National Bar Association to meet in Baltimore

The nation’s largest association of black judges and lawyers will meet in Baltimore next week to discuss legal trends and to honor several luminaries of the bench and bar.

About 1,500 people are expected to attend the National Bar Association’s 86th Annual Convention & Exhibits, which starts Sunday at the Hilton Baltimore and will feature seminars ranging from the state of civil rights laws to updates on personal injury, intellectual property and other areas of law.

The theme of the conference, “Lifting as We Climb — Ensuring Justice and Equality,” reflects the mission of the National Bar Association, which was founded in 1925, a time when the American Bar Association was closed to black members.

“Over the years [the National Bar Association’s] been an organization that’s been important,” Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell said Thursday, adding that it “remains as relevant today as it ever was.”

Bell will be inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame on Monday, along with retired Court of Special Appeals Judge Arrie W. Davis and Baltimore-area lawyers William H. ‘Billy’ Murphy Jr., David B. Allen and John S. Wood.

See Monday’s Maryland Lawyer section for more on the convention, which continues through Thursday.