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Judah Contreras


After starting at AACC in 2022, Judah Contreras tried studying German, then Spanish, then on a whim, jumped to law and jurisprudence.  

“It took me a couple tries,” he said. But now the Severn resident has happily settled into the legal track, joining the Pi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Legal Studies Honor Society and a debate club – when he’s not working at a local law firm.

Contreras, 21, is also a founding student volunteer with the AACC Legal Self-Help Clinic, a free service where community members can receive guidance from state-licensed volunteer attorneys aided by AACC students. Newer students mostly watch and observe, but more veteran students engage with clients.

Contreras has experienced both sides of the clinic, both as a volunteer and with his family as a client with questions around property lines.

The attorney helped his parents with zoning laws and property lines, providing clarity around a disagreement. "It was really beneficial because any other attorney could have charged them for an hour, and an hour can run around $650," he said.  

Volunteering with the clinic has opened up a whole new world.  

“The different areas of law alone are worth it,” he said. “The first law firm I worked at was just family law. That's the only experience in law I got. And so going to a self-help exposes you to different kind of laws like property law and employment law. Then there's different kinds, criminal law. It just gets your feet in the water a little wet so you have kind of an idea of what you might want to do when you go to law school."

Even on the slow nights, Contreras said students chat with the volunteer attorneys about legal issues, court rulings and more.  

Contreras is volunteering with the clinic until he has to leave for an accelerated program at University of Baltimore, where he can complete a bachelor's program in one year. He'll then move on to law school. After graduating he hopes to apply to Judge Advocate General (JAG) for the Army or Air Force. 


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