2019 Maryland Pro Bono Service Awards

The Maryland Pro Bono Service Awards are statewide awards honoring outstanding attorneys and non-attorneys who have made a significant contribution to the delivery of pro bono civil legal services to Maryland’s poor. The service may have been made through litigation, legal/ legislative advocacy, or any other means that extend needed legal services to low-income persons.  


Nominations will be accepted for the following categories:

·         Individuals

·         Members of the judiciary

·         Pro bono agencies or programs

·         Law firms (Small, Medium, Large)

·         Government or corporate legal departments

·         Special projects

·         Non-legal or organizational involvement


If someone you know has made an impact by donating their professional time and expertise, please consider nominating them for one of these awards.


Nominations from last year will be considered as well. Therefore, if you submitted a nomination in 2018, there is no need to nominate that same person or entity again for 2019. Supplemental materials are welcome but not required.  


Pro Bono Service Awards will be presented at the Maryland State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Ocean City in June 2019.  The nomination process is sponsored and staffed by the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland.


Please send this Nomination Form, the Narrative Description, and any supporting documentation (news clippings, testimonials, etc.) by mail, fax, hand-delivery, or e-mail to:


Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland

Attn:  Awards Committee

520 W. Fayette Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

fax- (410) 385 - 2616 * email- jjones@probonomd.org


For questions, contact: Jaci Jones at: jjones@probonomd.org.

Award Descriptions and Eligibility Requirements


Individual Awards

All individual awards are dedicated to practitioners who have demonstrated outstanding commitments to pro bono service for those in need. 


1.      Lee A. Caplan Award is geared toward a solo or small firm practitioner who has    rendered pro bono service over many years. 


2.       Alex Fee Award is sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section (YLS), and is given to a member of the YLS who is making a significant pro bono contribution either directly or through a pro bono organization.


3.      Judge Robert M. Bell Award is presented to an individual who has distinguished her/himself as an exemplar of pro bono service, going above and beyond the average pro bono commitment for at least 5 years.  


4.      Distinguished Pro Bono Volunteer Award is presented to an individual who has distinguished her/himself as an exemplar of pro bono service, going above and beyond the average pro bono commitment either over a period tim
Member of Judiciary
This award honors any judge or master who has contributed to the overall pro bono effort by encouraging participation among attorneys, or increasing access to the judicial system for legal services for low-income clients.

Pro Bono Program
This category includes all pro bono provider programs, legal services programs with pro bono components, and groups coordinated to deliver pro bono legal services to indigent clients. 

Law Firm
This award recognizes innovative approaches to the delivery of free legal services and the encouragement of participation by the greatest number of attorneys relative to that firm's size.  Small, medium, and large firms will be evaluated by the level of commitment to pro bono service within the firm.

Government or Corporate Legal Department
Any public agency or private corporate department which incorporates pro bono legal services to the poor into its general practice will be eligible for this award

‘Herbert S. Garten’ Special Project Award
This award recognizes an individual, group, firm, or ad hoc group that has initiated a special project that enhances the delivery of legal services for low-income persons and meets the above criteria.

Non-Legal or Organizational Involvement Award
This recognizes individuals or organizations providing non-legal services which have made a substantial contribution toward the delivery of pro bono legal services to low-income clients.  Examples of those eligible for nomination include, but are not limited to, court reporters and printing companies that donate in-kind services, or accountants who assist on legal cases.