Maryland Public Interest Law Project Increases Awareness and Participation for Students


Summer intern Spencer Horseman

Summer intern Spencer Horseman

This summer, Spencer Horseman worked in Maryland Legal Aid's Lower Eastern Shore office in Salisbury as part of the University of Maryland Law School's Maryland Public Interest Law Project (MPILP). MPLIP is a student-run organization that works to increase awareness of and participation in public interest legal work. Each year, close to 30 students receive summer grants.

Spencer shared, "During the 400 hours that I interned with Maryland Legal Aid, I had the chance to work with some of the most compassionate and intelligent lawyers on a daily basis. It was eye-opening to see firsthand the struggle that low-income people face in our judicial system and scary to know that without Maryland Legal Aid, many would not receive any type of civil legal representation."

One particular case that really stood out to Spencer involved working with an elderly client who was cold-called by a man claiming to be a grant coordinator. The man informed the client that she was eligible for $100,000 in grants because of her low-income status and that all she had to do was authorize the opening of a credit card in her name and she would start to receive checks.

Six months and six more credit card authorizations later, the elderly client is over $50,000 in debt and has not received any grants. "One of the worse parts of this case is that the man who did this is unknown and seemingly untraceable. I worked with this client to file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau, and the Maryland's Attorney General's office."

Spencer also worked with a number of clients on used car cases that typically involved a client buying a used car at an interest rate exceeding 23%. Within a few weeks, the car would break down and the used car dealer would refuse to fix the car. That's when Maryland Legal Aid would get involved. Spencer added, "I was able to help three clients resolve issues like these with used car dealers."

Spencer recently began his second year of law school at the University of Maryland. He is pursuing a certificate in Health Law and later this fall will intern with Court of Appeals judge Lynne A. Battaglia. Thank you, Spencer, for your hard work this summer and we wish you continued success in your legal career!