bobby) Zirkin, who helped MLSC avoid a significant cut in funds and conditions affecting awarding of grants during the 2009 Maryland General Assembly.
MLSC annually solicits nominations for legal services awards from bar associations, legal services programs and other interested persons and organizations. MLSC was established by the Maryland General Assembly in 1982 to receive and distribute funds to nonprofit organizations that provide civil legal assistance to low-income persons. From its inception, MLSC has made grants totaling over $138 million to help provide services in more than 1.7 million legal matters for Maryland’s families in areas of family, housing, consumer, employment, health care and other civil legal matters.

 


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Publications : Bar Bulletin: January 2010

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