Employment Law Center of Maryland
When it comes to closing the access to justice gap, the Employment Law Center of Maryland walks the talk. Though employment issues like discrimination, harassment, and wage theft, are among the most common legal challenges faced by low and moderate-income Marylanders, very few workers can afford an employment lawyer—that’s where the Employment Law Center comes in. The firm’s goal is to make employment law representation affordable for all Maryland workers so they practice as a “low bono” law firm, helping low and moderate-income members of their community stand up for their employment rights.
Chartier & Nyamfukudza, P.L.C.
Fighting the battle to exonerate those wrongfully accused and imprisoned is Chartier & Nyamfukudza, a criminal defense litigation firm. The firm engages in significant pro bono work. The four recent pro-bono cases they handled resulted in the release of four wrongfully imprisoned individuals who had collectively spent 62 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. C&N is not just committed to exonerating people—the firm has also exonerated 4 dogs who were unjustly on “doggie death row.” From exonerations to expungements, C&N is passionate about giving people—and dogs—their lives back.
Townsend Allala, Coulter & Kludt, PLLC
Texas-based firm Townsend Allala, Coulter & Kludt, PLLC (TACK) is leading the fight against unfair Medicaid Estate Recoveries (MERP) that disproportionately affect low-income communities. TACK helps low-income individuals successfully pass their home on to the next generation—and in their 18 years of fighting for this cause, they’ve never lost a single home to the State. The firm believes true change happens only when you pay it forward, so they also dedicate time to educating other attorneys and social workers how to help individuals avoid unfair Medicaid Estate Recoveries.
The owner of Estate planning firm AHAVA Law comes from a family of service members, and is passionate about improving access to justice for veterans. Veterans are still an underserved population of the society, with a 15% unemployment rate, and a disproportionate number of veterans experiencing homelessness and/or being in the criminal justice system. To provide legal services to veterans for free, AHAVA Law founded the pro bono Estate Clinic at Veterans Legal Institute, where they prepare complete estate plans, including basic wills, living trusts, advanced health care directives, and powers of attorney for low-income Veterans interested in estate planning.
Pretty Smart Law
Pretty Smart Law is a savvy Florida-based law firm that’s passionate about using technology to drive meaningful change. Shannon Ligon, founder of Pretty Smart Law, built a strong social media brand to champion the causes her firm supports—and has been using those brands to drive reform at the state and national level ever since. The most notable among the list of reforms her firm has brought about is successfully getting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to change policy on how Florida schools districts will soon be prohibited from using seclusion and isolation techniques on students—a traumatizing experience for children, particularly students with disabilities. The bill will go into effect July 1st.