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PJC Profile: Tom Glancy

August 29, 2013
It just kept popping up. 
Photo of Tom GlancyThat’s what Tom Glancy says when asked to explain his long-standing support for the Public Justice Center. He first crossed paths with us as a pro bono volunteer back in the 1980s. Years later, his law partner, Sheila Sachs, was stepping off the PJC’s board of directors and asked Tom to consider taking her place. Around the same time, he was working on a pro bono case for the ACLU of Maryland. In that case, Tom was representing two former employees of the State’s Attorney for Caroline County who sued the current State’s Attorney and the County for firing them because they had engaged in political speech and campaigned for the County’s former State’s Attorney. The ACLU was focused on the first amendment rights in the case, but recognized that the decision could also affect employment law. The ACLU’s Deborah Jeon asked the PJC to write an amicus brief on the workers’ rights angle, and Tom ended up working with then-Murnaghan Fellow Matt Hill on the brief. Tom was impressed with Matt’s work, and better yet, they won the case and made good employment law.
Tom was hooked.
It’s no surprise that these experiences would draw Tom to the Public Justice Center, especially given his early commitment to social justice. Both his Jesuit high school and exposure to liberation theology emphasized justice for people living in poverty. After law school, he served as an advocate for prisoners through Jesuit Volunteer Corps. 
“The practice of law is an excellent tool for social justice,” Tom believes. “And PJC helps level the playing field.” He’s excited by the PJC’s work on impact legislation that can create systemic change for many people. One of his favorite examples is the recent Thompson v. Dallas, which successfully addressed long delays in the Maryland Department of Human Resources for processing applications for food stamps and emergency benefits. Addressing the backlog gave thousands of people timely access to needed assistance. The PJC filed the case in partnership with the Homeless Persons Representation Project, the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, and Kirkland & Ellis. 
Tom also appreciates that because the PJC’s mission is broad, we have the flexibility to work on a range of issues. He stays up-to-date on PJC projects by attending Justice for Breakfast, periodic conversations on topics ranging from housing to juvenile justice to workers’ rights. He invites others to come to one of these events and learn more. 
“With the PJC, you can find your comfort level of involvement,” Tom says. He certainly models that statement through his service on the board and as a PJC donor. Today, Tom serves as Vice President of the Board, and chairs the Law Firm Campaign committee, which solicits financial support from area law firms. He’s always willing to write a note of thanks to a donor or encourage people to continue their support. And he’s co-counseling a case with the PJC’s Human Right to Housing project through our Litigation Partnership
Why should you support the PJC? Tom sums it up in a sentence, “The PJC is a fantastic organization.”
Photo courtesy of Gordon Feinblatt LLC

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