Laura L. Chafey, Esq. of St. Michaels, Md. includes her Mid-Shore Pro Bono internship as part of the preparation she received to serve in her current role as Dorchester County’s Assistant States Attorney, a position she’s held since 2015.
“I was eager to intern with Mid-Shore Pro Bono,” says Laura of her 2011 summer internship. “Because the people that work and volunteer for MSPB are amazing.”
During her internship, Laura created a resource library for pro se litigants while working alongside volunteer attorneys for client consultations and legal clinics, among other duties.
“Not only do you obtain work experience,” she says, “but you also make valuable, lasting connections with Mid-Shore Pro Bono staff, local attorneys, and other community service providers.
“While interning at MSPB, I accompanied attorneys during legal clinic hours. I saw attorneys give individuals advice and help them fill out legal forms on the spot for free. Those individuals were always so grateful for the assistance.”
Laura says watching how Mid-Shore Pro Bono has grown and expanded over the years since her internship has been inspiring in helping to fulfill a growing demand for legal help for those who cannot afford it.
“Legal advice or representation is needed by everyone at one point or another in their lifetime,” Laura commented. “Unfortunately, not everyone can afford legal services for their civil matters. Mid-Shore Pro Bono makes it possible for individuals without means to have legal representation through these services.”
Laura grew up in St. Michaels, Md. and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies with a concentration in politics from Frostburg State University, graduating summa cum laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law before earning a Master of Laws from the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Law School.
Her education includes working as an intern with Mid-Shore Pro Bono and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) at the Hague, Netherlands, where she assisted the Honorable Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov of the ICTR Appeals Chamber in his judicial duties. Laura studied abroad with American University, Washington College of Law at The Hague, Netherlands, and in Salamanca, Spain with UniverSpain.
Laura’s role as Assistant State’s Attorney comes after serving as a research assistant, student attorney, and law clerk. Her responsibilities include all juvenile cases prosecuted in the Circuit Court for Dorchester County and as the prosecutor handling Dorchester County District Court’s Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court. Her work requires extensive coordination with other government entities, including law enforcement, juvenile services, and social services, among others.
When not working, Laura enjoys traveling, yoga, cooking, and spending time with her dog, Jolie.
Mid-Shore Pro Bono announced a new Sandy Brown Public Interest Internship in December 2020 to honor former Executive Director Sandy Brown who stepped down after 13 years leading the organization.
The new internship program will provide undergraduate and law school students like Laura with a stipend while learning in the areas of public interest law, non-profit management, community service, and basic work experience. The program provides students with hands-on experiences working with rural, underserved, populations lacking the same resources as urban areas.
Mid-Shore Pro Bono is dedicated to helping Maryland’s Eastern Shore residents obtain access to legal assistance. The nonprofit delivers a mission to ensure equal access to legal assistance in local communities with offices in Easton, Chestertown, and Salisbury. More information and online donations to the internship fund are at www.midshoreprobono.org.