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This article was originally published on April 01, 2010.

Tahirih Justice Center is excited to announce the opening of a third office in Baltimore, Maryland. Tahirih already represents many immigrant women and girls fleeing violence in Maryland, and the office will allow Tahirih to improve its direct services to women in the area.

In 2009, Tahirih opened its second office in Houston, Texas, and it has operated an office in Greater DC since 1997.

As it develops, the Baltimore office will be staffed by an immigration attorney and a social worker, both of whom work part-time in our DC-area office and part-time in Baltimore. Tahirih’s offices are located in donated office space generously provided by DLA Piper and conveniently located three blocks from the Baltimore Immigration Court and USCIS offices. The office is surrounded by a variety of public transit options, making it far easier to get to for clients who may not have access to a car or other reliable private transportation.

In addition to better serving existing Baltimore clients from its new location, Tahirih Baltimore has begun to accept new clients seeking protection from violence in the local community. The Baltimore office recently placed its first pro bono case with an attorney at DLA Piper, who is working closely with a client on her asylum application.

The office is accepting referrals from colleague organizations in the city, and staff attorney Morgan Weibel is representing a number of new Baltimore clients in asylum petitions and other legal matters. The Baltimore presence has provided Tahirih with a wonderful opportunity to reach out to the local community and educate those who work with the population on the particular needs of immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence.

Tahirih staff have provided trainings to service providers, government advocates, members of the general public, and others at the Maryland State Board of Victim Services, DLA Piper Baltimore, University of Maryland Law School/AILA/North Carolina Legal Services, and the 5th Baltimore Immigration Summit on Reframing the Issues.

Additionally, on August 24, 2010, Staff Attorney Morgan Weibel attended the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention’s town hall meeting for victims and spoke about the distinct challenges that Tahirih’s clients face in fleeing gender-based violence.