Sarah Coffey Bowes, Executive Director

Sarah Coffey Bowes, Esq. is a veteran non-profit manager with a strong background in programmatic growth, sustainability, and strategic planning.  Sarah supervised the operation and continuous expansion of the award-winning Maryland Courts Self-Help Centers - a network of legal service centers operated via a contract between the Maryland Judiciary and Maryland Legal Aid’s subsidiary, the Maryland Center for Legal Assistance.  Under her leadership, Maryland’s self-help centers grew from an experimental, pilot program to a robust, statewide network of 6 offices serving more than 80,000 Marylanders yearly. Sarah previously served as the Deputy Director of the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN), a nationwide network of justice system professionals who work to improve access to justice for the unrepresented. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law where she received the Ward Kershaw Award for Client Advocacy.

Carrie McCully, Deputy Director

Carrie McCully is the Deputy Director of Civil Justice, where she oversees the day-to-day operations of Civil Justice and its referral network.  A longtime and dedicated advocate for the working poor in Maryland, Carrie was instrumental in creating the Foreclosure Brief Legal Advice project, which helped hundreds of homeowners obtain timely and affordable legal advice from foreclosure defense attorneys with no income restrictions.  She also managed the low bono foreclosure mediation representation program and the Of Counsel program.  Prior to joining Civil Justice, Carrie worked for four years as a senior mortgage processor, and continues to speak at conferences for housing counselors about the many challenges faced by the working poor.  She graduated from Lock Haven University with a B.A. in Journalism. 

Alexa Bertinelli, Managing Attorney

Alexa Bertinelli joined Civil Justice in February 2018, where she oversees the Economic Justice Project and leads Civil Justice’s in-house consumer litigation. Alexa handles both individual and class cases that challenge a variety of abusive business practices, including wrongful evictions and auto-fraud. Prior to joining Civil Justice, Alexa worked as a staff attorney for Maryland Legal Aid for nearly six years. Her work at Legal Aid focused primarily on housing and consumer law matters. Alexa has been recognized for her advocacy on behalf of low income Marylanders. In 2016, she was honored with the Diane Kinslow Award by the Maryland Legal Aid and in 2017, she received The Daily Record’s Leading Women Award. Outside of work, Alexa engages in a number of professional activities in support of her community. Alexa serves on the board of the Neighborhood Design Center. In addition, Alexa is the current president of the LGBTQ Bar of Maryland and is an active member of the Maryland State Bar Association, serving on the Editorial Advisory Board, Leadership Academy Committee, and Delivery of Legal Services Section Council. Alexa received her J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 2011 and her B.A. from the University of Arizona in 2006.

Carolyn Wetzel, Community Engagement & Services Coordinator

Carolyn Wetzel recently joined Civil Justice as the Community Engagement and Service Coordinator where she works with the Renter Eviction Avoidance Program (REAP). Carolyn conducts outreach and helps the senior staff attorney with intake and client coordination. Prior to joining Civil Justice, Carolyn worked with virtual high school students as well as with the League of Women Voters of Maryland. She graduated summa cum laude from Hope College in 2020 with her B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies where she also worked as a research assistant and had the opportunity to study and research international human rights. 

Jaden Thornton, Intake Specialist

Jaden Thornton is the intake specialist at Civil Justice, where he speaks with clients and assists them with different legal matters. Jaden has paralegal experience with various criminal defense firms in Baltimore City, as well as with different public service organizations, such as the Baltimore City Legal Aid Bureau. Jaden is currently a senior at Stevenson University and majors in Legal Studies, with a double minor in English and Psychology. At Stevenson, Jaden is the president of the Legal Society, which conducts community work within the Baltimore City area. After graduation, he plans to attend St. John’s Law School in Queens, New York during the Fall of 2021.