Notes of Thanks
Baltimore City Intake Services
Staff Attorney Sunny Cowell from Maryland Legal Aid's Baltimore City Intake Services Unit recently assisted a client with a wage claim case. The client worked for her former employer for 40 hours before she resigned. The employer refused to pay the client for the 40 hours she worked. When the client contacted the employer numerous times to obtain her wages, the employer claimed that they did not owe her anything because she resigned.
The client came to Maryland Legal Aid during walk-in intake and was seen by Sunny, who advised the client that she was owed wages for the hours she worked. Sunny also explained to the client how to draft an effective demand letter to her former employer and how to file a wage claim with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation if the employer did not pay the wages within 10 days of the employer's receipt of the demand letter. After the client sent the demand letter, she was thrilled to receive a check in the mail from her former employer for her due wages--less than a week from the time she had received legal advice from Sunny.
The client wrote:
Thank you so very, very much for this information...I hope I don't need you all again, but so appreciate you all being there for the people of Maryland. May your budget increase and your services become more and more appreciated.
Midwestern Maryland Office
Staff Attorney Katherine Jones from Maryland Legal Aid's Midwestern Maryland office received a thank you note from a pro se bankruptcy clinic attendee she recently helped.
The Midwestern Maryland office hosts pro se bankruptcy clinics, where Katherine teaches attendees how to prepare Chapter 7 bankruptcy paperwork to file on their own. She then meets with attendees to review the completed paperwork for accuracy, and also answers attendees' questions after they file their bankruptcies pro se.
Ms. S. had attended one of the pro se bankruptcy clinics. Her husband was in jail, and she had been raising her two teenagers on her own while dealing with significant financial debt. Katherine helped Ms. S. complete the bankruptcy paperwork, and Ms. S. successfully filed her bankruptcy pro se. Ms. S. recently attended her first meeting of creditors, and it is expected that she will receive her discharge order by the end of this year, if not sooner. Ms. S. wrote:
Thank you very much for helping me. I couldn't be more thankful.
P.S. They will send me a notice in two weeks! I will let you know.
Gratitude from FCC Paralegal Students Association
Frank Farrow-Matthews, President of the Frederick Community College (FCC) Paralegal Students Association (PSA), hand-delivered a note of appreciation to Maryland Legal Aid's Midwestern office that read:
On behalf of the FCC PSA, it is with great pleasure that we express our sincerest gratitude for your efforts in helping to provide a well-rounded education and experience to our members and the program. More specifically, we would like to thank you for your participation in administering the mock interviews. It is through the cooperation of organizations such as Maryland Legal Aid, that the FCC PSA and the Paralegal Program's mission to produce confident and competent jurists is enhanced.
Frank Farrow-Matthews, President, PSA
More Kudos for the Midwestern Maryland Office!
Maryland Legal Aid's Midwestern office recently received the Non-Profit Partner of the Year Award from Frederick Community College (FCC). President Elizabeth Burmaster presented the award on May 8 and stated:
Over the last decade, FCC and its Paralegal Program have teamed up with Maryland Legal Aid's (MLA) Midwestern Maryland office to serve the Frederick community while promoting student learning. MLA provides a full range of free civil legal services to financially qualified Maryland residents. Once a semester, they team up with FCC and other community partners to sponsor Pro Bono Day, when volunteer attorneys come to campus and provide one-on-one legal advice on a variety of issues to anyone who needs it. An average of 50 volunteers including attorneys and FCC paralegal students provide assistance during this event each semester. To date, nearly 1,000 county residents have received free legal help thanks to this partnership.
In addition, MLA supports the FCC Paralegal Program by participating in a yearly Mock Interview Day, which gives students the opportunity to go to the agency to interview for a mock job opening and receive feedback on their performance. MLA also regularly sponsors FCC student interns who later are employed in Frederick or other Maryland counties. The lead attorney at MLA also serves on the FCC Paralegal Advisory Committee and was an external reviewer for the Paralegal Program Review
Maryland Legal Aid's Executive Director, Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr. stated, "Nina and her team continue to enhance their outstanding track record of reliability, effectiveness, and responsiveness regarding the civil legal needs of low-income persons in their community. Keep up the good work and enjoy the recognition!"
Nina was also instrumental in securing a $10,000 grant from the George L. Shields Foundation last week. The grant will go towards providing direct legal assistance to Maryland Legal Aid clients.
Congratulations to Chief Attorney Nina Shore and everyone in the Midwestern Maryland office!