Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Power Station

Mar 11, 2019

The path to legal services for the poor in the U.S. includes support from the Freedman’s Association post Civil War to philanthropic investment by the Ford Foundation in the 1960s and the adoption of federal funding in 1974. A conversation with Maryland Legal Aid's Amy Petkovsek and Dimitri Degbeu demonstrates how innovative and life-changing a nonprofit law firm can be. In both rural communities and urban centers, MLA's  lawyers represent people facing eviction, predatory debt collection and foreclosure. They may be in in custody disputes, have wage claims, are struggling to gain veteran’s benefits and are tethered to criminal charges that deprive them of employment and housing rights. Amy, MLA’s Director of Advocacy, and Dimitri, a paralegal, talk about the Lawyer in the Library program, which provides counsel on these issues in a safe community space. MLA also provides assistance on the City's workforce development buses, sees public schools as their next frontier and educates state policy makers about the change that is needed. As Dimitri says, We need to recognize the humanity in folks that are often left out. The harm we cause to others is the harm we will eventually feel ourselves.