Sydney Dunning, Esq. is the Consumer Protection Project Manager. Sydney originally joined PBRC in 2016 as a Home Preservation Project Attorney and, in her current role, coordinates brief advice clinics in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County for low-income Marylanders in court, providing brief advice for a variety of consumer issues. Read on to learn more about Sydney and how she came to work in legal services and at PBRC.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hulbert, Oklahoma – a small rural town about an hour’s drive from Tulsa.
What brought you to Maryland/Baltimore?
Initially, I moved to Baltimore the summer after I graduated from college to attend law school at the University of Maryland – eight years later and I’m still here!
Where did you go to school, and what was your focus?
I went to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and graduated with a BA in Communications and African-American Studies.
What are your interests and hobbies?
Live music, biking, yoga, Netflix, DIY projects, social justice.
How did you connect with PBRC?
Regrettably, I didn’t know a lot about PBRC until I saw the job posting on Idealist that led me to where I am now. The job description seemed to be a great fit for me, and as it turns out, it was!
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I spent a semester during law school in Cape Town, South Africa as an extern at the Legal Resources Centre, where I learned from the country’s top social justice advocates and litigators. I also did a lot of solo travel before I entered the “real world” as an attorney. While I don’t have one specific proud moment during that time, my proudest moments and favorite memories are from my travels. Also, I was pretty proud when I had my first career victory. I’ll spare the case details, but it is an awesome feeling when you get your first win for your client!
What motivates you?
I am motivated by injustice, the need for social change, and by the individuals we serve at PBRC. I’ve always appreciated this quote by Nelson Mandela: “A good head and a good heart are a formidable combination.”
What has been your most meaningful experience with PBRC?
Every week I find meaning in my work when my clients and clients of PBRC volunteers are in a better position than they were when they sought our services. I also really enjoyed attending the Equal Justice Conference last year–it’s a unique gathering of like-minded people who want to come together to teach, learn, and gain new perspectives on the work they do.
What do you appreciate about PBRC’s mission?
We are unique in our ability to find and fill the gaps in the legal services community. We are continually reevaluating our projects and goals to ensure that we are best meeting the needs of the populations we serve and finding unique ways to involve the private bar in executing our mission. Everything we do has a client-centered approach to ensure that we are providing excellent service to those who need our help. That’s why I love PBRC!
Tell us something random about yourself!
If you ask me to “call the hogs” on the spot…I’ll probably do it. WOOO PIG SOOIE!