Involvement in our community and working to improve the lives of residents of Baltimore, the District of Columbia, and Maryland is deeply ingrained in Brown, Goldstein & Levy’s DNA.
For almost four decades, Brown, Goldstein & Levy has been recognized as Maryland’s leading private law firm for high impact, public interest cases. Our attorneys have handled these challenges in the Supreme Court and most of the federal appellate circuits, as well as in state courts throughout Maryland and around the country. The Maryland State Bar Association recognized us as the Maryland Pro Bono Firm of the Year.
We are also active in many community organizations and provide pro bono service in connection with board memberships and volunteer work. Our partners and associates have staffed pro bono legal clinics in and around Baltimore, provided pro bono counsel to civil rights organizations, and have served as poll monitors during election season.
Our attorneys serve on boards and committees of a diverse array of community organizations, from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington to the Homeless Persons Representation Project to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland. They hold or have recently held leadership positions at a wide variety of non-profit organizations, including the ACLU of Maryland, Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership, Disability Rights Maryland, the Family League of Baltimore City, FreeState Justice, Maryland Legal Aid’s Equal Justice Council, and the Public Justice Center. One of our former partners served as a member of the Maryland General Assembly. Another was the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City before serving as cabinet secretary in charge of two different Maryland departments. Others have served as treasurers and lawyers for state and local political campaigns. One served as chair of the Maryland Commission on Disabilities, another serves on the Maryland Public School Labor Relations Board.
EQUAL ACCESS TO QUALITY REPRESENTATION – OUR COMMITMENT TO PRO BONO
Brown, Goldstein & Levy attorneys devote hundreds of hours a year to providing high-quality legal representation at no cost. As a firm committed to the pursuit of social justice and equity, maintaining a robust pro bono practice is one way that we are closing the gap between those who can afford a lawyer and those who cannot.
Our pro bono practice is diverse and represents the unique interests and skills of our attorneys and staff.
Brown, Goldstein & Levy attorneys work closely with legal services organizations in Maryland and Washington, D.C., to seek out and staff pro bono cases. Our attorneys have:
- Worked with Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service to assist individuals in need of legal representation, including partnering alongside Free State Justice to represent transgender and non-binary individuals seeking a change of name and gender identity;
- Worked with the Esperanza Center to represent youth seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status;
partnered with the Baltimore office of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) to represent a mother and child who were separated at the U.S. Mexico border;
- Obtained asylum for two gay men from Central America who fled persecution in their native countries;
represented foreign college students whose landlord did not return their security deposit;
- Represented a non-binary activist wrongly arrested for confronting a law enforcement officer;
- Worked with Maryland Legal Aid to represent the Latinx residents of a mobile home park on the Eastern Shore that was in danger of losing its license, which could have left hundreds of residents homeless;
- Expunged countless criminal records through cases with the Homeless Persons Representation Project and Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.
We are also active in many community organizations and provide pro bono service in connection with board memberships and volunteer work. Our partners and associates have staffed pro bono legal clinics in and around Baltimore, provided pro bono counsel to civil rights organizations, and have served as poll monitors during election season. Our attorneys serve on boards and committees of a diverse array of community organizations, from the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington to the Homeless Persons Representation Project to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland.
SEEKING COMPENSATION FOR EXONEREES
Brown, Goldstein & Levy has also integrated pro bono service into some of our most important legal work. We not only pursue cases for wrongful convictions but also assist exonerees pro bono with their reentry into society by connecting them with employment opportunities and helping them to obtain compensation from the Maryland Board of Public Works for their wrongful incarcerations.
Between 2019 and 2020, Brown, Goldstein & Levy helped five of our clients secure millions of dollars in compensation from the Maryland Board of Public Works – the first payouts of their kind from the Board since 2004. We led a coalition of attorneys, activists, journalists, and thought leaders to advocate for exonerees, some of whom had been waiting nearly two years for compensation.
In October 2019, the Board approved payments totaling over $9 million to five wrongly convicted Marylanders, two of whom were Brown, Goldstein & Levy clients. At the time of the vote, Board Member and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp acknowledged that the Board would not have acted without Brown, Goldstein & Levy’s perseverance.
In 2020, the Board granted a joint petition for compensation that Brown, Goldstein & Levy attorneys filed on behalf of three of our clients—men who each spent 36 years in prison for a crime they did not commit. Under the terms of the agreements, our clients will each receive approximately $2.9 million in state compensation. The per-year payout is the highest in Maryland history to an exoneree and the highest of any state in the country that sets a compensation amount by statute. Our clients will also receive funds for mental health and financial counseling and will not be precluded from bringing a lawsuit for the violation of their constitutional rights.
RECOGNITION FOR SERVICE
Brown, Goldstein & Levy and our attorneys have been recognized for their commitment to pro bono service.
- In 2019, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers’ Service awarded Anthony May their “Young Lawyer of the Year” award for his dedication to pro bono work.
- In 2018, the Public Justice Center presented Brown, Goldstein & Levy with an Outstanding Partner Award “for the generous support the firm has shared over the past many years.”
- In 2015, the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland honored Stu Simms for his commitment to providing equal justice to underserved communities.
- In 2014, Boy Scouts of America recognized Stu Simms with the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award for outstanding service by an adult individual for demonstrated involvement in the development and implementation of Scouting opportunities for youth from rural or low-income urban backgrounds.
- In 2012, Brown, Goldstein & Levy was honored with the Pacesetters Award at the 15th Annual Equal Justice Council Recognition Breakfast for the firm’s outstanding contribution and service to the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau.
- Joshua Treem was awarded the Maryland State Bar Association’s 2007 Lee A. Caplan Award for 20 years of providing pro bono representation of the highest caliber to ACLU clients facing criminal charges.
- The Maryland State Bar Association recognized Brown, Goldstein & Levy as the Maryland Pro Bono Firm of the Year.