At Ober|Kaler, we have a deep commitment to the communities in which we live and practice. We take that commitment seriously, donating our time and talent to those individuals and organizations who need pro bono legal services. Recognizing our commitment, Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Services named Ober|Kaler as 2009 “Law Firm of the Year” for outstanding pro bono work. All members of the firm – principals, associates, summer associates and staff – are encouraged to handle pro bono matters and contribute time as volunteers in the community. In 2009, the time value of pro bono services provided by Ober|Kaler was nearly $2 million.
To acknowledge the contribution of our lawyers, in 2007 Ober|Kaler established the Pro Bono Distinguished Service Award for outstanding pro bono service. Based on the number of hours spent on a project, along with the nature of the case and the results achieved, the award includes a donation to the nonprofit charity of the recipient’s choice. These pro bono projects have included appellate representation in a death penalty case and representing a community food kitchen in a construction dispute.
Most recently, in March 2010 Ober|Kaler became the first law firm to partner with Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service's Project HEAL at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and Kennedy Krieger Institute. Project HEAL is a nationally recognized medical-legal partnership that provides pro bono legal services for children and their families. In Maryland, Project HEAL is a collaboration between the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Harriet Lane Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, and Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS). We will provide legal assistance to children and their families on a variety of issues, including special education, housing-landlord/tenant, Social Security Income, guardianship and estate planning.
Ober|Kaler's Project HEAL Pro Bono initiative was selected as one of the American Health Lawyers Association 2011 Pro Bono Champions. The Pro Bono Champions program [PDF] honors AHLA members who have contributed at least fifty hours per year to pro bono work in the health care field and provided services involving access to care, coverage issues and more. Read the full story...
Our principals and associates receive case referrals from the court, the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, the Public Justice Center, the Legal Aid Bureau and other sources. Such cases may involve a wide variety of legal issues – criminal law, domestic relations, estates and trusts, children in need of assistance, landlord-tenant disputes and immigration.
Ober|Kaler is a member of the Pro Bono Institute and actively participates in its National Veterans Legal Services Program, a service that assists veterans in obtaining disability benefits from the Veterans Administration.
To learn more about how our pro bono program works, visit our Recruiting section.