New Managing Attorney in York MidPenn Office Dedicated to Helping Others
Attorney Carrie M. Bowmaster says is glad to be working in York for many reasons. First and foremost, she will get to help a lot of people in need. “My chief goal in going to law school 24 years ago was to help people. I’ve gone back and forth between private practice and legal aid. Helping people remained my number one goal.” She has been with MidPenn for the last eight years. “We have great staff in our York MidPenn office. I’ve been working here part time for a few months and I know they care about our clients. They look for any way they can to be of assistance.” In addition, she says she is thrilled to be working with the very active York County Bar Association.
Carrie says there are some differences between private practice and legal aid work.“At legal aid, it isn’t just about the law. We look to help them improve their lives.” In addition to their legal problem, clients may need to be referred to other agencies to obtain assistance with problems that are not legal matters, like feeding their family or to connect to medical providers. We work as an intermediary between other agencies and our clients who need their help.
Early in her career she was stunned by brutal photographs that were evidence in a domestic violence case. “Our client was horribly beaten but she still got back in the car with him when he told her to. I know what it takes to break the chain of violence that gets passed down through families. My mother stood up to her dysfunctional parents. I point to her as an example. I tell our clients that they can make a better life, like my Mom did.”
“I wanted to be a lawyer since I can remember.” Both of her parents worked in factories in Clinton County where she grew up. She remembers them hiring an attorney to refinance their home after they lost a low-income financing arrangement when her Dad finally landed a steady job. “I was the oldest of three kids and they’d talk to me about things. I wanted to help others in situations like their’s.”
And help out only begins to describe Carrie’s work with MidPenn. Attorney Bowmaster has in the past filled the Managing Attorney role for MidPenn in a number of counties. She has managed the Chambersburg MidPenn Office for the last 8 years and handled Adams, Franklin and Fulton Counties from her Chambersburg office for the past 6 years. In the last few years she had the added responsibility of running the Berks MidPenn office in addition to the Schuylkill MidPenn office. Yes, it was a lot of driving. “I live in Mt. Holly Springs so for me, this will be an easy drive. I’m just happy to have one office to call home,” she laughs.
About MidPenn Legal Services: A Legal Emergency Room for Poor Families
MidPenn Legal Services provides free civil legal services for low-income clients in critical matters including custody, domestic violence, housing, foreclosures, public benefits, consumer law, unemployment, and bankruptcy. Primary funders are the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN), the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board and the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Additional support comes from local groups, private foundations, and individuals. We receive funding from the York County Bar Foundation, York County Commissioners, the York County Area Agency on Aging, and the United Way of York.