Community Law in Action


About: Community Law in Action (CLIA) develops young people to be leaders by connecting them to opportunities to amplify their voices, cultivate their skills, and actively participate in the process of positive community change. 

In Baltimore City, where many young people struggle with poverty and its consequences, youth are often dismissed as part of the problem and rarely valued as part of the solution. CLIA believes that young people have tremendous potential when provided with the right opportunities. 

CLIA leads two programs for young people: CLIA's Law & Leadership Academy at Baltimore City high schools and the Just Kids Campaign. CLIA's programs use a youth-adult partnership model in which young people and caring adult professionals work in collaboration and achieve collective impact through learning, advocating, and inspiring change. 

CLIA's Law & Leadership Academy is a school-based academic program that operates in four Baltimore City Public Schools serving approximately 200 students. The program introduces students to law and policy while teaching them to be critical thinkers, problem-solvers, active citizens and community leaders. Through a state-approved law and policy curriculum, students learn how to be advocates, peer mediators and community leaders. 

CLIA's Just Kids Campaign is a statewide advocacy campaign working to stop the automatic prosecution of youth as adults in Maryland and to change the way youth are treated in the Maryland criminal justice system. The campaign uses policy change, community organizing and public education to achieve its outcomes. An integral part of the campaign is the Core Alliance of Youth Leaders - a group of 12 young people who have been directly impacted by Maryland's criminal justice system and work to organize events, educate the public, and share their stories as part of the campaign.

Baltimore Corps Fellow: