FreeState Justice Is Still Here for LGBTQ Marylanders, Despite COVID-19

During this stressful and uncertain time, we at FreeState wanted to reassure the community that we are still here to help. Although our physical office is closed, we are...

During this stressful and uncertain time, we at FreeState wanted to reassure the community that we are still here to help. Although our physical office is closed, we are continuing to provide legal services to and advocate on behalf of LGBTQ+ Marylanders. To give you a more concrete idea on how we are operating remotely, we put together some helpful information below so that you know what to expect:

Prospective Clients

Because of the current situation with COVID-19, which has necessitated the closure of our physical office, we are currently unable to conduct in-person intakes with prospective clients. When possible, we are instead conducting intakes over the phone. To schedule a phone intake, please use our online form or call us at 410-625-5428 ext. 12 and leave a voicemail clearly stating your name, your phone number, your email address, and the type of legal matter you are calling about.

Please note: FreeState Justice is currently conducting intakes for the types of legal matters: name changes, gender marker changes, and employment discrimination. We will not be conducting intakes for other legal matters at this time.

Current Clients

While FreeState Justice staff continue to work on your cases from remote locations, you should expect substantial delays due to court and administrative agency closures. At this time, courts are following emergency operations through at least May 1st, meaning they are closed to the public for most matters. FreeState Justice and our panel of pro bono attorneys remain able to file cases during this time, but movement on cases will likely take much longer than usual due to the backlog that is likely to ensue even after courts reopen.

Education/Training Opportunities

All in-person training and other in-person events are postponed until at least May at this time. However, requests and phone consults for these opportunities are still ongoing. Additionally, if you are interested in an online training, we are accepting these requests with scheduling as early as April. You can contact Ezra Halstead, Director of Education and Outreach, to request more information on these opportunities during this time by emailing ehalstead@freestate-justice.org.

Internship and Volunteer Opportunities

FreeState will continue to offer legal and non-legal internships and accept volunteers for the summer. Depending on how the COVID-19 situation develops, these opportunities may be in-person or remote. For information about legal internships, contact C.P. Hoffman, Legal Director, at cphoffman@freestate-justice.org for more information. For information about non-legal internships or volunteering opportunities, contact Ezra Halstead, Director of Education and Outreach, at ehalstead@freestate-justice.org.

Dealing with COVID-19

For more information on COVID-19 in Maryland and how to protect yourself, please visit the Maryland Department of Health’s Coronavirus hub. The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund has also prepared a guide focused on the rights and concerns of transgender individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We at FreeState Justice are thinking of you all during this difficult time. Do not hesitate to reach out if we can help!

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