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Blogs | June, 16 2020

Access to Justice Commission Engages Law Students, Launches #covidA2JCorps

The Maryland Access to Justice Commission (A2JC) was chosen to partner with the Maryland Attorney General on the COVID-19 Access to Justice Task Force.  After a successful public launch last week, this week A2JC is proud to launch the #covidA2JCorps.  #covidA2JCorps is a partnership between the Access to Justice Commission, the MSBA, the Office of the Attorney General and our two law schools–the University of Baltimore School of Law and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey Law School.

To support the work of the Task Force and to involve students in the effort of meeting the civil legal needs of Marylanders in the wake of COVID-19, each law school is providing paid fellowships to three students.  Because the Task Force has more than six Committees, there will be additional highly talented and motivated students who will be joining the #covidA2JCorps on a volunteer basis. Barring some exclusions, the MSBA will be offering all #covidA2JCorps members complimentary registration to MSBA events and CLE throughout 2020-21, and the Office of the Attorney General will be integrating these students into their summer internship program.

The #covidA2JCorps members will have the opportunity to attend Task Force meetings, staff Committees and contribute to content development.  Additionally, all members of the “Corps” will have the opportunity to engage with A2JC, MSBA, OAG and Taskforce Leadership; form a community with other passionate and high-achieving #covidA2JCorps members from both UB and UM law schools; network and participate in internship activities with the Office of Attorney General and MSBA; publish blogs or articles on A2JC website or MSBA publications, including E-Weekly or the Maryland Bar Journal; and get exposed to high-level legal professionals and experts in a broad range of subject areas.

We are proud to announce and welcome the members of the #covidA2JCorps!

University of Baltimore Law School: 

Laura Opont

Rachel Wanat

Carleen Dadeboe

Caterina Quezadalozano

University of Maryland Francis King Carey Law School:

Ebele Ebonwu

Ethan Navarre

Cizhu Feng

Nino Li

Shelby McCloskey

The #covidA2JCorps will run through the summer for 10 weeks from June 15 to August 21, 2020.  All #covidA2JCorps members will work 20 hours/ week.

What is the Attorney General’s COVID-19 Taskforce on Access to Justice?

The COVID-19 emergency has left countless Marylanders with new and unanticipated civil legal challenges: securing unemployment benefits, staying housed, guarding against abuse and much more. Yet, unlike in criminal cases, people dealing with the civil justice system do not have a right to an attorney if they cannot afford one.  

This means many people will be left to navigate an even more complicated post-COVID civil justice system on their own, which will have impacts well beyond the four corners of their case.  It will have a direct impact on public health, economic recovery and will exacerbate the disparate impact of COVID-19 on populations of color.

To rise and respond to the challenge, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General is partnering with the Maryland Access to Justice Commission to create a Task Force.  The Taskforce will study and analyze key short-term and long-term civil legal issues created or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and develop strategies, devise solutions and drive reforms and innovations necessary to ensure equity, fairness and access to justice for all Marylanders.