Mid-Shore Pro Bono announces summer interns

July 10, 2023

Mid-Shore Pro Bono has named Clay Benedict of Baltimore, Maryland, James Parkinson of Oxford, Maryland, and Gabrielle Shlikas of Wye Mills, Maryland as the nonprofit’s summer 2023 interns.

Benedict is a legal intern through the University of Baltimore School of Law’s EXPLOR program. The program ensures that all law students obtain a legal internship during the summer after their first year, with participating employers accepting one law student or more selected by the program.

Parkinson is an intern and Shlikas is a legal intern through MSPB’s Sandy Brown Public Interest internship program. The paid internship program was established to honor MSPB’s previous executive director Sandy Brown and is supported by individual donors and the Campbell Foundation. The donor-funded program provides undergraduate and law school students with a stipend while learning in the areas of public interest law, non-profit management, community service, and basic work experience.

Clay Benedict is a 2025 J.D. candidate at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Louisiana State. University, where he served as Secretary for the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. Benedict served in the U.S. Army Infantry out of Fort Polk, Louisiana, working as a Battalion Property Manager and directly with the Commander.

“Working as an MSPB legal intern has been a humbling experience that has allowed me to interact with real people facing prevalent yet overlooked legal issues,” said Benedict. “Statistics, articles, and just basic common knowledge about the disparity in legal aid and legal knowledge between those with resources and those without, is one thing; but here, I get to see those statistics unfold before my eyes, both inside and outside the courtroom.

“I decided to intern at MSPB because I was offered the opportunity to observe and learn firsthand the inner working procedures and processes, consequences, and defenses involved in a vast array of legal issues that affect everyday people,” Benedict says. “Whether it be representing tenants in rent court, helping draft wills, helping people overcome their debt, or helping people with internal family matters, there was something here for me to learn.”

James Parkinson is pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in Government and Politics with a minor in History from the University of Maryland, College Park, where his academic honors have earned him membership in the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. His academics earned him a Fall 2022 University Honors College Citation and acceptance into the Government and Politics Honors Program.

Parkinson currently is serving as a Maryland General Assembly Intern and Legislative Assistant with Delegate Steven J. Arentz, and previously served as a District Office Intern and Legislative Assistant with Delegate Johnny Mautz. He is the captain and goalkeeper of the University of Maryland Club Soccer Team’s red squad.

“Interning with Mid-Shore Pro Bono this summer has allowed me to work alongside dedicated legal professionals and attorneys, whose common goal of serving the Eastern Shore community has been a source of constant inspiration,” says Parkinson. “Through learning about our client intake process and helping with in-person clinics, I have gained a better understanding of the intricacies of legal work outside the courtroom. I have also been able to attend court proceedings with a dynamic team focused on housing justice on the Lower Shore.”

Gabrielle Shlikas is a 2025 J.D. candidate and a Christine A. Edwards Dean’s Scholar at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Her time at the Carey School of Law includes serving as a student member of the Administrative Committee, as an event moderator with the Business Association, as a student representative of the Admissions Office, and as a member of the Women’s Bar Association.

Shlikas graduated cum laude from Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and English, where she was a Tanner Conference speaker and graduated from the She Should Run Program. She is an Alumnae Member of The Wellesley Fund, having served as a Philanthropy Team Supervisor, Candidacy Exploration Researcher, and Residential Assistant.

Shlikas received a diploma from the International Baccalaureate Program and additionally has served as a Senate Page with the Maryland General Assembly and as an Executive Board Member of the Maryland Youth Advisory Council.

“Working at MSPB has been an amazing experience—I’ve learned so much not only about the law itself but how to conduct myself as a legal professional,” says Shlikas. “With MSPB, I’ve had the privilege of helping those in my community through a variety of problems, questions, and situations. I wanted to be an MSPB Intern because I wanted to do work that directly impacted the area I call home, and doing so this summer has been extremely rewarding.”

“We’re honored to have Clay, James, and Gabrielle continuing their educations with us,” said Mid-Shore Pro Bono Executive Director Meredith Lathbury Girard. “We’re also grateful for the University of Baltimore School of Law’s EXPLOR program and especially for the donors to our Sandy Brown Public Interest Internship fund that help underwrite stipends for our interns.”

Girard says the nonprofit is uniquely positioned to expose students who are interested in the practice of law, social work, and public interest work through hands-on experiences working with rural populations lacking the same resources as urban areas.

“This program engages students in a wide range of legal-related experiences in a high quality and well-supervised professional setting,” she says. “And undergraduate students interested in law, justice, and criminal justice as well as other civic-minded careers will be exposed to hands-on experience in these areas as well.”

Intern applications for the fall semester are due by August 1, with the application and instructions at www.midshoreprobono.org/internships.