Video recap made by the Maryland State Bar Association
More than 200 people gathered on Dec. 3 at the Lord Baltimore Hotel to celebrate Maryland Legal Services Corporation’s 2018 Annual Awards Reception. MLSC presented awards to seven individuals and one organization, recognizing significant contributions to civil legal services and access to justice for low-income Marylanders. Susan Erlichman, MLSC’s executive director, was also recognized for 30 years of service with the organization. MLSC Board Chair M. Natalie McSherry and Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera presented the awards.
Andrew Jay Graham, principal and co-founder of Kramon & Graham PA, was the 2018 recipient of the Arthur W. Machen, Jr. Award. Graham served as chair and co-chair of Maryland Legal Aid’s Equal Justice Council for 13 years, helping to raise more than $3 million in support of civil legal aid. He led the Equal Justice Council’s Law Firm Campaign, making countless personal phone calls and visits to rally firms in support of access to justice through donations and policy advocacy.
Bonnie Sullivan, executive director of Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, was the 2018 recipient of the Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award. Sullivan has guided MVLS through an expansion, increasing the roster of volunteer attorneys, organization budget and, most importantly, services to Marylanders in need. Under her leadership, MVLS has added services to respond to changing legal needs across the state. Ms. Sullivan also works to promote civil legal aid and the importance of pro bono work, serving on a number of local and national commissions.
MLSC presented two Rising Star Awards in 2018. Mallory Finn, staff attorney with Project HEAL at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, represents children with disabilities and their families in special education cases across the state. She zealously represents her clients, ensuring that families who are navigating difficult situations truly feel they have an advocate. In her short law career, Finn has also become a well-respected presenter at regional and national conferences.
Matthew Stubenberg, until recently the IT director and staff attorney with Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, has had a tremendous impact on the delivery of civil legal services in Maryland. He developed such innovations as CLUE, a scraping program that collects publicly available data, and MDExpungement.com, a software solution to automate criminal record expungement. In just 2 years, MDExpungement.com has generated more than 50,000 expungement petitions and submitted more than $1.3 million in filing fee waivers. Stubenberg has also been active in training other attorneys with the development of a virtual reality courtroom and Coding for Lawyers classes. He was recently named assistant director of legal technology at the Harvard Law School Access to Justice Lab.
Tacha Marshall, paralegal/advocacy specialist with Disability Rights Maryland, was the 2018 recipient of the William L. Marbury Outstanding Advocate Award. Marshall has been with DRM since 1989, starting her career as a legal secretary. She quickly showed skills and abilities to become a paralegal and has advocated for clients in mental health and other residential facilities. She then became the first point of contact for all families seeking special education assistance. After recently graduating with her master’s degree, Marshall was promoted to individual special education casework. Her compassion and knowledge make her an ideal advocate.
The Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging was the 2018 recipient of the Herbert S. Garten Public Citizen Award. The Zeta Center offers a range of services, programs and activities to meet the social, physical and intellectual needs of older adults. Recognizing that many senior citizens have legal needs, the Zeta Center has partnered with Pro Bono Resource Center, Baltimore Bar Foundation Senior Legal Services and Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Services on a variety of civil legal services and workshops. The Center has been an enthusiastic partner in providing services regarding tax sale prevention, consumer debt and estate planning.
Harriet Robinson, recently retired deputy director of MLSC, received a Special Recognition Award in honor of her distinguished career in civil legal aid.
Former board chair Glenn Ivey received an Award for Outstanding Board Service in recognition of his significant contributions during his six years as MLSC’s presiding officer.
MLSC is pleased to acknowledge the generous contributions of the individuals and organizations that support our work.