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June 4, 2021

Looking Forward

As many of you know, the MSBA has been on a multi-year journey to evolve and adapt to the When I wrote the foreword to A Century for Striving for Justice, I stated: “[i]f the past is illustration, it illuminates a future so vastly different and advanced as to defy our

On the heels of a successful effort to fight back against the taxation of legal services, the MSBA was confronted with COVID.  More importantly, its members and the citizens of Maryland were confronted with this epidemic. What role could the MSBA play? How could the MSBA weather this storm?

By maintaining laser focus on the wellbeing and interests of Maryland attorneys and society at large….

As you’ve all experienced, the MSBA quickly shifted to provide alternative ways to deliver needed resources to attorneys—at no additional cost to them.  MSBA members have consumed over 45,000 hours of virtual live and on-demand content in the past year.  

MSBA members needed to maintain a sense of connections with peers they could no longer see in person, shake hands with. The MSBA held literally hundreds of opportunities for that to happen virtually.  

During chaotic times, the MSBA served as a critical information clearinghouse in the midst of shifting courthouse protocols and pronouncements. And as recently highlighted in our Maryland Bar Journal, we continued to work with attorneys who had become overwhelmed during all of this. Our Lawyer Assistance Program helped a growing number of our colleagues who had mental health, substance abuse and other crises.  Colleagues who you may come into contact with. Attorneys who you will never know we helped through our confidential program.  Who—more accurately stated—you helped by being part of our MSBA.

Ultimately, our members were confronted with returning to courts, to their offices, to their agencies. They needed to help others but needed to be protected in doing so. Again, the MSBA recognized the importance of advocating on their behalf before vaccines were widely available. Those delivering justice needed our advocacy.

What will my year as President be about?

With the help of the Board of Governors and our new Executive Committee, it will be about 

  1. continuing on the journey to position ourselves as a modern Bar and a vital part of this profession; 
  2. celebrating 125 years of excellence, of work in progress and opportunities to look ahead; 
  3. helping our profession continue its transition out of this pandemic;
  4. access to justice for all; and lastly
  5. driving ever more value for the entire legal profession. Solos, small firms, mid-large sized, in-house, government, judicial and academic, non-profit and alternative career path attorneys to name a few. We are and will continue to be the home of the entire Maryland legal profession.

How can you be part of what lies ahead for the profession and for our MSBA? 

Thank you so very much for this very humbling honor. I can only hope for your support toward our common goals as stated in the original Constitution:

To advance the science of Jurisprudence,

                                to promote reform in the Law,

                                to facilitate the administration of justice,

                                to uphold the standard of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession

                                to encourage legal education

                                and to cultivate a spirit of cordiality and brotherhood among the members of the Bar.