Maryland Legal Services Program

We ensure legal representation in the Circuit Courts to children and indigent adults when the local department of social services or the Office of Aging is a party to a case. This program provides quality, cost effective legal representation in court proceedings for Children involved in Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) and Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) cases.

Goal: Provide quality and effective legal representation to children in CINA and TPR cases and adults in Adult Guardianship cases

Maryland Legal Services Program (MLSP) facilitates this goal by increasing the level of attorney and client interaction. The Program’s objective is to serve all eligible clients. In FY 2023, over 6,279 clients were provided with legal representation through the Maryland Legal Services Program (MLSP). The Program is proud to be part of the Maryland community at large by providing these services and envisions a strong Maryland where the legal rights of its population are fully protected.

How Services are Provided

Request for Proposals (RFP’s) for legal representation are issued and awarded for MLSP services. The requests are for individuals with extensive experience in child welfare, child disability, family law, and/or related representation fields. Once contracts have been awarded, the program ensures the quality of its contracted legal services by:

  • Monitoring the number of hours dedicated to each case
  • Monitoring the number of contacts the attorney has with the client
  • Overseeing the attorney-client ratio
  • Meeting with the Judiciary, local Departments, Legislature, and legal services providers to assess the quality of services performed
  • Auditing contracted services; and
  • Providing training sessions for the legal services contractors