“If you’re like me and you believe in the whole David and Goliath thing, and you want to represent the underdog and win, then consumer law is a way to do that.
When I was starting law school, I had a lot of misconceptions about legal services. Frankly, I thought it would be boring, but I did a legal services internship as a lark and found the exact opposite — that legal services lawyers are able to change people’s lives in incredible ways by stabilizing people in their homes, preventing domestic violence, keeping them safe from exploitation, and so much more.
At Greater Boston Legal Services I do lobbying, legislative advocacy, class actions, fee-shifting cases, and work on cases that are really pushing the edge of the law. Foreclosure is also a central part of my work, and when I started learning more about bankruptcy — largely through NCLC seminars and attending the Consumer Rights Litigation Conference — I realized that bankruptcy is a very powerful tool that allowed us to affirmatively stop foreclosures and litigate claims in bankruptcy that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to bring.
Right now, I’m working on a small business bankruptcy case that concerns a loan for my client’s taxi medallion. The outstanding balance on his loan is $200,000, but the medallion itself is now worth less than $30,000. We’re hoping to save the client’s home from foreclosure by challenging the predatory loan, and at the same time we’re going to file a small business bankruptcy that will bring his balance on the taxi medallion down to $30,000. If we’re successful, he’ll be able to keep his home and will own the taxi medallion outright at the end of the bankruptcy, as opposed to having a $175,000 albatross around his neck that would just drag him down.”