Where did you grow up?
What brought you to Maryland/Baltimore?
It was a compromise with my husband after we both retired from the military
Where did you go to school and what was your major/focus?
About five schools while serving in the Army, my focus was education, aviation, business management and law, with degrees from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Long Island University and David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia.
What are your interests/hobbies?
God, family, food, and anything outside.
How did you connect with PBRC?
At the time that I passed the bar, there used to be a requirement for new attorneys to attend an orientation seminar in Annapolis. I learned about PBRC’s pro bono training and service opportunities. I volunteered with PBRC for about two years, and then was fortunate enough to be hired for my present position on the Home Preservation Project Team (HPP) after Sydney Dunning, a HPP staff attorney, was promoted to Project Director of PBRC’s Consumer Protection Project.
What were you doing prior to working here?
From 1988 – 2008, I served in the Army in bases across America, Germany, and Kuwait (which I loved all 20 years) as an Air Traffic Controller and an Engineer. From 2008 – 2017, I worked in the Office of the CFO at the Headquarters for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (which I loved all 9 years)!
What do you do at PBRC?
I am part of Home Preservation Project (HPP), which has two project coordinators, our Director, and another attorney who has double duty with HPP and consumer protection. I also have double duty to assist PBRC’s Executive Director and her Executive Assistant support the statewide pro bono operations and goals of the Court of Appeals’ Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Service. As a member of HPP, I am the lead for working with community partners (such as churches, senior and community centers) to provide Estate Planning venues (or clinics) in Prince George’s County and Baltimore City. HPP partners with peers at Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County and Senior Legal Services of the Bar Association of Baltimore City and Volunteer Notaries affiliated with the Prince George’s Community College Notary Certification Program to recruit, and if needed to train, volunteer attorneys to draft and fully execute free Simple Wills, Advance Medical Directives and Financial Power of Attorney documents for Low Income Seniors. My favorite part of all is working in the community in and among the seniors.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Working full-time, completing law school to graduate with my peers, and passing the bar on the first time because if I had failed, I already knew that I wouldn’t take it again. It was TOUGH and was not possible without EEOC management’s and my family’s support, specifically my husband, Sergeant First Class Ralph Jackson, USA Retired. I feel very, very fortunate to come from needing free services to helping people get free services.
What motivates you?
I come from a host of strong, caring, smart and super fly women. They are my heroes and motivate me to represent them well and not let their sacrifices for my betterment be in vain. My favorite quotes are were expressed to me when I was a pregnant teenager and very young mom from my maternal grandmother, Louise Copeland, who said “God did not put you on earth to be unhappy” and my dad, Nathaniel Daughtry, who said “You have to first take care of yourself before you can take care of others.” I still live by their quotes and pass them on to my kids including, “Don’t you be the one to say no to yourself.”
What has been your most meaningful experience with PBRC?
March 15, 2019. Work with the Standing Committee took us to a small town about four hours away from Baltimore City called Accident, MD. It was near Deep Creek Lake and Mountain resort. My colleague and I arrived the day before the meeting, so we decided to hike down the mountain to the lake. We selected a home where it looked as if no one was at home to cut through the backyard in hopes of finding a trail to the lake. However, the owners were home and came out on the balcony while we were walking through their backyard. My colleague and I explained that we were from PBRC, in town for a pro bono meeting. The homeowners shared a story of their young friends, a married couple, who were desperately in need of pro bono services to get emergency custody of their cousin’s one-month-old baby, because the mother was a drug addict who was incarcerated and so was the father. PBRC doesn’t provide family law assistance and we unable to find assistance for the couple through our partner agencies because the suit was filed in Delaware. A couple of days later at an Estate Planning Clinic, I learned that a colleague at community legal services was from Delaware and had a close friend who practiced family law there. She connected us, and the friend took the couple’s case! It is situations like this that let me know I’m where I’m supposed to be.
What do you appreciate about PBRC’s mission?
I have great appreciation for the enormity of what PBRC does in helping poor and underrepresented persons across the state receive civil legal pro bono services, despite being such a small organization. PBRC’s mission is uniquely three pronged as the pro bono arm of the Maryland State Bar Association: none of which I knew until becoming a member of the staff. We provide free training for attorneys, we provide resources for the 40+ civil legal service providers in the state, and we educate members of the legal profession, at all levels, about pro bono. It’s an amazing mission that has allowed me to go places and be a part of experiences that only a select few attorneys, particularly novice attorneys such as myself, get to experience.
Do you have any regrets?
I want to have big fun in open waters (rivers, lakes, oceans, any and all bodies of water); but, I’m a poor swimmer. It’s not a regret yet because as long as I’m among the living, there’s time still to make it happen. In fact, this past February for the first time, I did the polar plunge with PBRC colleagues at the National Harbor. So, I feel good about heading in the right direction.