The Federal Government has statutory authority to make arrangements for the provision of legal services to victims of major disasters.
Maryland attorneys may be called upon to provide free emergency legal services to low-income Marylanders through the Disaster Legal Services (DLS) Program.
Last week, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado, along with other representatives, introduced the Pandemic Response and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act to help prepare communities for the economic impacts of the coronavirus, which could potentially trigger the implementation of the DLS program throughout the entire country.
The DLS program, which allows low-income Marylanders to request the assistance of a lawyer, is in partnership between the Maryland State Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Section, the Bar Association of Baltimore City Young Lawyers’ Division, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
While the DLS program has not been enacted for the present COVID-19 pandemic
, the MSBA YLS Disaster Relief Committee is being proactive in expanding its list of potential volunteer attorneys across the State of Maryland. A volunteer attorney could be needed to assist with accepting phone calls, placing callers/clients with pro bono attorneys, or providing pro bono representation (if desired).
Please share this request widely throughout your firms, organizations and legal networks.