This year’s conference includes a special focus on Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion Programming. Workshops that will address this overarching theme include [RJ] after the session title.
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Thursday, November 1 • 2:15pm - 3:45pm
Community Listening: A Response to an Established Community Lawyering Practice [RJ]

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In 2015, as a response to the unrest in Baltimore City after the death of Freddie Gray, Maryland Legal Aid established the Community Lawyering Initiative. In three years, the program has grown dramatically and places attorneys in libraries, workforce development programs, places of worship, and other community centers throughout the state. The program has not only grown geographically, but also in depth. Attorneys work directly in locations where community members already feel safe and where they are often receiving other services, such as drug treatment or housing counseling. As a result, these attorneys are uniquely positioned to identify emerging client needs. In 2018, Maryland Legal Aid began several new programs based on expressed client needs, including: (1) a pilot program with the Office of the Public Defender to refer clients for civil forfeiture, (2) a partnership with a Skadden Fellow to provide consumer debt relief arising out of money bail, (3) a State’s Attorney partnership to assist with identity theft related to expungement, and (4) a connection with an attorney monitoring police complaints under a consent decree. Come to this session to discover that by listening to community needs, community lawyering creates new, innovative, and important client programs.


Kathryn Frey-Balter

Kathryn Frey-Balter is currently a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Legal and Justice Studies at Stevenson University; an adjunct professor of law at University of Maryland, Carey School of Law; and a 2018 Imagining Justice in Baltimore Fellow at the Islamic, Christian... Read More →

Meaghan McDermott

Maryland Legal Aid, Project Director, Community Lawyering Initiative
Meaghan McDermott is the supervising attorney and project director of the Community Lawyering Initiative at Maryland Legal Aid. The Initiative conducts mobile legal clinics in community spaces across the state. Meaghan has been with Legal Aid since February 2017. Before Legal Aid... Read More →

Amy Petkovsek

Maryland Legal Aid, Maryland Legal Aid
Amy Petkovsek is the director of advocacy for training and pro bono at Maryland Legal Aid. Amy oversees the growth and development of the Community Lawyering Initiative, Pro Bono, Lawyer in the Library, and Lawyer in the Schools programs across Maryland. Before serving in this position... Read More →

Veryl Pow

Associate Counsel and Skadden Fellow, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
A graduate of UCLA Law in 2017, Veryl Pow is now in his second year of his Skadden fellowship with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He provides free legal representation to clients who are harassed or sued by bail bond companies in debt collection suits in Baltimore... Read More →

Thursday November 1, 2018 2:15pm - 3:45pm CDT
West Alabama Westin Galleria, 3rd Level