Caitlin Goldblatt joined PBRC in 2017 and serves as Project Coordinator for the Consumer Protection Project and the Tenant Volunteer Lawyer of the Day Program. She also manages the Litigation Fund, helping volunteer attorneys get reimbursed for expenses incurred during their pro bono work.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
What brought you to Maryland/Baltimore?
So, before moving to Baltimore, I had been working on farms in New England and was planning to pursue work as a chef. After a car accident, though, I needed to find work that was a little more sedentary. I ended up with a job in cannabis policy in D.C. but, like so many people, couldn’t afford to live there. So I moved to Baltimore just over five years ago, and I love it.
Where did you go to school, and what was your focus?
I went to The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. My major was Literary and Cultural Studies, with a focus in Marxism in American Intellectual History. I think, at the time, that seemed like the easiest umbrella to shove all the random courses I’d taken under.
What are your interests and hobbies?
I go to a lot of shows – Baltimore club and rap are honestly gifts to the world. I also write a lot – it’s mostly poetry and short stories now, and sometimes they even get published. I spend a lot of time baking for myself, too.
How did you connect with PBRC?
I had heard and seen a lot of good things about Baltimore’s legal services community whenever my work in the city – more on that in a moment – rubbed up against it. When I saw that PBRC needed someone, I jumped at the chance.
What were you doing prior to working at PBRC?
I had been writing freelance for a few years, anything from film to hard news, while gigging as a model at the art school and working the desk at a comic shop.
What do you do at PBRC?
I’m the project coordinator for both the Consumer Protection Project and Tenant Volunteer Lawyer of the Day Program. I also help manage the Litigation Fund. I like logistical work a lot, so these cover all the bases.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Somehow I tricked The Guardian into publishing my work for a summer.
Who is your hero?
So many organizers in Baltimore – I think of members of the Baltimore Bloc, Baltimore Abortion Fund, and Algebra Project in particular – are heroes to me. A pet peeve of mine is when folks say no one’s out there doing the work – if you honestly think that, you haven’t been paying attention or participating meaningfully in your community.
What motivates you?
Being able to alleviate some of a person’s stress on a near-daily basis never stops motivating me. Debt, or the threat of debt, can snowball to the point that you stop checking your mail, answering the phone, going to court, etc. Honestly, I was on food stamps and ignoring my mail for a year or so before I came to PBRC, and I still carried so much privilege and knew I had it better than most. Being able to do any amount of work for folks who are worse off and know they deserve better, well, this work is meaningful every day.
What do you appreciate about PBRC’s mission?
While doing the work itself, PBRC also really pushes everyone in the legal community to work smarter and contribute more holistically. It really shows what a small group of motivated individuals can accomplish by drawing strength from so many groups and organizations. To me, PBRC is the heart of legal services in Maryland.
Tell us something random about yourself!
I really like boxing. Part of my mission this Thanksgiving is to get my mom to watch Creed 2 with me – she says it’s too violent. I love my mom.