Jennifer came to PBRC in 2021. As a Staff Attorney with the Courtroom Advocacy Project (CAP) team, she staffs PBRC’s limited scope courthouse-based pro bono clinics for consumers and tenants in Baltimore County and Baltimore City. She also recruits and mentors CAP volunteer attorneys. Born and raised in Maryland, Jennifer has a demonstrated passion for using her legal expertise to help empower others in the community. 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Lutherville, Maryland.

What brought you to Maryland/Baltimore?

I was born here and have never lived elsewhere! My Baltimore roots are many generations deep.

Where did you go to school and what was your major/focus?

My Bachelor’s is from UMBC (go Retrievers!), where I majored in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on women’s issues and law. My JD is from the University of Maryland School of Law.

What are your interests/hobbies?

I am a huge Ravens fan! I also enjoy fishing, camping, rock music, weightlifting, cooking, and craft beer.

How did get involved with PBRC?

I took trainings from PBRC in the past, but I first started thinking of working here when I got a call from my now-coworker Susan about a mutual client at my former job. She mentioned that PBRC was hiring and asked if I knew anyone who would be interested. I told her that yes, actually, I did, and that started the ball rolling!

What were you doing prior to working here?

I worked at the Women’s Law Center of Maryland for close to five years doing Protective Orders in Baltimore County. I represented survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

What do you do at PBRC?

I am a Staff Attorney for the Courtroom Advocacy Project. I represent tenants facing eviction and consumers on the affidavit judgment docket. I am also on hand to assist volunteer attorneys in these clinics.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest professional accomplishment is not really any one thing, but the fact that I have dedicated my career to helping those in unfortunate situations who would not otherwise have access to counsel. I am happy to know that I level the playing field for my clients who would not have anywhere else to turn. Similarly, outside of the professional realm it isn’t so much any one thing, but a conglomeration of them. I am continuously pushing to learn new things – mastering new cooking techniques, lifting heavier weights, catching more fish, etc. I place a high value on this and I hope to never stop learning.

Who is a hero or someone that inspires you to do the work you do?

It is sort of cliché at this point, but my hero is definitely the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I actually got to meet her in my 3L year and ask her a question as part of a tour of the Supreme Court building! I asked her what qualities a young lawyer should seek to develop to be successful. She replied “patience, persistence, and a sense of humor,” and cited the example of Belva Lockwood, the first woman admitted to practice before the Supreme Court. Ms. Lockwood was rejected repeatedly for admission to the Supreme Court Bar, but she persisted and thus took her place in history. Justice Ginsburg was truly a champion for all women, and especially those of us who are attorneys. Every one of us stands on her shoulders and those of the many other incredible women who paved the way.

What has been your most meaningful experience with PBRC?

In my short time here so far I have already had the opportunity to represent a single mother dealing with cancer in the four (!) different Failure to Pay Rent cases she has had. It has meant a lot to me to be able to help her stay in her home.

What sets PBRC apart in your mind?

PBRC is unique among legal services organizations in that it makes volunteering as easy as possible for attorneys who want to do pro bono work but are not sure where to begin. Empowering lawyers in private practice to do pro bono work with us hopefully leads to those lawyers doing pro bono work again and again, either with us or on their own. It is exciting to be a part of this mission!

What message would you give to people thinking about volunteering with PBRC?

If you are on the fence about it, please know that we will give you all the tools you need. You will never be without a staff attorney (like me!) to provide guidance should you need it. And it truly is a great feeling to be able to help someone who would otherwise go without counsel in these serious matters. You have the skills, you have the license, and you have our support, so go forth and volunteer!

Tell us something random about yourself!

Something random about me: I was born on Thanksgiving. I imagine my mother was thankful it was over! And yes, that means I do have a birthday coming up….