Alumni Profile: Amy Petkovsek ’06, Deputy Chief Counsel, Maryland Legal Aid

Amy Petkovsek ’06 was drawn to the legal profession because she saw it as an avenue to improve lives. “I was always interested in the law as an agent of change,” says this year’s Maryland Carey Law Alumni Board President.  

In her 14 years at Maryland Legal Aid Petkovsek has been fulfilling that vision. The 2006 graduate was recently named deputy chief counsel, which includes overseeing Legal Aid’s civil legal advocacy efforts across Maryland and directing its community lawyering programs. “It’s exciting to innovate the delivery of legal services by offering them where people are,” she says, “in schools, libraries, hospitals, and drug treatment centers.” 

Through it all, she also represents kids in foster care, a practice held over from her early days as a staff attorney. Previous to her current position, she directed Maryland Legal Aid’s training and pro bono activities, often collaborating with former classmates heading up their law firm’s pro bono departments. 

Petkovsek credits her experience at Maryland Carey Law with preparing her for a career in the public interest sphere.  

In law school, she honed advocacy skills as a member of the moot court team and served as president of the Student Bar Association through which she organized, in conjunction with the president of the Black Law Students Association, relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. She also spent four semesters as a student attorney in the Juvenile Law Clinic representing children in special education, abuse and neglect, and delinquency proceedings, and teaching law classes at Baltimore Freedom Academy, an innovative middle-high school focused on justice.  

The clinic’s director Professor Emerita Susan Leviton became a mentor and, Petkovsek says, “spent a lot of time with me working on juvenile law, connecting me with advocates for children and youth and guiding a lot of early pieces of my career.”  

She also built relationships with faculty, alumni, peers, administrators, and staff in the Career Development Office who offered support and advice. 

Since graduation, Petkovsek has stayed highly engaged with the Maryland Carey Law community, giving back to students coming up behind her. Every year, she participates in the IL mentoring program, taking incoming students under her wing and staying connected with those mentees as they enter the legal profession. She helped create professional development activities for students in partnership with the Career Development Office, including Networking 101, in which students get networking training then practice their skills on alumni eager to hear their “elevator pitches.” Petkovsek also returns to the law school (or appears on Zoom) frequently to participate on panels offering career advice to students.  

Petkovsek is deeply gratified by helping the next generation of students navigate the legal profession. She also recognizes how this work benefits her as a lawyer. “Students have a lot to teach us as professionals in the field about how were practicinghiring, and recruiting,” she says. “I think that is really important, and it’s something I’m always going to make time for. 

She also makes time for community service. Petkovsek is active in the Maryland State Bar Association and the Bar Association for Baltimore City, and she serves on the boards of Moveable Feast and the Carroll County 4-H/FFA Fair. Additionally, she is the volunteer camp director of Carroll County 4-H Residential Camping Program.  

A fellow in the Maryland Bar Foundation, she has been recognized with the Maryland Legal Services Corporation’s Rising Star Award, The Daily Record’s “20 in their Twenties” and Leadership in the Law awards, the Maryland Legal Aid Diane Kinslow Memorial Award, the Maryland 4-H Alumni Award, Carroll County 4-H Fair Hall of Fame, and the American Camp Association President’s Award. 

Share this article