Margaret Henn, Esq. is the Director of PBRC’s Home Preservation Project.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up right here in Baltimore, moved away for about 10 years, and came back when I got the opportunity to work at PBRC.
What brought you to Maryland/Baltimore?
They say when you grow up in Baltimore, you never really get away. Maybe it’s true! Over the years most of my friends have also trickled back and ended up here.
Where did you go to school and what was your major/focus?
I went to undergrad at Boston College and law school at the University of Pennsylvania. I always had a passion for public interest law, so my main focus in law school was getting as much direct client experience in this area of law as I could.
What are your interests/hobbies?
Swimming, cooking, coaching Special Olympics, documentaries, and hanging out with my husband, my son, Luke, and my Airedale terrier, Franklin.
How did you connect with PBRC?
When I was still in law school, I had an internship that involved interviewing Sharon about the beginnings of the Maryland’s wildly successful Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project. Four years later, I was lucky enough to come on board to manage that project.
What were you doing prior to working here?
I was completing a fellowship at Regional Housing Legal Services in Pennsylvania, assisting low-income clients in obtaining clear title to their homes.
What do you do at PBRC?
I am the Director of the Home Preservation Project, which provides a variety of services designed to keep low-income Marylanders stable and secure in their homes. Community-based volunteer opportunities for attorneys include tax sale prevention, estate planning, utility bill legal assistance, and life estate deed preparation.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
One of the things that I love about PBRC is that staff are encouraged to identify new or developing trends that are effecting our clients and propose new projects to meet those clients’ needs. In my second year at PBRC, I began seeing a puzzling trend of clients coming in who were in foreclosure but didn’t even have a mortgage. This led to the creation of the tax sale prevention project, which has since served over 600 clients at risk of losing their homes. The project has also drawn attention to number of people at risk and the practices surrounding tax sale, which has contributed to significant legislative change.
What motivates you?
My motivation for providing a voice to those who are often unheard in the legal system was growing up with my sister who has moderate mental retardation. I have always had a passion for advocating for those who society who face barriers to advocating for themselves.
What has been your most meaningful experience with PBRC?
My most meaningful experience at PBRC has been our direct client work. Working with clients to help them keep a roof over their head or keep their lights on has to be some of the most meaningful lawyering work one can do. I think this is why many of our volunteers keep coming back too.
What do you appreciate about PBRC’s mission?
One of the unique aspects of PBRC’s mission is our dedication to supporting other pro bono organizations in MD through fostering collaborations and providing technical assistance. We work smarter when we work together, and these connections and support have allowed the pro bono community to grow and accomplish more.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I really want to visit Japan. Maybe I’ll make it there one day!