Thomas came to PBRC in 2021. As a paralegal with the Courtroom Advocacy Project (CAP) team, he assists in the courtroom clinics for the Consumer Protection Project and the Tenant Volunteer Lawyer of the Day Program. Within his role, Thomas aids with case files, client data, and legal proceedings. Originally from Rockville, Maryland, Thomas is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Political Science and hopes to gain experience in the legal field before pursuing his law degree.

Where did you grow up?  

I grew up in Rockville, Maryland 

What brought you to Baltimore?  

I came to Baltimore for college, and I’m currently finishing up my undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. 

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

I major in Political Science with a focus on Law and Justice. I am looking to go to law school after I get some experience in the field. 

What are your interests/hobbies? 

One of my biggest hobbies is Mock Trial. I am the President of the Mock Trial team at UMBC, and I have been competing in Mock Trial competitions since I was a first-year student in high school. Outside of that, I am also a big soccer fan, I go to all UMBC’s home games, and I’m also the President of the Student Supporters Group. 

How did you connect with PBRC?  

I connected with PBRC through the Director of the CAP team, Katherine Davis. I reached out to her about the opportunity to be an intern with the team during the Summer of 2021, and I was later brought on as a Paralegal. 

What were you doing prior to working here?  

Prior to working with PBRC I was just a full-time student! I had worked briefly as a legal assistant at the beginning of 2020 at a Baltimore City law firm, but that ended during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What do you do at PBRC?  

At PBRC, I work in court with clients who have failure to pay rent and consumer debt cases. I help guide the clients through the necessary paperwork, look up landlord licenses, and assist the PBRC attorneys in court so they can represent clients to the best of their ability. Working with clients in court every day is exactly the type of thing that I want to do after law school. 

What is your proudest accomplishment?  

My proudest accomplishment (so far) is related to my work with Mock Trial at UMBC. Last April, I competed on the 6-person team that beat Yale University to win the American Mock Trial Association’s National Championship Tournament. For those interested, the video is somewhere on YouTube. It was an amazing experience. 

What motivates you? 

Something that motivates me is the pursuit of a fair justice system. It is so important for people who are involved in the justice system at any level to get a fair chance, regardless of their status. That is a big part of why I want to be an attorney, so that I can work to achieve that goal. 

What has been your most meaningful experience with PBRC?  

The most meaningful part of my job is the ability to help clients in the rent court system. One experience that comes to mind is with a client whose case we were trying to get resolved after three months of back and forth with the landlord. After all the challenging work, it was very gratifying to get the case dismissed and see the client incredibly happy. If it were not for the work we put in with the client, they might not have been able to get the case resolved and stay in their home. 

What sets PBRC apart in your mind? 

What sets PBRC apart in my mind is the on-the-ground work that we do. It is so important to be in court and be helping people on the day that they need our help, because in my experience, sometimes people do not know they need help until they come into court and talk to us. If PBRC did not do the work that we did, so many people would remain lost and confused in the legal system, with no way to work their problems out. I also believe in the educational aspect that PBRC provides clients, as after they talk to us clients usually leave knowing more about the system than they did coming in.