My time with Generation J.D. started about a year ago and coincided with the beginning of my chairmanship of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section. I’m so grateful for the opportunity this blog as given to me to contribute to the dialogue of what it means to be a young lawyer today and to help raise the profile of our section.
Over the course of this past bar year, the YLS made an impact statewide and nationally with a technology-themed year. We created the first-ever mobile app from a bar association — providing the Rules of Evidence, the Rules of Professional Responsibility, and more to the public for free to anyone with a smartphone or tablet.
We also looked internally at what we could do better to make the bar more accessible to our members. We completely updated our website, started more family-friendly events, and spread out our meetings and events to more areas of the state. Our website now has an ethics blog and access to our various programming via video and podcast. I know our future leadership will keep building on what we’ve accomplished (and clean up where I’ve fallen short!).
During this past year, we also had a number of our section’s leaders recognized for their amazing talents. For example, Heather Pruger was recognized by The Daily Record’s 20 in their Twenties, Dolores Dorsainvil was recognized by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division as a national outstanding young lawyer finalist and by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility for professionalism, and Lisa Hall Johnson was this year’s winner of the Pro Bono Resource Center Alex Fee Award.
I’m also proud that we were able to make a meaningful contribution to shaping MSBA policy and to Immediate Past-President Henry Dugan’s historic year as leader of the bar. I think it is fair to say that there are as much or more young lawyers involved than ever in the state bar and we’ve set the stage for more substantive contributions from young lawyers for years to come.
Many individuals led the way to where we are today. More recently, Hughie Hunt, Michael Siri, Jason Hessler and Marla Zide have all been influential leaders, friends, and mentors and I appreciate their passing the baton to me. And, I know that I leave the YLS in good hands. We have an incredible array of diverse and energetic talent within the YLS. If you’re not already involved, please get active.
I’m also leaving this blog in good hands and I’m happy to make room for another voice. This blog gave me an opportunity to tell you what the YLS has been up to, where I’ve been over this past year, and what I’ve been thinking about. I’ve blogged about everything from meeting a U.S. Supreme Court Justice in a bookstore for cookbooks to enjoying calypso from a famous actor/international human rights activist and a local celeb (our own Wilhelm Joseph). I hope some of it was worthwhile.
Thank you for reading.