MidPenn Legal Services is a 501c (3) non-profit organization which receives funding from many sources, both public and private, including community development block grants, bar associations, foundations, community organizations and individuals.

 Major sources of funding include:

·         Legal Services Corporation (LSC)

·         PA Interest On Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA)

·         Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN)

·         United Ways

·         Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)

·         U. S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Mission Statement

MidPenn Legal Services is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to providing equal access to justice and high quality civil legal services to low-income residents and survivors of domestic violence in 18 counties in Central Pennsylvania.

 Vision Statement

As members of the communities we serve, we strive to help our clients to become independent and self-sufficient members of the community by strengthening families, stabilizing housing, securing and maintaining income, providing access to health care and education, protecting personal safety and protecting individual rights.   

We are committed to treating our clients with dignity and respect as we provide access to the courts through direct representation, advice, pro se clinics, and community education in a broad range of civil legal matters.  We seek results that will improve the lives of our clients by providing individual representation and assistance as well as by seeking solutions to systemic problems that affect our clients.

We will not let a changing political climate, nor financial uncertainties, dampen our zeal to advocate on behalf of our clients.  We will anticipate change and respond with creativity and flexibility.  We will reach out to and teach the community about MPLS in an effort to increase both popular and political support.  By doing so, we hope to diversify our funding sources, allowing MPLS to become more financially self-sufficient and permitting us to offer our clients a wider array of legal services.

Within MPLS, we will treat each other with respect, compassion, and trust and venture to never allow the stress of our lives and jobs stifle our sense of humor.  We will work with each other, not against each other, in an effort to better ourselves and our program.  We will explore the use of technology to strengthen communication between our offices and staff, as we are often our own best resource.  We will encourage board involvement and cooperation, in the hopes that we can learn from each other.


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Our Services

Program Services Include:

In addition to the provision of traditional legal services through staff in local offices, MidPenn operates several initiatives on a program-wide or regional basis.

Employment Law Project:
  Assists clients in overcoming barriers to employment, obtaining  unemployment compensation, preserving their existing jobs, securing income streams related to employment (pensions / disability), and clearing up criminal records through expungements and pardons so that they can gain employment.

  • Advice
  • Referral
  • Counseling
  • Community education
  • Representation before
    administrative bodies
  • Representation in court

Consumer Law Project:   Consumer Unit attorneys work to defend low-income consumers including those who face problems such as mortgage foreclosure; illegal debit collection harassment and lawsuits; and those in need of bankruptcy protection.

Telephone Advice Project (TAP):  Provides telephone advice and brief service to low-income individuals in twelve rural counties within MidPenn: Adams, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Centre, Clearfield, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Lebanon,  Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry and Schuylkill.  Legal advice over the phone is provided to eligible clients in the areas of housing, consumer and certain types of custody matters. Callers to 1-800-326-9177 are screened for eligibility.  If eligible, they are transferred to the telephone advice attorney for brief substantive advice regarding their legal problem.  Clients can also access TAP by calling or walking into any of the six local MidPenn offices that cover these twelve counties.

Pro Bono / Volunteer Attorney Programs:  Assistance from the private bar through many local bar associations enables MidPenn to stretch its limited resources. MidPenn Legal Services is a leader in pro bono development and participation.  In Fiscal Year 2009/2010 volunteer attorneys throughout the MidPenn service area handled 2260 cases for low income clients.

Partnerships:  MidPenn Legal Services collaborates with a number of significant partners to deliver services including Widener Law School, Penn State / The Dickinson School of Law, the Community Justice Project, the National Association for Public Interest Law, and a variety of community organizations and advocacy groups.

Funding:  The majority of MidPenn Legal Services funding comes from the Legal Services Corporation and Title XX monies administered by Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network. Additional program support comes from the PA Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Board (IOLTA); Bar Associations; local governments; private foundations; The United Way; The Department of Housing and Urban Development Grants and Community Development Block Grants; lawyers; individuals; and other community sources.

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Fact Sheets:
A quick look at the work of local offices.
(Click on the County to View the Fact Sheet)

Program Wide Fact Sheet

Adams Bedford Berks Blair
Centre Clearfield Cumberland Dauphin
Franklin Fulton Huntingdon Juniata
Lancaster Lebanon Mifflin Perry
Schuylkill York

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Goals and Priorities

The MidPenn caseload covers: domestic violence, welfare, consumer, elder law, housing, homeless outreach, Social Security/disability, health, AIDS, education, custody, divorce, and other poverty related issues. Our clients include children, minorities, senior citizens, homeless persons, victims of abuse, and people with disabilities.

MidPenn Legal Services aims to become a premier provider of legal services in civil matters to people who can least afford them and strengthen its role in helping to bring about wider access to the justice system in our eighteen-county service area.

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Eligibility Requirements

Both financial and client-eligibility compliance audits are performed annually by an independent auditing firm. Staff supervisory systems serve to eliminate frivolous or non-meritorious cases and to promote the effective utilization of resources. Referral of fee-generating cases to the private bar is required. All current attorneys are employed on a full-time basis.

Financial Eligibility Guidelines 2018

Household Size

Monthly Income

Annual Income

























Each Additional 



Effective February 2018

These income guidelines are equivalent to 125% of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines as published by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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History of MidPenn

MidPenn Legal Services is a private non-profit Pennsylvania corporation established on July 1, 2000 through the merger of Central Pennsylvania Legal Services (CPLS) and Keystone Legal Services Inc. (KLS). On January 1, 2001, MidPenn merged with Legal Services Inc. (LSI) making MidPenn the largest organization providing free legal representation to low-income people in civil matters in Central Pennsylvania. On April 1, 2001, MidPenn assumed full responsibility for civil legal work in Blair and Bedford counties under a federally funded grant from the Legal Services Corporation and contracts from Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, PA Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Board (IOLTA).


MidPenn Legal Services serves residents of a eighteen county area in Central Pennsylvania including:

  • Adams
  • Bedford
  • Berks
  • Blair
  • Centre
  • Clearfield
  • Cumberland
  • Dauphin
  • Franklin
  • Fulton
  • Huntingdon
  • Juniata
  • Lancaster
  • Lebanon
  • Mifflin
  • Perry
  • Schuylkill
  • York

Board Members

Michael Pykosh, Esq.

Cumberland  County Bar Association 

Justine Boatwright

Community Progress Council, Inc. of York

Lurnetta Young                        

Dauphin County Client Representative

Joy Burton

Dauphin County Client Representative

James P. DeAngelo, Esq.

Dauphin County Bar Association

Jill C. Engle, Esq.

Centre County Bar Association

Christian Johnson, Esq.

Widener University School of Law

Erica Shoaf, Esq.

Huntingdon County Bar Association

Suzanne Trinh, Esq.

Franklin County Bar Association 

Sheila O'Rourke, Esq.

Lancaster Bar Association

Hartley Martin, Esq.

Penn State University/Dickinson School of Law

Thomas D. O’Shea, Esq.

York County Bar Association 

Jerry A. Philpott, Esq.

Perry County Bar Association

Crystal Roan

Centre County Client Representative

Adam Boyer, Esq

Adams County Bar Association

Lee Rager, Sr.

Fulton County Client Representative

Kathleen Swartz

Centre County Client Representative

Ian Ehrgood, Esq. 

Lebanon County Bar Association 

Debra A. Smith, Esq.

Schuylkill County Bar Association

Andrew Fick, Esq.

Berks County Bar Association

Helen Lane

Dauphin County Client Representative

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Key Personnel



 President, Board of Directors 

 Thomas O'Shea, Esq.

 President-Elect, Board of Directors 

 Michael Pykosh, Esq.

 Vice President, Board of Directors 

 Justine Boatwright

 Secretary, Board of Directors 

 Lee Rager

 Treasurer, Board of Directors 

 Jerry Philpott, Esq.

 Executive Director

 Rhodia D. Thomas, Esq.

 Deputy Director for Legal Advocacy

 Laurie Baughman, Esq.

 Deputy Director for Operations

 Carrie Bowmaster, Esq.

 Director of Finance & Administration   Elizabeth Truntz

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Site Last Updated August 07, 2018
copyright © MidPenn Legal Services 2000