Better Business Bureau Report for
Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.

Better Business Bureau Report issued November 2010
Better Business Bureau Report expires November 2012

This BBB Accredited charity meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.
Address: 500 E. Lexington St
  Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: 410-951-7777
Web Address:
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated:
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: To provide high-quality legal services to Maryland's poor through a mix of services and to bring about the changes poor people want in the systems that affect them.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. (LAB) meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.(Maryland Legal Aid),established as a not-for-profit law firm in 1911, provides a comprehensive range of free civil legal services in the areas of affordable housing, family, employment, consumer, public benefits, education, elder and health care law from 13 offices throughout the State. Maryland Legal Aid is the only statewide provider of general legal services to more than 500,000 low- income Marylanders living below the federal poverty line (2010 annual income of $27,563 for a family of four). Our work focuses on more than litigation. We engage in community outreach, providing guidance to clients about their legal rights and educating other providers and client groups. Unlike the criminal defense area, there is no right to counsel in a civil case, so Legal Aid must try to address an overwhelming need that far exceeds our resources. In 2009, we assisted 57,997 clients. Here are some examples of how Maryland Legal Aid makes a difference in the lives of people: Health: help children, the disabled and senior citizens obtain and keep desperately needed medical assistance; Housing: work to preserve affordable housing units and prevent illegal evictions and advocate for correction of dangerously sub-standard living conditions, thereby thwarting homelessness; Education: help children obtain the special education services they need; Employment: ensure that low-wage workers receive the wages, including overtime, due them for often backbreaking labor; Consumer: protect low-income seniors from scams that prey upon vulnerable persons and deprive them of their scarce resources, sometimes including their homes; Domestic: ensure that parents do not lose custody of children to others simply because the opposing party has more resources; Public Benefits: protect disabled persons from losing critically needed assistance, including assistance designed to enable them to live in the community and avoid institutionalization.

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009, LAB's program expenses were:

Total Program Expenses: $17,980,565
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Chief Executive : Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr.,Esq., Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Warren S. Oliveri, Jr., Esq.
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: attorney

Board Size: 18

Paid Staff Size: 284

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, telephone, invitations to fund raising events, print advertisements, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 22% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $1,718,315, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on LAB's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009.

Source of Funds  
Total Income $22,619,379


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 76%  Fund Raising: 2%  Administrative: 22% 

Total income $22,619,379
Program expenses $17,980,565
Fund raising expenses 381,187
Administrative expenses 5,258,289
Total expenses $23,620,041
Expenses in Excess of Income (1,000,662)
Beginning net assets 5,167,059
Other Changes in Net Assets 1,233,955
Ending net assets 5,400,352
Total liabilities 7,343,998
Total assets $12,744,350

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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