Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 16

feature 
After volunteering at Legal
Aid, and finding deep
satisfaction in working with
clients who needed Protection
from Abuse orders and who
were facing custody issues, her
interest shifted in the direction
of Family Law. She has been
a solo practitioner in the field
since 1998.
The Hispanic population in Bucks County has grown
119% since 2000. The number of residents whose
primary language is Spanish hovers around 3% of
the overall population, creating the need for Spanish
language translation in many areas, including legal and
social services.

María Judith
Rodríguez-Martyak
A Strong Advocate for Access to Justice
for the Spanish-Speaking Community

Ms. Rodríguez-Martyak grew up speaking Spanish
and English in Puerto Rico. When she arrived in the
United States at the age of 21 for a graduate program
in Chemistry at SUNY Binghamton, she didn't foresee
a career in law. But after a happenstance meeting on
an airplane with an attorney from Bell Labs where she
worked at the time, and a conversation with a friend who
was also contemplating a career change, Ms. RodríguezMartyak headed down a new path.

- By Barbara Overholser -
Communications Manager,
Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Attorney María Judith Rodríguez-Martyak believes
deeply in the value of public service and access to justice.
For more than twenty-two years she has been a steadfast
pro bono volunteer for Legal Aid of Southeastern PA's
(LASP) Bucks County office. "For the longest time I kept
my Wednesdays open just in case someone needed
assistance for a Protection from Abuse case at the last
minute," says Ms. Rodríguez-Martyak.

With her law degree from St. Louis University School of
Law in hand, she moved to the Doylestown area in 1994.
"I didn't know anything about Doylestown when I came
here. But I found out it was a county seat and that there
was a legal aid office here. I stopped in and said I'd be
happy to work with you and volunteer," while she awaited
the results of her bar exam.

For those facing a critical legal issue and who
cannot afford an attorney, access to justice can seem
unattainable, especially when English is not their
primary language. Using her legal skills and her English/
Spanish bilingual ability, Ms. Rodríguez-Martyak provides
guidance and representation for LASP's Bucks County
Spanish-speaking clients, helping them navigate the court
system, file Protection from Abuse petitions and handle
Family Law issues.

"My first inclination when I went to law school was to
focus on patent and intellectual property law, using my
backgrounds in chemistry and math," she says. But after
volunteering at Legal Aid, and finding deep satisfaction in
working with clients who needed Protection from Abuse
orders and who were facing custody issues, her interest
shifted in the direction of Family Law. She has been a solo
practitioner in the field since 1998.

16



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bucks Writs - Spring 2017

Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 1
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 2
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 3
Bucks Writs - Spring 2017 - 4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Winter2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Winter2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Fall2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Summer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/BucksWrits/Spring2017
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