Debra Gardner joined the Public Justice Center (PJC) as its Legal Director in January 2000. Since then she has participated in a wide range of impact litigation and other advocacy, including serving as the PJC’s lead in various national and company-wide collective and class actions concerning wage and hour violations and employment discrimination. Before joining the PJC, Debra worked in poverty law at Maryland Legal Aid for over fifteen years, first as a staff attorney and then as the Chief Attorney of its Midwestern Maryland office in Frederick. During her time at Legal Aid, Debra handled substantial impact litigation as well as a large volume of direct service litigation in housing, consumer, domestic, child advocacy, and public entitlements. She has been a trainer and mentor in substantive law, ethics, advocacy skills and legal supervision skills since early in her career.