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The importance of being involved in your community

Sarah David

Sarah David

“What about my pigs?!” the plaintiffs’ lawyer said. “They have been living in a hotel because their mother kicked them out of the house your client blew down!” 

Across the table, representation for Mr. Wolf looked at each other. 

“Our client had a cold,” one responded.  

Ten minutes later, both sides were ready to go to trial. 

Almost two years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Kid Safe Zone in Baltimore city. As a prosecutor at the time, the streets surrounding the Kid Safe Zone were familiar to me. Started in the wake of the Freddie Gray riots, it’s a place where kids in the Sandtown neighborhood can socialize, play video games, take a yoga class and so much more. I knew I wanted to help.

When I reached out to the Kid Safe Zone about what they needed from the community, they enthusiastically responded the kids would love to hear from lawyers. I started asking my fellow prosecutors, colleagues and friends if they would want to participate in a mock trial program at the Kid Safe Zone. The response was overwhelming. In the past two years, we have conducted multiple mock trials (including Three Little Pigs v. Mr. Wolf), brought the kids to a courthouse, had mock mediations and brought in expert witnesses and police officers. Partnering with the Associated Jewish Charities and the Philanthropy Committee of the Baltimore City Young Lawyers Division, we have a team of almost a hundred people—many of whom are lawyers and judges who come to the Kid Safe Zone to help expose the kids to the legal profession.

My name is Sarah David. I work in the General Assembly and am a new mother to a 6-month-old son who is my newest adventure in balancing work, home and community. When I moved back to Baltimore for law school after working in the Counterterrorism Division of the New York City Police Department, I knew I wanted to be active in the community. One of the challenges of law school that permeates the legal profession, especially in one’s early years of work, is finding the time to participate in community projects when there are so many pressures and deadlines at the office. So I want to focus my Generation J.D. contributions on discussing some of the challenges and successes of young lawyers making in impact on their communities.

More and more, young lawyers are looking to develop a career in public service and find a relationship with the communities in need around the state, country and throughout the world. Through volunteer projects, board memberships, pro bono work and so much more, young lawyers in Maryland have the ability to shape a better future.

The fictional Mr. Wolf and the Three Little Pigs might be looking at a trial, but the kids who participated in the mediation are thinking about their future through a different lens thanks to the efforts of a few lawyers with some extra hours on a Tuesday. Maybe in a few years you will see a few of the kids from the Kid Safe Zone around your own conference table — with real clients — and the same passion.

Bring your “A” game if you do.