Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : October 2008


The future of our profession is in the hands of the young and this has never been truer than today, when 40,000+ baby-boomer lawyers in this country prepare to retire from the practice of law. In the next decade, 10,000+ will depart from Maryland’s legal profession in some fashion. This wealth of legal talent, skill and experience could leave a void in the state’s legal community, but not in the future leadership of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA).

The Cubs of Pack 444 receive instruction from a tour guide while attending a daylong "boot camp" at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis in Fall 2006. "It was a great program," says Cub Scout Scoutmaster Adam Spence. "Their 'drill instructor' made them line up, march and give navy cheers as they marched. At the end, there was even a mini graduation ceremony." [photo courtesy of Adam Spence]

For decades, MSBA has been drawing on its cadre of young lawyer talent, tapping younger members for key leadership roles. “Future bar leadership depends on the training and engaging of young lawyers,” asserts MSBA President Katherine Kelly Howard. “For years, MSBA has done a masterful job of engaging young lawyers, many with diverse backgrounds, for future leadership roles in the legal community.”

Many of these young and diverse leaders have already prepared for, and assumed, leadership roles in the Association. Lawyers have been channeled through everything from MSBA’s Young Lawyers’ Section (YLS), its Leadership Academy and Section Council mentoring to local and specialty bar associations’ young lawyer committees. MSBA’s foresight has paved the way for young lawyers to be on the fast track as tomorrow’s leaders when senior “baby boomers” retire.

There's a magic to campfires
and folklore
... Adam Spence
One shining example of MSBA’s “commitment to future leadership” is its current President. Over 20 years ago, Howard was earmarked by then MSBA President Herbert S. Garten, who served as a mentor, guiding her along the path to MSBA Young Lawyers Section Chair in 1989 and eventually to the top post which she assumed this past June. “The support and guidance of Herb Garten cemented my commitment to continuity in MSBA service,” explains Howard, “and convinced me that MSBA’s future depends on recruiting and training future leaders.”

Thus, to advance her commitment, give back to her profession, foster the transition of young lawyers into continued bar service and help brace for the first wave of lawyer baby-boomer retirees in the next few years, MSBA’s President is hosting the Association’s first Young Lawyers’ Summit next month during MSBA’s Bar Presidents’ Conference in Ocean City, October 16-18, at the Princess Royale Hotel. The purpose of this statewide Young Lawyers’ Leadership Summit/Transition Program is to “recruit, train and retain future bar leaders.”

“Our focus will be finding avenues for young lawyers to expedite their transition into continued bar service in MSBA and local and specialty bar associations,” explains Howard, who wants to target these transitioning “young” lawyers and engage them in bar association activities and leadership opportunities. She feels the Bar Presidents’ Conference is ideal for this “first of its kind” gathering because it “offers a wealth of talent that can be utilized to engage young lawyers from around the state in bar leadership.”

Therefore, under the leadership of MSBA’s YLS Chair Michelle Stawinski and Immediate Past Chair Michael Siri, young lawyers from across the state will be invited to participate in MSBA’s first Statewide Young Lawyers Leadership Summit. “The Summit will enable these young bar leaders to exchange ideas,” declares MSBA’s President, “and gain leadership skills essential for them to be successful leaders now and in the future.”

“The summit will feature leadership track programs presented for all local and specialty bar leaders, including sessions on budgeting, program planning, MSBA resources and handling of the press,” adds Howard. “In addition, young lawyer leaders will have their own breakout session to discuss issues they are facing with YLS’ leaders, who will offer their expertise in crafting solutions.”

The sequel to this Summit will occur next spring when MSBA will hold a Young Lawyer Leadership Networking and Mentoring Event for “transitioning young lawyers and leadership academy graduates.” MSBA’s Membership Committee is planning this program, which will “assist transitioning young lawyers and Academy graduates as they continue along the leadership path to their next steps in MSBA service,” concludes Howard. Thus, MSBA will continue its fine tradition of preparing its future leaders today to lead the Association and the legal profession tomorrow.

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Publications : Bar Bulletin:October 2008

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