Mission & History

Mission: The Public Justice Center pursues systemic change to build a just society.

Photo of Public Justice Center staff standing next to a tenant's possessions, dumped on the street following an eviction.

Who we are and how we build a just society

The Public Justice Center uses legal advocacy tools to pursue social justice, economic and race equity, and fundamental human rights for people who are struggling to provide for their basic needs.

The PJC is a civil legal aid office that provides advice and representation to low-income clients, advocates before legislatures and government agencies, and collaborates with community and advocacy organizations.

The PJC chooses projects and cases that will make a significant impact on systems, laws, and policies.


History of the Public Justice Center

The Public Justice Center was established in 1985 by professor Michael Millemann and attorney Nevett Steele as a nonprofit legal services organization dedicated to protecting and expanding the rights of people living in poverty. Frustrated by the lack of systemic-impact legal work in the state of Maryland, the founders formed the PJC in order to bring widespread, long-term reform to the systems that cause injustice for the economically disadvantaged.

Since our founding, the PJC has seen steady growth in size, organizational stability, and professional expertise. Our staff is highly qualified and has the experience and ability to engage in long-term projects. In addition to staff, the PJC's resources are supplemented by thousands of volunteer hours from the private bar and other advocacy partners. The Board of Directors represents a wealth of experience in law, public health, public policy, and community organizations. The PJC is a leader in public interest law reform in Maryland and in the mid-Atlantic region, increasingly taking on projects of national import.