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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Public Justice Center Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, Crime & Law, Public Interest Law

Mission: The Public Justice Center (PJC) is one of Maryland’s premiere nonprofit legal advocacy organizations. We work with people and communities to confront the laws, practices, and institutions that cause injustice, poverty, and discrimination. We advocate in the courts, legislatures, and government agencies, educate the public, and build coalitions, all to advance our mission of “pursuing systemic change to build a just society.”

Programs: The human right to housing project (housing) seeks the realization of a human right to housing that is fair, affordable, habitable, and accessible with security of tenure and culatural adequacy.

the workplace justice project partners with low-wage workers, community and labor organizations, and fellow advocates to promote justice in the workplace and in the courts.

the appellate advocacy project uses appellate courts to advance progressive law reform and to achieve a right to counsel in basic human needs civil cases.

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Christine196

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a former Board Member and current donor. I don’t know of any non-profit that has accomplished so much with limited resources. I love supporting PJC because I know they will make the most of every dollar. I have worked as cocounsel with a number of different lawyers at PJC since 1998. They are an extremely talented and dedicated group of professionals, who are well respected in the bar for very good reasons.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked as co-counsel with the lawyers of PJC and they are excellent lawyers, really committed to their clients, and effective at changing the system through litigation, legislation, and education.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I interned for PJC from January to April, under the Human Right to Housing team. I'm interested in becoming an attorney and working in the non-profit sector one day. I am happy to say that my experience at PJC was insightful and educational. As a non-profit, PJC is expansive in their mission's efforts for social justice, equity, and human rights. The organization serves individual clients regarding legal issues, engages in litigation and lobbying for certain laws, and participates in community initiatives, such as the Baltimore Housing Roundtable.

In addition, I appreciate PJC's staff members' commitment in staying at the organization for the long-term. I mention this, because some non-profits have the difficulty in retaining staff members for more than 1 year. I believe this commitment will create improvements and tangible results towards their future projects. One of my favorite moments during my internship was sitting at the staff meeting for their monthly racial justice training. I think it is important that the staff member at PJC are aware of their own biases and have a space to engage in these conversations with their coworkers.

As an intern I valued my experience at the office, because the office environment was always welcoming, friendly, and supportive. Overall, I recommend anyone who is passionate about social justice to participate at the Public Justice Center. I mention the word passionate, because working at PJC is an experience to expand one's knowledge on the injustices occurring in Baltimore City and the state of Maryland.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I see a lot of attorneys at the courthouse downtown helping people with rental issues. They always seem very helpful. I have not needed their help professionally but I see the work they do and think we need more people like them.

Katie171

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My cousin has worked at the PJC for over 6 years now consecutively. I've visited the office a few times myself. Everyone there has always been so welcoming. When they talk about their work it's inspiring. I see through all the work they do, why my cousin has been doing the work she does for so long. Social justice is extremely important to me. And the PJC frames their work around just that.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Public Justice Center is a fantastic organization. The work they do makes a great impact in the community and across the country. As their cocounsel on a case, I have found the attorneys there to be passionate, hardworking, great advocates and writers. I highly recommend this organization -- they are small but mighty in the work they do and their ability to leverage their resources.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The PJC does not shy away from challenges. Rather, as a volunteer I saw how day in and day out the staff’s commitment to their work and clients was unyielding. The PJC provides legal services for members of the community who may otherwise be unable to access this critical resource. Their care, attention to detail, and willingness to always lend a hand is absolutely tremendous. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work for this incredible organization and I am still inspired by the people I met there and their work to this day.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have a friend who works for the PJC. She talks about the great work that they do. They pride themselves on systemic change. I truly value their work.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Public Justice Center does great work for the residents of Baltimore. When a low-income individual needs representation in criminal case, that is provided for them of course. However these are not the only situations where a person could need legal advice or representation that they are not able to afford. PJC fills this need wonderfully.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I worked here for one year as a full-time volunteer through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. All I can say is that this is a genuinely wonderful organization filled with passionate and kind people. They really are working hard for systemic change in so many different ways, in a city that has great need. This was my first job out of college, and I fully expect always thinking back on it as one of my best.

Taylor23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned with PJC for a summer and fell in love with the organization. The people are wonderful, and immediately accepted all of the new interns into the family. The organization is a group of passionate, determined, and very hardworking working individuals. Together they are doing amazing work to help the people of Baltimore. PJC will always have a special place in my heart and I am very thankful for the experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome. Excellent. Extremely knowledgeable. You guys have never kept me waiting long. You respond to my calls with excellent information in a timely manner. I couldn't ask for better people to work with."

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the years I have come to know many of the staff at Public Justice. They work on the cutting edge with innovative legal solutions - on cases where people are most exploited by employers, landlords, banks and others. And, I believe the fact that PJC creates a space for their client(s) to have full voice and decision making control in the direction of their legal representation is hugely important in our society.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

PJC is a great team truly dedicated to advocating for the community. Their attorneys do wonders for social justice!

Client Served

Rating: 5

PJC does vital community work and has an incredible team of attorneys and staff who are thorough, dedicated, and responsive to the people they serve.

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

I worked at the Public Justice Center for over five years as an attorney. The PJC not only has incredible staff, but it has a great working environment. The leadership is supportive, accessible, and open to new ideas on how best to serve their client communities and effect social change. The staff are incredibly dedicated, smart, and passionate about social justice and race equity work. The PJC makes consistent efforts to ensure their work is accomplishing their goals, including working with grassroots organizations and other community partners . An excellent place to work for passionate social justice lawyers and advocates seeking a smart non-profit that works for social change.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Long before I joined the board of PJC, I admired their work through a friend who is a staff attorney there. Since joining the board, I am constantly amazed and immensely proud of the organizational and individual dedication to serve those most in need. PJC's accomplishments set the standard for Baltimore, Maryland, and the nation. PJC's future is bright, which is good for us all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My time at the Public Justice Center has been absolutely inspiring. Everyday I see employees who clearly embody the mission of the organization, working towards a just society. In my time at the Public Justice Center, I was treated as a member of the team and was able to truly work with the other employees in achieving the ultimate goal of systemic change.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Public Justice Center for more than 10 years and they are with out a doubt the most earnest and committed people I can imagine. But even more importantly they fill the most critical need I can imagine. The need for making sure that we don't just pay lip service to creating a just society, but that it we build one that actually works. PJC does not apply band-aids to social ills, it searches for root causes and tugs on them until they are removed and it often takes many years on a single issue, but the just don't give up.

Suzanne74

Volunteer

Rating: 5

With so many issues that taking up our time and energy, it is truly enlightening to know the work that is being done by the staff at the Public Justice Center, Inc. There can be no hope for people to move forward then that of having security in and the ability to practice a trade without barriers in the work place..... THERE CAN BE NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE.......

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at the PJC for a year and my experience was nothing short of inspiring and thankful. I observed how the staff worked tirelessly to pursue their goals for driving systemic change for the society. Major historical bills such as Montgomery County Paid Sick leave legislation, would not have been successful without PJC's strong involvement. Whether advocating for renter's rights, education rights, workers rights or other human rights PJC has been and is the place where society gets major benefits. I am glad to have served at the PJC and I will continue to support its mission to keep bringing positive change for the society.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a relatively new employee, I have been very impressed by the PJC's office environment and its work. While the staff here are incredibly talented and driven in their practice, they are also very welcoming and teaching-oriented on a day to day basis, and I feel like my professional skills have expanded rapidly in just the last few months. Since the PJC is ever challenging of the policy that drives poverty, I find the work here very dynamic and exciting. I am proud to be a member of such an efficient and responsible organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

While I am a Board Member, I am also a former employee of the Public Justice Center (PJC). So, I have seen the PJC from a few different angles. I'm impressed by a lot of what they do, but two things stand out in my mind. First, there is no doubt about the dedication and passion of each staff person from the attorneys and paralegals, to the development staff, to the Executive Director. These folks know their stuff and they fight hard for their clients and social justice for all. Second, they are innovative in the approaches they take to effect systemic change. They respond to the new crises and they approach the problems from legal, legislative, and educational angles, to name a few.

I'm so proud to support the PJC and keep them doing what they do so well - making our society a better place for everyone.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Public Justice Center is an amazing organization. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work as a summer intern along side of such dedicated individuals. Through representation of clients and advocacy, they are making demonstrable change in the fight for social justice. In addition to their dedication to their work, I was really impressed by their commitment to openness and transparency. Having these ideals at the core of their organization helped to create a sense of community and a productive work environment.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The PJC is highly committed to their mission of addressing poverty at its very roots, and while that is a tall order, the team of talented and caring advocates show no signs of being daunted by it. Having worked there over the last year as a Lutheran Volunteer, I had the privilege of seeing the PJC in action and was inspired by attorneys and clients whose persistence has had an undeniable impact on the quality of life of low-income Marylanders. I am so thankful that I was able to have a transformative experience of professional and personal growth through my time at the PJC.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Public Justice Center is the best! Their dedication to their work, to help improve the lives of poor and marginalized Marylanders, is inspiring and it is woven into everything they do. I worked there as an intern over the summer and their office is very open and welcoming, there is a team spirit that pervades, and I think that helps their work be even more effective. They pay attention to what's going on on the ground, so their advocacy can be aimed at providing realistic solutions to real problems. They are genuine about their commitment to their communities and Baltimore is lucky to have them!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

It is a pleasure to serve on the board of such a wonderful organization. I started at the PJC as a high school intern. It opened my eyes to how much good lawyers do in the world. I am now a practicing attorney and have the privilege to give to an organization that ignited my passion to serve. It is a wonderful organization!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Public Justice Center is a fantastic organization. I am a current volunteer at PJC and I am extrememly impressed with how much the staff genuinly cares about their clients. Even though it is a small office the employees posess a wide aray of legal knowledge and skills. The mission of the organization is truely a sustainable approach to helping the most volunterable in society.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Public Justice Center does work to help society in many dimensions. I am happy to get to support this team of dedicated people fighting for society fairness

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A person that I know introduced me to the work of the Public Justice Center. It is fulfilling to know that the organization has been so effective in fighting and fixing injustice related to many causes in Maryland. Keep up the great work guys.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I heard about PJC work through my friend. I really like this non-profit and I can say that they do amazing work for our society. Keep up the good work guys

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Public Justice Center is one of my greatest experiences. I have been working as a volunteer for a month now and it is incredible to see their work having so much impact in all marginalized communities!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Public Justice Center is indeed fulfilling its mission of creating a more just society. The PJC operates leanly and strategically, pursuing issue areas that are most in need of systemic change and in which the PJC can really make a difference through its leadership in the area. The PJC's smart and effective anti-poverty work has made it a leader in Maryland and throughout the country

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Public Justice Center provides legal services to groups and individuals. It also advocates for broader changes throughout our legal system via the courts and the legislature. On top of that, PJC offers education to the legal community and broader public on issues of concern. The dedicated and skilled PJC staff continues to amaze. PJC is a bold and effective organization that proves that justice is achievable in our society.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

PJC does incredibly valuable work. They provide real leadership in advocating for legal protections for Marylanders. I continue to learn from my work with PJC, and rely upon them for their expertise in a broad range of legal areas. I am deeply grateful for their commitment to the most vulnerable among us. Go PJC!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The PJC plays a valuable role in Maryland and the nation by working for systemic change for the poor. This is a unique mission. It requires vision, drive, sharp legal skills, and a dedicated staff. The PJC has all these qualities and more. When I donate to PJC, I know that my support is going to a vital cause carried out by an organization that has met the rigorous Standards of Excellence established by the Maryland Association of Non-Profits.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Public Justice Center is great. The staff & environment is very professional and friendly. I am an intern in the Human Right to Housing program & the PJC is always looking for ways to help and serve the community better. They do this by taking different approaches such as creating partnerships with other organizations that have similar goals and get things done! The staff is so knowledgeable and passionate about everything they do so they always give 110% in their work. This opportunity has been very rewarding.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent a year at the Public Justice Center working full-time as a Lutheran Volunteer Corps member. The experience for me was life changing, and I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to volunteer with such an amazing staff.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with PJC 2 years ago. Since my retirement 12 years ago, I have volunteered with 4 other non-profits. PJC is the only one that has fully used my abilities. No xeroxing, answering phones, getting coffee; instead my experiences with young people, the correctional facilities in Maryland and program development have been utilized in a professional manner. The staff has treated me with respect and appreciation. My time spent with PJC is personally rewarding, and I believe in this organization's ability to make important and vital changes in our cit and state.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started as a volunteer over 20 years ago in the Tenant Advocacy Program and saw the impact that the PJC was making in the lives of people in low-rent housing. Since then I have been a donor and served on the board of directors.

The PJC is well managed and fiscal responsible, as a donor I appreciate knowing that my contributions are being used wisely.

The PJC staff is passionate about the causes they fight for. Their hard work is making a real difference in the lives of many people who would not have a voice if it were not for this organization. Hearing the stories about children not receiving education, renters losing their homes due to landlord foreclosures, unfair wage practices against laborers is heartbreaking. I'm proud to know the PJC has changed the laws and defended the people being marginalized to ensure a just society.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for PJC for six or seven months a few years ago and I continue to interact with staff on a professional basis. I was and am very impressed with the professionalism, dedication, intelligence and charisma of everyone at PJC. The work they undertake makes a real difference for low-income Marylanders.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work for another non-profit in Maryland. Over the past several years, I have partnered with several of PJC's staff members and volunteers over the past several years on various projects and litigation. They are smart, committed and innovative advocates for their clients and the communities they live in, work with and serve. I'm proud to have worked with PJC and I am also a happy donor.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While working at the Public Justice Center as a Jesuit Volunteer with the Human Right to Housing project, I was amazed by the multifaceted approach utilized. Within all of the projects there is a focus on preserving human dignity by advocating for those in a variety of ways. Another unique characteristic is the lateral versus a hierarchical structure that makes the Public Justice Center so successful. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy working at the Public Justice Center, I was incredibly proud of our work.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Public Justice Center is an organization striving to and succeeding in making systematic change in Maryland and beyond. The PJC uses all of the tools that good advocates should use to address the issues affecting the underrepresented: litigation, legislative lobbying, education, and negotiating. The leadership is excellent and the staff are all energetic, experienced, and dedicated to serving their clients and the whole of Maryland. From top to bottom, they are very good lawyers and advocates.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Public Justice Center is a first rate organization. Its lawyers are incredibly talented and are fully committed to the mission of the organization. Each of the other professionals who work at the PJC are equally talented and dedicated to the work of the organization. The Board of Directors takes its fiduciary responsibilities very seriously. I am proud to be a donor and past Board member.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Public Justice Center as a Board Member since 2008. One of the things that most impresses me about this organization is that impact that it makes with a small but energetic staff. Given the enormity of the public justice issues that confront us and the limited resourses that it has, the results that it has obtained are outstanding. It focuses its resources on issues that will have the maximum effect in the public justice arena, be it through the use of impact litigation, legislative enactments, or public education. Recently, it has expanded its clout by partnering with outside law firms with greater frequency to pursue litigation that has the potential to affect thousands of lives. Ii could not be more proud of its work.

Board Member

Rating: 5

About ten years ago, I was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Public Justice Center. The PJC is well respected as a legal services organization in Baltimore and its Board is made up of attorneys and other persons from Baltimore and Washington. The Board guides the Executive Director in developing major case litigation and in supporting legislative directions in the Maryland General Assembly. I have always described the PJC as a small organization with a major impact.

Board Member

Rating: 5

There are not many nonprofits like this one: what you get with PJC is a systemic, determined, coordinated effort to remove root causeswith a direct link to suffering, for those populations we most care about when their story rises to the top of the news media outrage and then disappear. This is not a quick fix on hunger, or abuse, or neglect, it is not a bandaid, it is a collection of intellectual, political and humanitarian power that makes the world we live in better. This is a nonprofit where every dollar, those in the overhead category included, is safeguarded, used well, and critical to achieving important wins that benefit every level of society.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first learned about the Public Justice Center in the early 1990's when my son interned there during law school. The more I heard about the PJC, the more I liked and decided to become personally involved. As a result my office partnered with PJC on several projects designed to help working men and women improve their lives. The projects were such a great success and the dedication and commitment of the staff of PJC so great that I knew I needed to get more involved. As a result, I served on the Board of the PJC for over ten years. Since my retirement and moving away from the area, I regularly donate to the organization. Over the years I have been so impressed with the help the organization has provided to, not only workers, but also, to those who are underrepresented in society, including, women, children and minorities. I have always liked the fact that the PJC focuses on systemic change in order to help the most people. I would highly recommend the Public Justice Center to donors, volunteers, or anyone who is looking for an organization deeply committed to helping those in our society who are less fortunate.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I moved to Maryland in 2005, I was looking for an organization that had the potential to make significant impact and that was focused on helping those with limited access to resources (including housing, employment, education, legal protections, etc). I found that organization in the Public Justice Center. The breadth and depth of the issues that they work on is astounding. I first volunteered on their access to education for homeless kids project, enforcing the McKinney-Vento Act. And from there I was hooked by the mission of this organization and the people within the organization, who care passionately about these issues. I have since worked on a variety of issues with the PJC including ensuring basic health care and sanitation for detainees at the Baltimore City Detention Center, on their Civil Gideon project and increasing safeguards for tenants against retaliation from their landlords when they demand to have safe housing. The issues that PJC work on are tough ones, not easily solved. Yet when I spend my time with the PJC and their employees I see how systemic change is possible, and it makes me inspired to continue working on these issues that have such deep impact for those that are least protected in our society.