A long-time advocate of social change and social justice, Reena K. Shah is currently a Staff Attorney in the Baltimore City office of the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau. She practices poverty law at what she considers the "grassroots level" representing indigent clients in judicial and administrative proceedings in the areas of housing and consumer law. She is passionate about promoting human rights and increasing access to justice for underserved and marginalized populations.
Ms. Shah came to Legal Aid having acquired a broad range of work experience in both the law and public policy. During law school, she worked as a summer associate at Venable, LLP and as a New Perimeter Fellow through a DLA/Piper initiative, researching and supporting human rights litigation efforts at the Southern Africa Litigation Center in South Africa. Prior to law school, she worked on foreign policy on Capitol Hill as a Women's Research and Education Institute Fellow in the Office of U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski. Preceding her work at the policy level, Ms. Shah spent time on-the-ground working on sustainable development and environmental conservation issues at the African Conservation Center in Kenya and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the mid-hills of Nepal.
Ms. Shah graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies from The George Washington University in 1998. In 2003, she earned her M.P.A. in International Development from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Thereafter in 2007, she received a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. She was a Sasakawa Young Leaders Scholar at Princeton and the inaugural Benjamin R. Civiletti Scholar at the Law School.
An active member of her community, Ms. Shah has served on the Board of the Women's Law Center of Maryland since 2005. In 2008-2009, she was selected to the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) Leadership Academy and now serves on the MSBA's Committees on Program and the Asian American Bar. Since 2008, she has also been a member of a Law School working group entitled the Lawyers as Leaders Forum and an active member of the Princeton Alumni Schools Committee.
Ms. Shah is an avid traveler and has visited over 25 countries. She finds most joy in spending time with her husband, Prasyos Ojha, and her rambunctious eight month old son, Taraksh Ojha.