Jade McDuffie McClary, Staff Attorney for the Home Preservation Project

Jade McDuffie McClary came to PBRC in 2020. She works on the Home Preservation Project which recruits and trains pro bono attorneys to provide legal representation to low-income Marylanders at risk of losing their homes.

Where did you grow up? Charleston, SC

Where did you go to school and what was your major/focus? For undergrad, I went to the University of South Carolina and studied Mass Communications. I went to the University of Maryland for law school.

What brought you to Baltimore?
Law school

What are your interests/hobbies? Cooking, reading, history, and yoga

How did you connect with PBRC? My clerkship judge, the Hon. Cathy H. Serrette, encouraged me to volunteer for the Partners for Justice Conference that PBRC organizes each year. She also attended the conference and introduced me to other attorneys who work at legal service organizations. I really enjoyed the conference and kept up with PBRC’s work over the years. When I decided to make the transition from private practice to legal services, I knew PBRC would be a great fit for me.

What were you doing prior to working here? Prior to working at PBRC, I worked as a bill drafter for the Department of Legislative Services and a family law attorney. Before going to law school, I worked as a reporter for The Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston, SC.

What do you do at PBRC? I am a staff attorney in the Home Preservation Project. I help recruit and train volunteer attorneys and coordinate clinics to help our clients in various areas, such as advance planning and utility bills.

What is your proudest accomplishment? One of my proudest accomplishments is being sworn in to the bar, which also happened to be on my Dad’s birthday. I did not pass on my first try, so I had to study very hard while also working full time. I live far away from my parents, so we do not always get to celebrate birthdays together. It was great to have my parents come to my swearing in ceremony to celebrate my accomplishment, while also celebrating my Dad, who inspires me to work hard.

What quote has particular meaning to you? “We must use words to uplift and include. We can use our words to fight back against oppression and hate. But we must also channel our words into action.” - Stacey Abrams

What has been your most meaningful experience with PBRC? So far, my most meaningful experiences have been working with our clients and helping them feel at ease about problems they have been struggling with.

What do you appreciate about PBRC’s mission? I appreciate that PBRC provides free training and mentoring to volunteers in exchange for your pro bono commitment. As a mentor, we make sure that you have everything you need to volunteer and are there every step of the way.

What are some books that you enjoyed reading this year? “These Ghosts are Family” by Maisy Card, “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and “Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot” by Mikki Kendall