MLA Around Town


Teaming up with Ballard Spahr

On May 12, Maryland Legal Aid's Community Lawyering Initiative partnered with Ballard Spahr and Our Daily Bread for an expungement clinic held at Our Daily Bread offices in Baltimore City. Together, Maryland Legal Aid's team along with the volunteer attorneys expunged 65 criminal records for attendees in just three hours.

Staff Attorney Sunny Desai and Paralegal Lisa Anderson at the Midwestern Maryland office

20th Annual Equal Justice Awards Breakfast

Maryland Legal Aid's Equal Justice Council (EJC) celebrated its 20-year anniversary during its annual Equal Justice Awards Breakfast held at Camden Yards on May 17. 

The Daily Record, Enoch Pratt Free Library, and Major Sheree Briscoe from the Baltimore City Police Department - Western District, received the Partners for Justice Award, and EJC co-chair Martin S. Himeles, Jr. (Zuckerman Spaeder) received the Executive Director's Award.

The EJC welcomed Senator Chris Van Hollen to the event as the keynote speaker.  Senator Van Hollen characterized attorneys as social engineers and that the work of legal aid plays a critical role in ensuring that low-income citizens have equal access to justice. Incoming president of the Maryland State Bar Association, Sara H. Arthur, also addressed attendees and presented Maryland Legal Aid's Equal Justice Council with a special $5,000 donation to go towards its work of advancing justice for low-income Marylanders. 


You can view photos from the event on Sharepoint.

Maryland Legal Aid's Chief Operating Officer Gusty Taler (far left) and Executive Director Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr. (far right) celebrate with Community Partner for Justice awardees: The Daily Record (represented by Publisher Suzanne Fischer-Huettner), Enoch Pratt Free Library (represented by Penn North Branch Manager Melanie Townsend-Diggs) and Major Sheree Briscoe from the Baltimore City Police Department-Western District

Human Rights Symposium

Maryland Legal Aid's Executive Director, Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr., and Senior Staff Attorney for Human Rights, Abena Williams, attended the Localizing Human Rights in the New Era Symposium at Columbia Law School on May 19. Wilhelm was one of the panelists.

Wilhelm Joseph (center) with other panelists at the Human Rights Symposium

Youth Leadership Conference

On May 26, Staff Attorneys Alecia Frisby Trout and Sunny Desai from Maryland Legal Aid's Midwestern Maryland office spoke at the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference at Mount Saint Mary's campus in Emmitsburg, MD. Alecia and Sunny spoke about volunteerism, service, and Maryland Legal Aid to more than 250 high school sophomores from all over the state. Alecia also was a conference panelist for a discussion about implicit bias. 

Staff Attorneys Sunny Desai (left) and Alecia Frisby Trout (right) with panelists and guest speakers from the Youth Leadership Conference

Civil Justice Annual Celebration

Civil Justice, Inc. celebrated its 25th anniversary at its Annual Celebration on June 8. Cheryl Hystad, outgoing executive director of Civil Justice and a former Maryland Legal Aid attorney and Director of Advocacy, is retiring and was honored during the event for her work and dedication to legal services. Heather Gomes, also a Maryland Legal Aid alumna, was honored as Civil Justice's Lawyer of the Year. 

Back row, left to right: Heather Gomes (Civil Justice) with Maryland Legal Aid's Executive Director Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr., Chief Attorney Joe Rohr, Staff Attorney Bill Steinwedel, Val Jenkins (BGE/Thrive promoter), Chief Counsel Shawn Boehringer, Janet Hartge (Attorney General's Office and Maryland Legal Aid alumna), and Chief Attorney Seri Wilpone; front row, left to right: Shelane Bell (Citizens Law Related Education Program), Director of Advocacy for Children and Families Erica LeMon, Chief Attorneys Sarah Frush and Anita Bailey, and Executive Assistant Yvonne Mathews at the Civil Justice event