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Jessica Emerson leads the University of Baltimore School of Law's Human Trafficking Prevention Project.

Jessica Emerson, LMSW, Esq.

Equal Justice Works Fellow/Staff Attorney

The Women’s Law Center of Maryland Inc.

Jessica Emerson was a new social worker in New York City when she was asked to fill in leading a counseling group for sexually exploited girls.

She started listening to their stories, and it quickly became clear that helping survivors of sexual exploitation would be her life’s work.

“Although my clients have in so many ways suffered the burden of a life lived on the margins, they continue to find ways to survive,” Emerson, 36, said. “When you add assistance that empowers, supports and validates their experiences, they thrive.”

She decided to enroll at the University of Baltimore School of Law because of its reputation for public interest law. She graduated in 2013 and joined The Women’s Law Center of Maryland Inc. as an Equal Justice Works Fellow and staff attorney.

At the center, she established the Trafficking Victims Post-Conviction Advocacy Project. It implements a 2011 state law that allows survivors of sex trafficking to vacate prostitution convictions they got as a result of their victimization.