Shore Legal Access, Inc.

Connecting Counsel & Communities

aka MSPB   |   EASTON, MD   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Shore Legal Access, Inc.

EIN: 16-1779280


Shore Legal Access connect low income individuals and families who need civil legal services with volunteer attorneys and community resources. We serve Maryland's Eastern Shore. Shore Legal Access' Vision Statement: All people are empowered to resolve civil legal issues.

Notes from the nonprofit

For over 15 years, MSPB has successfully connected low income Eastern Shore community members to the resources they need when they are in the midst of a civil or legal crisis. MSPB serves more than 3,000 clients across the Eastern Shore annually. Our solid reputation and track record of success and the growing need for our services are helping us rapidly expand across the Eastern Shore. MSPB provides advocacy and legal resources for those with nowhere else to turn. MSPB provides these services with a staff of thirteen including an executive director, legal director, administrative director, staff attorneys, paralegals, and program staff dedicated specifically to family law, consumer debt and housing, and life planning as well as cannabis expungements.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Meredith Girard

Main address

499 Idlewild Ave Suite 102


Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Midshore Pro Bono, Inc.



Subject area info

Legal services

Family services

Population served info



Ethnic and racial groups

Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

Legal Services (I80)

Family Services (P40)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In 2005, five Mid-Shore counties, together with state pro bono legal services groups, identified a need on the Eastern Shore for an agency that could connect volunteer attorneys with low-income individuals in need of civil legal representation. Mid-Shore Pro Bono (MSPB) was established out of that need. Remarkably, Mid-Shore Pro Bono became the first regional pro bono referral agency in the state of Maryland and remains the only pro bono legal services provider on the Eastern Shore. Rapid growth and expansion of Mid-Shore Pro Bono demonstrates the urgent need for these services. MSPB has grown from a small referral agency, able to meet this need for a smaller segment of the community, into a significant community resource, able to handle multiple critical legal needs for the Eastern Shore’s at-risk residents. MSPB's, now Shore Legal Access, satellite offices now allow us to take our services closer to those residents in more distant areas of our widespread rural Eastern Shore region.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Life Planning Program

SLA recognizes that a growing proportion of the Eastern Shore residents are seniors. We have launched this program to better serve our aging population by providing them with important end of life documents and general legal advice in a safe, secure setting.

Services: Wills/POA/AMD
Small Estate Administration

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

With a broad scope of programming, this project provides legal advice on a variety of financial problems faced by low income individuals including Foreclosure, Consumer Debt, Expungement, Bankruptcy, and various other Real Property issues. By helping resolve these matters clients are better able to remain employed, remain in their homes and provide for their families.

Foreclosure, Housing, Bankruptcy, Consumer Debt, Employment, Expungement

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people

The Debtor Assistance Project
The Debtor Assistance Project (“DAP”) is a clinic, originally located at the U.S. Courthouses in Maryland, which provides debtors with an opportunity to meet with a bankruptcy attorney for a cost-free half-hour consultation. The DAP is designed to help individuals without an attorney to answer legal questions about bankruptcy. SLA holds a DAP clinic once a month in 2 counties. This project started in January 2010 in Talbot County and has expanded to other Eastern Shore counties including Kent and Wicomico.

Population(s) Served

Provides free legal assistance for divorce, custody, child support and other family law related matters. Outreach is mainly done at the Courthouses and other social service agencies. Special services include the Purple Notebook Project, Child Advocacy Project and the Judicare Project. Court Liaisons are primary conduit for these cases.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

In November 2022, Maryland citizens voted to legalize the recreational use of cannabis by adults. Shore Legal Access aides those with cannabis convictions to have those charges expunged.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work


William L Marbury Outstanding Advocate 2018

Maryland Legal Services Corporation

Affiliations & memberships

Maryland Legal Services Corporation- William L Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award 2017

Mid-Shore Community Foundation- J. MCKENNY WILLIS, JR. AWARD Established in honor of Mr. J. McKenny 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients assisted with legal needs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of people who reach out to our organization for assistance with legal issues.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Provide access to direct legal services to the area's poorest residents
Engage the Private Bar in Pro Bono Service
Outreach and Education regarding Civil Legal Services
Expand access to remote communities
Resolve Legal Matter
Provide preventative legal remedies to avoid egregious law suits
partner with area agencies

Continue to be a community based legal services provider and bring our services out to the people. We do this by outreach, education and networking with other agencies that share a client pool.

We have been doing this for over 14 years and we are the only Legal Services Provider on the Eastern Shore of Maryland providing so many diverse programs and engaging private attorneys in Pro Bono Service

We continue to increase the number of clients we serve each year and develop new programs to meet that need.

We have yet to engage our local community in giving!

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback


Shore Legal Access, Inc.
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30
Financial documents
2021 Mid-Shore Pro Bono 2020 FY 2020 Audit/Financials
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 52.91 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 8.1 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 9% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Shore Legal Access, Inc.

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Shore Legal Access, Inc.

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Shore Legal Access, Inc.

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Shore Legal Access, Inc.’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$69,362 -$67,412 $44,009 $291,321 $85,018
As % of expenses -7.3% -6.6% 3.7% 24.0% 6.3%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$77,964 -$76,848 $35,196 $273,492 $63,413
As % of expenses -8.2% -7.5% 3.0% 22.2% 4.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $848,820 $1,029,641 $1,206,275 $1,431,044 $1,527,408
Total revenue, % change over prior year -5.0% 21.3% 17.2% 18.6% 6.7%
Program services revenue 2.9% 1.2% 4.4% 3.1% 0.8%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.1% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.9%
Government grants 0.0% 27.2% 27.5% 1.6% 44.8%
All other grants and contributions 97.4% 71.5% 68.0% 95.2% 54.1%
Other revenue -0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% -0.6%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $946,137 $1,021,571 $1,183,764 $1,216,211 $1,357,483
Total expenses, % change over prior year 14.7% 8.0% 15.9% 2.7% 11.6%
Personnel 21.9% 40.3% 43.5% 41.5% 40.7%
Professional fees 43.2% 35.4% 43.3% 47.7% 46.5%
Occupancy 4.6% 4.1% 4.2% 3.7% 3.7%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 30.3% 20.2% 9.0% 7.2% 9.2%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $954,739 $1,031,007 $1,192,577 $1,234,040 $1,379,088
One month of savings $78,845 $85,131 $98,647 $101,351 $113,124
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $35,682 $0 $0 $48,071 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,069,266 $1,116,138 $1,291,224 $1,383,462 $1,492,212

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 8.4 8.3 7.5 6.4 5.6
Months of cash and investments 8.4 8.3 7.5 8.8 8.4
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 6.7 5.4 5.1 7.4 7.3
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $666,054 $706,945 $737,649 $643,909 $636,998
Investments $0 $0 $0 $252,603 $312,988
Receivables $101,467 $82,855 $151,749 $153,771 $240,475
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $53,879 $53,879 $57,639 $98,897 $66,967
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 27.3% 44.8% 57.2% 44.5% 46.5%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 3.4% 5.3% 13.9% 10.5% 10.9%
Unrestricted net assets $568,787 $491,939 $527,135 $800,627 $864,040
Temporarily restricted net assets $224,903 $300,385 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $224,903 $300,385 $278,887 $203,110 $252,268
Total net assets $793,690 $792,324 $806,022 $1,003,737 $1,116,308

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Meredith Girard

Meredith Girard has been the Executive Director for the Shore Legal Access, formerly Mid-Shore Pro Bono, since January of 2022. SLA covers a large service area including Kent, Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, Queen Anne's Counties, Somerset, Worcester, and Wicomico. Over the years, SLA has grown from a simple lawyer referral agency, to the Eastern Shore's only legal resource organization serving low income residents.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Shore Legal Access, Inc.

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Shore Legal Access, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 09/05/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Esq. Timothy Abeska

Retired Attorney

Term: 2023 - 2026

Tawes Harper

Tim Abeska

Clinton Pettus

Jim McComb

Becky Burner

Hillary Lindeman

Holland Brownley

Doncella Wilson

Tanisha Armstrong

Arlette Bright

Rosemary Granillo

Mike Starling

Anthony Rodriguez

Ruth Thomas

Judith Showalter

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/29/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.