Monthly Archives: March 2012

Landing the legal job: Legal Aid staff attorney interviewed by the BBJ

Emily Jaskot, a Maryland Legal Aid staff attorney in the Long Term Care Assistance Project, was interviewed last month by the Baltimore Business Journal for an article, “Landing the legal job.”

From the article: “Emily Jaskot didn’t care about those six-figure salaries. She always knew that she wanted to work for a nonprofit helping those who might not be able to afford legal representation.

“She jumped right into public-interest law as a student at the University of Maryland School of Law. During school, she was hired as a law clerk at the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau. She never really left, thinking that keeping her face around the building was solid proof she wanted to work there. ‘It’s an organization where I really believe in the mission,’ she said. ‘All the people here are passionate and creative.’

“Jaskot achieved that leadership experience law firms seek by becoming president of the Maryland Public Interest Law Project, a student-run group that provides grants to students who work in unpaid legal internships.”

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The face of foreclosure in Maryland

Today’s lead letter to the editor in the Washington Post paints a clearer picture of the foreclosure crisis than an article that appeared on the front page over the weekend.

“The March 4 front-page article ‘We don’t believe in living for free’ told of a Prince George’s County couple fighting eviction from their home of five years even though they had never paid any money on their mortgage. While fascinating, the article did not reveal the true face of foreclosure in the county, and it was a disservice to readers who want to understand the situation,” wrote Vicki King Taitano, director of Maryland Legal Aid’s Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project.

“The reality of foreclosure in Prince George’s is this: People were aggressively pursued by mortgage brokers, who in turn received bonuses from banks for selling consumers high-interest loans,” Taitano continued. “The foreclosure crisis is not the result of speculation by people such as Keith and Janet Ritter, the focus of the article.”

To read the entire letter, click here.

Boston study looks at practical impact of legal representation in eviction cases

Without representation by counsel, many vulnerable tenants forfeit important rights, lose possession of homes they could have retained, and forego substantial financial benefits — according to a study released today by the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF).  Funded by The Boston Foundation, the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, and the BBF, this study, “The Importance of Representation in Eviction Cases and Homelessness Prevention,”  comes as a follow-up to Gideon’s New Trumpet , a 2008 Boston Bar Association (BBA) report examining the civil right to counsel in Massachusetts.

“We funded this study because we felt it was important to take a good, hard look at the practical impact of legal representation in an area where losing a case means losing your home,” said BBF President John Donovan. “What’s unique about the final product is that it measures the results of representation in a segment of eviction cases involving low-income families using rigorous data collection techniques and analysis.”

To read the report, click here.