Photo of MJ Smith

MJ Smith

  • Hosted by Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school Georgetown University Law Center
  • Issue area Health Care, Medical-Legal Partnership, Other Area
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Through a medical-legal partnership between the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Community Violence Intervention Program, MJ (they/them/theirs) will provide civil legal help to survivors of gun violence and collaborate on systemic advocacy efforts with clients and colleagues.

Gun violence negatively impacts hundreds of Washington D.C. residents every year. 81% of gun violence survivors receiving services from MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Community Violence Intervention Program have at least one unmet civil legal need. Many survivors do not seek legal help due to distrust of lawyers and the legal system. Survivors of gun violence are at risk for reinjury and retaliatory violence when their civil legal needs go unmet.

Fellowship Plans

Through one of the first medical-legal partnerships in the country with a hospital-based violence intervention program, MJ and their colleagues from the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia will promote the recovery and stability of gun violence survivors through trauma-informed civil legal services and systemic advocacy. Areas of civil legal help will include public benefits support, criminal record expungement, consumer debt relief, and family and housing law matters. Systemic advocacy will address chronic barriers to stability faced by gun violence survivors, such as food and income security, homelessness, access to healthcare, and the collateral consequences of over-policing and over criminalization.

Media

Greenberg Traurig Names its 2022 Equal Justice Works Fellows

I want to be part of efforts to address community violence through compassion and harm reduction rather than criminalization and incarceration.

MJ Smith /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like MJ

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Natalia Botella

Host: Legal Services of Southern Piedmont

Sponsor: Boston Scientific Corporation, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

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Carly Loughran

Host: Legal Aid Chicago

Sponsor: Pfizer Inc.

Current Fellow

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Milo Vieland

Host: Legal Council for Health Justice

Sponsor: McDermott Will & Emery LLP

Current Fellow

Ashley Maddison

Host: Rutgers Law School

Sponsor: Covington & Burling LLP, Merck & Co., Inc.