Attend this year’s 5th Annual Neighborhood Institute and join Robin Jacobs, Esq. (right) and Christina Schoppert, Esq. (left) of the Community Law Center to learn about the basic legal tools available to your community. Topics will include nuisance abatement for vacant blocks, ensuring equitable development, and protesting liquor licenses.
Tell us about your background.
Robin: I serve as the Staff Attorney for Community Law Center (CLC)’s Pro Bono Program. Prior to joining the CLC, I served as a judicial law clerk in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City for Hon. Althea M. Handy. At University of Maryland School of Law, I received the Community Scholar Prize for my work in the Community Justice Clinic and served as co-president of the Maryland Public Interest Law Project, Inc. (MPILP). I also interned at the Public Justice Center and the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. I currently serve on the Maryland State Bar Association’s Delivery of Legal Services Section Council.
Christina: I serve as the Staff Attorney for CLC’s Community Legal Services Program. I am a native Baltimorean and graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where I was Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, Co-founder of Georgetown Green, Co-President of the Environmental Law Society, and a Fellow at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. During law school, I worked at the Legal Aid Society of DC, the Migrant Legal Action Program, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Costa Rica, and DLA Piper. I founded and head the Baltimore Lawyers and Organizers Committee.
Why did you choose to participate as a workshop leader in this year’s Neighborhood Institute?
Robin: The Neighborhood Institute offers a wonderful opportunity for Community Law Center to reach out to community leaders about legal issues common to all communities. Community Law Center’s workshops strengthen and inform community associations and nonprofits about the legal tools and assistance available to help them improve their neighborhoods and their organizations.
What are you hoping that your workshop participants will take away with them?
Robin: Workshop participants will leave with an understanding of the basics of legal tools and resources available to communities. In addition to learning about obtaining legal representation from Community Law Center, participants will gain resources and basic knowledge about several specific topics: building a strong legal foundation for your community; finding and negotiating with property owners and developers through self-help nuisance abatement for vacant lots and community benefits agreements to ensure equitable development; and legal tools for nuisance abatement, including combating blight using the community bill of rights and drug nuisance laws and protesting liquor licenses.