For Meredith Girard, executive director of Shore Legal Access, formerly Mid-Shore Pro-Bono, the decision to change her organization’s name was a no-brainer. While Mid-Shore Pro-Bono accomplished much under that title in providing free legal services to the Eastern Shore, it wasn’t entirely clear to those who needed those services what that name meant or that the group covered the eight counties, some of whom were not located on the Mid-Shore.
Previously operating under a Mid-Shore Pro-Bono, Shore Legal Access embraced a new title and fresh branding, reflecting its widened scope and a renewed pledge to serving the eight counties of the Eastern Shore.
The Board of Directors, after adopting a strategic plan in January 2023, prioritized a renaming to mirror the organization’s entire geographical service area and encapsulate its mission and services more accurately.
Having gathered perceptions from partners, clients, and community leaders, the board quickly reached a consensus and selected the name, which outlines the expansive geography it serves and crisply defines its purpose and operations.
While their name and logo have changed, their mission to provide free and affordable legal representation to those who might otherwise be unable to access it has actually grown. Shore Legal Access supports individuals across various financial backgrounds with their civil legal issues, including family law, life planning documents, financial legal matters, criminal record expungement, and housing issues, facilitated by attorneys in every rent court across the Shore.
With Maryland’s legal landscape altering, especially with the legalization of cannabis and the impending changes in expungement rules, SLS is now prepared to assist individuals in navigating through these changes.
Their clinics, in Easton, and now Salisbury, offer access to volunteer attorneys who help with critical life-planning documents. Their network of volunteers, perhaps not widely known, delivers services valued at over two and a half million dollars annually, constituting 10,000 hours a year of free legal services.
The Spy asked Meredith to stop by the Spy Studio the other day to explain the name change and what it means for those in need of these essential services.
This video is approximately five minutes in length. For more information about Shore Legal Access please go here.