Senior Legal Services (“SLS”) is a joint program of The Bar Association of Baltimore City and the Baltimore Bar Foundation. Founded in 1992 as Legal Services to the Elderly, SLS provides vital pro bono legal services to low-income seniors, aged 60 and over, in Baltimore City. We advise and represent clients on a broad range of civil legal matters, including estate planning, consumer and debt collection issues, landlord/tenant disputes, housing matters, foreclosure prevention, probate, and guardianship. The mission of SLS is to provide quality legal services to an underserved population at risk of losing resources to empower them to age in place and thrive in their community.
SLS conducts client intake and consultations via telephone and in our office located in Courthouse East in downtown Baltimore. Over the last several years, we have introduced our community-based legal services program, in which we perform direct legal services and outreach at Baltimore senior centers and senior housing buildings. As part of this initiative, we give frequent presentations throughout the year on legal topics relevant to seniors to community groups of varying size. We also meet with clients in their homes when disabilities prevent them from traveling to our office.
Additionally, each year we host a Law Day for Seniors for approximately 300 Baltimore City seniors that features informational seminars on issues such as landlord/tenant law, social security updates, estate planning, and elder abuse prevention.
Through our services, clients are able to maintain their housing and income, avoid exploitation by family members and predatory lenders, and ensure their wishes are fulfilled upon their disability or death. Our assistance often allows seniors to age in place in their homes and communities.
Senior Legal Services Committee Chairs
- The Honorable Laurie Bennett
Office of Administrative Hearings
- Cathleen M. Opel, Esquire
Saul Ewing, LLP
Effective June 2, 2014, the Senior Legal Services intake policy will be as follows:
Intake hours will be from Monday-Thursday, 10:00 a.m. until noon. This includes walk-ins.
Potential clients are encouraged to call Senior Legal Services at 410-396-1322 or 410-396-5605 during those hours.
Existing clients are encouraged to call outside of those hours.
Director Samantha K. McGovern has been with Senior Legal Services since September 2016. She began at Senior Legal Services as the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Elder Justice Legal Fellow, providing civil legal assistance to older adults who were victims of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. As the Director, Ms. McGovern is in charge of the program’s day-to-day operations. She also maintains and works to increase the program’s funding, builds and maintains relationships with other pro bono legal service providers, serves on various task forces and work groups, supervises program staff and interns, and serves as a liaison between the program and our oversight Committee, as well as with the Bar Association of Baltimore City leadership. Ms. McGovern was a Judicial Law Clerk to Judge Shirley M. Watts of the Court of Appeals of Maryland from December 2015 through August 2016. She obtained her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law, and her M.A. from Temple University.
Paralegal Jacqueline A. Jones has been with Senior Legal Services since June 2010. Ms. Jones’ primary duties consist of: client intake, to include screening clients for eligibility, summarizing legal issues, scheduling appointments and conducting initial and subsequent client consultations and referrals. She is also responsible for pro bono intakes and referrals where appropriate. She coordinates community outreach and education for seniors at senior centers and senior housing facilities. She also plans events, to include the annual Law Day for Seniors. She additionally prepares documents and correspondence and other duties as assigned by the Director of Senior Legal Services.
Staff Attorney David W. Schult joined Senior Legal Services in January, 2017. Mr. Schult is a 2015 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law, where he graduated with honors. Prior to joining Senior Legal Services, Mr. Schult was a law clerk for the General Magistrates’ office of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Mr. Schult served as a summer intern for Senior Legal Services in 2013.
Staff Attorney Tenae L. Smith joined Senior Legal Services in January 2017. Ms. Smith is a Baltimore native who graduated from Stevenson University and the University of Baltimore School of Law. During college and law school, Ms. Smith gained nearly eight years of estate planning and elder law experience, including Medical Assistance planning, working for a prominent mid-sized Baltimore County firm.
Calissa N. Randall
Calissa N. Randall joined Senior Legal Services in September 2017 as the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Elder Justice Legal Fellow. Her focus is on elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Prior to joining Senior Legal Services, Ms. Randall was a Judicial Law Clerk to Family Magistrate Theresa A. Furnari in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Ms. Randall earned her B.A., cum laude, in Jurisprudence from the University of Baltimore in 2013 and her J.D. from the University of Akron School of Law in 2016. She is admitted to practice law in Maryland.
We held our annual Volunteer Reception on April 4, 2013 in the “Kaplan Court” of the Clarence Mitchell Courthouse. We honored two volunteers who have been exceptionally giving of their time to volunteer for our program, Craig A. Enck, Esquire of Miles and Stockbridge, P.C. and Richard Wills, Esquire, of Retirement Life Funding, LLC.
Below are some pictures from our 2013 Volunteer Reception.
Senior Legal Services held its inaugural fundraiser and volunteer recognition event, “Having a Ball for Seniors” on May 1, 2014 at Tydings & Rosenberg. The sports-themed event featured light fare, an appearance by Baltimore’s own Al Bumbry, and breathtaking views of Baltimore. SLS honored its Volunteers of the Year, John H. Price, Jr. and John A. Roberts. The program’s Master of Ceremonies was Scott Garceau. In addition, the sports memorabilia silent auction was a hit!
Below are some pictures from the event:
The 2nd annual Senior Legal Services Fundraiser was held on October 22, 2015 in the Sky Lobby of the Constellation building in downtown Baltimore. The Oktoberfest-themed event featured German food, craft beer, wine, and music. SLS honored Paul Ackerman and George G. Tankard as their Volunteers of the Year.
See below for pictures from the event.
Our 3rd annual fundraiser and volunteer recognition event, Cabaret & Cabernet, was produced by the Young Victorian Theater and produced by Jennifer Blades. The musical revue featuring Broadway songs was held on October 27, 2016 at the University of Maryland Baltimore City’s Westminster Hall. We honored Clolita M. Vitale and Jeffrey M. Dier as our Volunteers of the Year. The cast included members of the bench, bar, and friends of Senior Legal Services. A great time was had by all! Enjoy these pictures from the event!
Our 4th annual fundraiser and volunteer recognition event, Cabaret & Cabernet: An Evening of Unlawful Entertainment, was produced by the Young Victorian Theater Company on October 18, 2017 at the University of Maryland Baltimore City’s Westminster Hall. We honored J. Allan Cohen and Emily Rogers as our Volunteers of the Year. The cast included members of the bench, bar, and friends of Senior Legal Services. A great time was had by all! Enjoy these pictures from the event!