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Ivan J. Bates

Managing Partner
Bates & Garcia

After graduating from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary in 1995, Ivan J. Bates worked as a law clerk for Baltimore City Circuit Court David B. Mitchell. He then worked in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney Office and as a criminal defense attorney before starting his own Baltimore firm, Bates and Garcia PA, in 2006. 

His areas of practice include criminal defense, medical malpractice, personal injury and civil defense. 

What is the biggest challenge facing the legal profession today? 

The public has lost faith in lawyers. They often feel we do not have their best interest at heart. As lawyers, we have a duty to regain that trust. Furthering the public’s understanding of, and, confidence in our profession must be a priority. 

What made you decide to enter the legal profession? 

As a child growing up in Virginia, I was bused from the Black part of town to attend school in a predominantly white neighborhood. In eighth grade, we did a class project on Thurgood Marshall and I immediately knew I wanted to be like him. 

That same year, we took an aptitude test. I was told that I did not have the propensity to become a lawyer and I should be a brick mason. I eventually went to the Army and then Howard University, where I gained the confidence to pursue my dream. 

What advice would you offer anyone interested in a legal career? 

Don’t be afraid of rejection. Believe in who you are and don’t give up. Pursue a legal career because you want to make others’ lives better.