Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr.
Maryland Legal Aid
Maryland Legal Aid’s capacity has grown 300 percent since Wilhelm H. Joseph, Jr. was named executive director in 1996. To achieve that expansion, Joseph says, he leads an organization that addresses clients’ needs in special areas, such as foreclosure and community-based legal services, while deftly navigating challenges such as funding cuts and changes in law.
At the same time, Joseph says, he has been able to accumulate and deploy resources and assets needed for high-quality delivery of services.
“A helpful way to capitalize and approach a job or role in any enterprise is to understand that two major components must be addressed, deliverables and relationships,” Joseph says. “Successful execution within these two related components substantially assures overall success.”
Under Joseph, Maryland Legal Aid has been able to expand its programs for poor and marginalized populations by building relationships with other organizations that have similar missions. For example, working with the Administrative Office of the Courts, a Legal Aid subsidiary helped establish four District Court Self-Help Centers to assist residents with civil legal issues and criminal record expungements.
“Wilhelm has been a wonderful mentor to many, and encourages his colleagues – both inside and outside the organization – to be thought leaders when developing and employing programs and services that benefit the lives of poor and marginalized individuals and families,” says William S. Oliveri Jr., president of the Maryland Legal Aid board of directors and a lawyer with King & Nordlinger LLP.
Wilhelm is a gifted leader and a visionary who is passionate about the work of Maryland Legal Aid, says attorney Martin S. Himeles Jr. of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP. “Lawyers throughout the private bar have taken notice. They recognize Wilhelm as a brilliant leader and one who makes a difference in the lives of people too often ignored by our profession.”