Pro Bono: How Can Lawyers Help Survivors of Human Trafficking?

By: GDLD | 5.9.19 | Events Pro Bono

Amanda RodriguezAmanda Rodriguez, Chief Counsel for Policy and Legal Advocacy at the University of Maryland SAFE Center, visited Goodell DeVries on May 3 to discuss human trafficking and to share ways in which lawyers can help survivors through pro bono or reduced cost legal services. 

An initiative of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State, the UMD SAFE Center is the first comprehensive and university-based direct services, research, and advocacy center on human trafficking.  

Experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of victims are trafficked within the United States each year and criminally exploited for profit from commercial sex and forced labor. It is the fastest growing and second most profitable criminal enterprise in the world.   

Ms. Rodriguez suggested ways in which lawyers can join the fight against this form of exploitation. The need for legal support is great, she explained. Survivors often require assistance with matters involving:   

  • Family law (including protective orders, divorce proceedings, and custody disputes) 
  • Criminal law (including criminal defense, victim rights, and expungement matters) 
  • Consumer law 
  • Landlord/tenant disputes  
  • Public benefits matters 

If your organization would like a speaker to discuss these issues at your next event, please contact us to schedule an experienced lawyer to address your concerns.

This presentation was coordinated by Jared Green, an associate at Goodell DeVries who was previously an Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore County. During his tenure, Mr. Green prosecuted the most serious of crimes and worked with local and federal law enforcement to hold accountable those who trafficked women for prostitution, focusing on offenders who victimized minors and/or used violence.