Monica Larsen is the Project Paralegal in PBRC’s Maryland Immigrant Assistance Project (MILAP), providing clients with information and follow-up in Spanish. Despite the government shut down, MILAP is still going to court. Here’s Monica outside the Baltimore Immigration Court at 8:20 am (27 degrees), waiting for immigrants who are still dutifully showing up for their court dates, so she can explain in Spanish what is going on. 

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Northern VA.

What brought you to Maryland/Baltimore?
PBRC! I went to school in Baltimore and did not have the intention of staying around until I saw the job description for the position I’m in now.

Where did you go to school and what was your focus?
I went to Johns Hopkins and majored in International Studies with a History minor and Middle Eastern Studies concentration.

What are your interests/hobbies?
I love yoga, travelling, and good food.

What were you doing prior to working here?
I was doing a lot of post-grad travelling and R&R.

What do you do at PBRC?
I am the Maryland Immigrant Legal Assistance Project Paralegal. I assist with our in and out of court legal clinics where we give free legal consultations to immigrants in removal proceedings, do follow up with clients, serve as a resource for anyone looking for legal help, and manage our wonderful volunteer interpreters.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
It may be cliché, but my proudest accomplishment is graduating from Hopkins last May.

What is a quote that inspires you to do the work you do?
“The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.” – Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

What has been your most meaningful experience with PBRC?
My most meaningful experience at PBRC can’t be narrowed down to just one. Every week in the Baltimore Immigration Court, we make a difference in people’s lives by providing free legal services to some of the most vulnerable and underserved in our system. To know that our work is creating a positive impact on the community we serve brings meaning to my every day.

What do you appreciate about PBRC’s mission?
I admire that PBRC serves the people who have been deemed undeserving of the parts of the legal system afforded only to those with the means to pay for it. The mission of ensuring that all people have equal access to justice is the reason I want to be an attorney and PBRC shares that mission.

Tell us something random about yourself!
I performed original stand-up comedy in front of almost 1,000 people. This is also one of my proudest accomplishments!