FCC and Circuit Court Self-Help Center Offering Family Law Clinics


The Frederick Community College Paralegal program is partnering with the Circuit Court for Frederick County Self-Help Center to offer self-help family law clinics on three upcoming dates, starting on October 17.

During the clinics, attorney Joanna Shapiro and trained FCC paralegal students will work one-on-one with individuals who need assistance with family law issues but are unable to hire an attorney.

The Circuit Court Self-Help Center regularly holds clinics every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve walk-in basis on the lower level of the courthouse. This new partnership will provide evening hours to ensure greater access to clients.

“The Pro Bono Resource Center for Maryland reports that over 80% of people in the state who need civil legal help cannot afford it,” said Dr. Tracy Parker, Paralegal Program Manager. “The Self-Help Center provides a first-rate Family Services Program which includes a wide range of services, and we hope these evening clinic hours will provide even more individuals with the assistance they need while also offering service-based learning for our paralegal students.” 

The clinics will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on October 17, November 21, and December 5 in the FCC Conference Center. Clinics are free to attend and clients will be served on a first-come basis but need to sign in by 7 p.m. to be seen. Spanish speaking interpreters will be available.

Clients can receive assistance with common family law matters that occur because of the termination of a marriage or romantic relationship, including separation, divorce, annulment, division of property, spousal support/alimony, child custody and visitation, child support, grandparent rights, guardianship, and domestic violence.

Paralegal students will assist by running conflict checks, conducting interviews, presenting facts to the clinic attorney, reviewing attorney recommended action with clients, providing relevant procedural information, and assisting clients with tools provided in the Maryland Custody and Divorce Notebook.

For more information, contact Dr. Tracy Parker by email or 301-624-2819.