Carley Becker, 28, decided to pursue law to help and connect with people.
After growing up in Reisterstown and later New Jersey, Becker attended the University of Delaware for a bachelor’s degree. There, she became very involved with the Hillel on campus. In fact, her love for Hillel was so strong that she made sure to keep in touch after graduation. Becker now sits on the Hillel board at the University of Delaware.
Following graduation, Becker returned to her home state and went to the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. During law school, Becker moved in with her grandmother in order to save money and bond with her role model.
Now, as an associate attorney at Shulman Rogers, Becker helps tenants and landlords communicate respectfully every day.
Becker lives in Baltimore City with her fiance Mike Robetto. She belongs to Beth El Congregation.
Why did you decide to continue to be involved with Hillel?
I was very involved during undergrad and even stayed in touch. My huge Hillel group still had a group chat going during the pandemic. We all reconnected and were doing game nights over Zoom. It was like having that connection to that community again. It was something I really treasured. [The director] suddenly reached out to me. They were looking for board members to take some seats from people who were stepping off the board. They wanted a perspective that was somebody who was able to bring a younger perspective, but still from a higher-level postgraduate person in the real world. I told them I was way too busy and then they convinced me and reminded me of why I loved Hillel so much. When they reached out, I was really busy, but I was trying to find a way to make it work, and I did because I wanted to help bring the next generation of Jewish adults into the fold and be able to provide them with a safe place to explore what that means to them.
What do you do as an associate attorney?
I represent landlords. That was not my plan out of law school, but I found it to be something that’s enjoyable. I do most of my work in the D.C. side of things where there are a lot of tenant protections, which is fantastic because you want to be doing things the right way. I mostly work with the behind-the-scenes compliance side of things. It’s mostly accommodations and disputes and breaches of lease. Also, people who are violating their lease to a point where it’s causing issues for other residents. How can we ensure protection for the others as well as making sure that we’re following all the rules for the tenant that we have an issue with?
What’s your favorite part about your job?
I actually really like my job. I really like that I get to deal with people. I get to talk to my own clients, but I also deal with the tenants face to face. You can put a more human face on a very stressful and unpleasant process for a lot of people. I’ve had really great experiences with people because of their interest in me doing what I can to help them get the results they’re looking for.
I get a lot of satisfaction from making sure that even when a process is difficult, it’s something that can always be done from a place of compassion.
Do you feel like people ever put you in a box because of your profession?
All the time. You’re expected as a lawyer to be like what you see on TV, more aggressive and fighting for who you are representing. I represent a lot of people who don’t necessarily associate with the underdog type. I think they put me in a box. They have a certain interpretation of what it is that I do and the type of work. I think people don’t realize until we have larger conversations about what it is that I do and how I do it, that there are often a lot of unseen sides and behind-the-scenes things. I always tell people that, as soon as there’s a new system, I’ll be the first in line.
Until then, we have to maintain disorder because it’s the only way things work. I enjoy making sure things are done the right way, and I enjoy making sure that you can do that in a way that isn’t causing harm to people.
Do you think there needs to be changes to the system?
I think there’s always going to need to be changes. Basic needs for people aren’t always met. We all want food, water and shelter. We all should be able to have that without a second thought. Whether it’s because of the society or country or just the world we live in, resources are sometimes scarcer than anybody would like. I don’t have the answers, but I know that given the system that we have, I would like to do my part to make sure that it works in that way.