Emily Poor joined PBRC in 2019 and serves as Staff Attorney for the Home Preservation Project. Emily is responsible for coordinating community outreach for clinics in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. She assists with recruiting, training, and mentoring volunteer attorneys who participate in estate planning, tax sale prevention, and utility bill clinics.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Keene, New Hampshire, which you may recognize as where the movie Jumanji was filmed. My family moved around for a while but we settled in Newington, Connecticut, just outside of Hartford, when I was in middle school.
What brought you to Maryland/Baltimore?
PBRC! I lived in the Midwest for several years after law school and I always wanted to come back to the East Coast. When the opportunity to work at PBRC arose, I was excited to make the move to Baltimore.
Where did you go to school and what was your major/focus?
I went to college at American University in Washington, D.C. and majored in literature. American is very focused on political science and international studies, so it’s one of the few liberal arts colleges where you’re in the minority as an English major. I stayed in D.C. and graduated from law school at Georgetown.
What are your interests/hobbies?
I love to sing. I’ve been in a number of school and community choirs, and I’m hoping to find a new choir to join here in Baltimore. I also enjoy reading fiction, traveling, and playing board games.
How did you connect with PBRC?
I was looking for an opportunity in Maryland and I knew that I wanted to work for an organization that furthered the cause of access to justice. I saw a posting for an opening with the Home Preservation Project and it seemed like a perfect fit.
What were you doing prior to working here?
Most recently, I spent several years representing survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking in civil legal matters at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Before that, I clerked for a judge in St. Cloud, which is how I ended up in the frigid Upper Midwest.
What do you do at PBRC?
I am a staff attorney with the Home Preservation Project. I help to recruit and train volunteer attorneys, and to coordinate community clinics aimed at helping Marylanders who are at risk of losing their homes. We help seniors age in place and preserve home ownership through estate planning clinics, and we help people struggling with high utility bills or delinquent property taxes at our utility and tax sale prevention clinics.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I’m proud of the work that I did at Legal Aid to keep survivors of intimate partner violence safe and protect their rights. It always feel good to win a court case, but it’s particularly satisfying to be able to give back power to someone who feels like they have had it stolen from them.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by power imbalances that create and perpetuate injustice in every part of our society. Chocolate is also a good motivator.
What has been your most meaningful experience with PBRC?
I’ve only been at PBRC for a couple of months, but working at our estate planning clinics has been very meaningful to me. It’s so wonderful to see our clients leaving with the relief that they know their wishes will be followed as they approach the end of their lives, and that they will be able to pass on their legacies to their loved ones. It’s great to see someone walking away happy after meeting with a lawyer!
What sets PBRC apart in your mind?
PBRC is unique in the way we combine commitment to access to justice, partnership with the private legal community, and a model that meets our clients where they are in the community. When I first started working in legal services, I realized that there was so much need in my community that was outside of my day-to-day experience. PBRC’s mission not only helps to close the justice gap by providing much-needed services, it also builds community by involving attorneys from across the legal field in the lives of people they wouldn’t otherwise get to know.
Tell us something random.
I was once stranded in Vienna for a week with the coaches of the Finnish National Synchronized Skating team due to ash from a volcano in Iceland.