DLA Piper Lawyer Named Chairman Of New Equal Justice Associates Group
Stacy M. Brown | 12/14/2018, 6 a.m.
Darryl Tarver, an associate in the Baltimore office of the global law firm DLA Piper, has been appointed chairman of Maryland Legal Aid’s new Equal Justice Associates (EJA) group.
United to support Maryland Legal Aid’s mission of providing equal access to civil legal assistance and representation for low-income Maryland residents, EJA members are young lawyers committed to organizing and developing greater support for Maryland Legal Aid’s pro bono efforts.
Those who know him say, Tarver has a broad litigation practice— he has represented global product manufacturers, retailers and insurance companies in state and federal courts and he has also been part of teams conducting internal corporate investigations.
“The EJA is a group of young lawyers who support Maryland Legal Aid in its purpose, which is ‘advancing human rights and justice for all,’ through pro bono service, fundraising and ambassadorship, and the end result of the EJA’s efforts is to support Maryland Legal Aid’s work to provide equal access to justice for Maryland’s most economically disadvantaged and vulnerable residents, including victims of domestic violence, victims of child abuse and neglect, persons with disabilities, veterans and seniors,” Tarver said.
“The pro bono service and fundraising efforts organized by the EJA, empower people to obtain life-changing solutions to their civil legal issues.
“Because of the need for civil legal assistance among underserved Maryland residents, Maryland Legal Aid’s staff often calls upon private attorneys to represent clients on a pro bono basis. Providing pro bono representation is one of the principal ways in which EJA supports Maryland Legal Aid.”
EJA members represent clients of Maryland Legal Aid, who are generally low-income individuals seeking civil legal assistance whose income officials say thresholds for the free service vary based on a number of factors.
“EJA’s fundraising efforts allow Maryland Legal Aid to serve more people in more communities with life-changing legal help,” Tarver said.
For example, in 2017, Tarver noted that contributions from donors enabled Maryland Legal Aid to help 1,515 people avoid the devastating loss of their homes; 227 people obtain protection from the terror of domestic violence; and 171 people secure critical medical benefits.
Clients may engage Maryland Legal Aid by telephone, online, or in-person at one of the 12 offices throughout the state.
Maryland Legal Aid also hosts regular clinics at various locations, including libraries, places of worship and community centers.
“My involvement with EJA has helped me to become a more well-rounded lawyer, which benefits my work at DLA Piper,” Tarver said.
“Through pro bono representation, I am able to engage directly with Maryland Legal Aid clients and serve as their lead counsel, which is less than common for a junior lawyer at a large law firm.
“That level of responsibility and engagement helps me to hone [my] skills that translate to other client interactions. As Chair of EJA, I am also able to demonstrate leadership skills and expand my professional network, both of which will be valuable as I progress in my career.”
While volunteering with EJA and Maryland Legal Aid isn’t the only way to serve low-income Marylanders, it does offer some special benefits, according to Tarver.
First, Maryland Legal Aid maintains several offices throughout the state, so EJA members can serve populations outside of the major metropolitan areas.
Second, Maryland Legal Aid is the largest private, non-profit law firm in the state, so when EJA members take on clients, Maryland Legal Aid has staff who are ready and willing to serve as co-counsel.
Third, EJA members come from several different legal backgrounds, including large and small private law firms, non-profit organizations, state and federal government agencies.
“So, it is a great platform for networking with other young lawyers who are committed to providing justice for underserved Marylanders,” Tarver said.
Anyone wishing to engage the services of Maryland Legal Aid can obtain more information at: www.mdlab.org or by calling 410-951-7777 or 800-999-8904.