It is our mission, our responsibility, to be a force that is “pursing systemic change to build a just society”, to use legal tools to help people confront legal and institutional barriers that keep them from thriving :
Rent court favors landlords collecting the rent but makes it hard for tenants to enforce their rights to safe and stable housing.
Employers too often fail to pay their employees what they have legally earned, depriving them of income that workers need to support their families.
Schools are more likely to suspend or expel students of color, making it difficult to complete their education and pushing them into the school-to-prison pipeline.
We challenge oppressive practices and policies like these through legal advocacy.
Current projects include:
We defend renters facing eviction, demand repair of unsafe housing conditions, and represent renters seeking systemic relief from predatory landlord practices. We advocate to change the law regarding evictions and to demand the development of equitable and sustainable affordable housing.
We represent workers in court, enabling them to stand up to wage theft, recover unpaid wages, and reform their employers’ payment practices. We advocate to strengthen laws that protect workers’ rights.
We advance racial equity in public education by combatting the overuse of exclusionary school discipline practices, like suspension and expulsion, that disproportionately target Black and brown children and push students out of school. We also seek to eliminate barriers to school enrollment and success confronting homeless children and children in foster care.
We advocate to protect and expand eligibility for healthcare coverage and access to appropriate, affordable, effective and culturally competent healthcare. We seek to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes and access to benefits.
We lead a national coalition that seeks to establish the right to an attorney for low-income people in civil cases when basic needs are at stake, such as housing, child custody, or physical safety.
We aim to make pretrial detention rare, brief, and humane. We work in coalition to reform the money bail system in Maryland. We also advocate to ensure quality healthcare and sanitary conditions in pretrial detention in Baltimore City.
We advocate in appellate courts to influence the development of civil rights and poverty law. This advocacy offers the potential to reform law that affects many thousands of people.