Katherine Kelly Howard
Howard Heads National Caucus of State Bars
Katherine Kelly Howard, a past president of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA), now heads the National Caucus of State Bar Associations (NC). Affiliated with the American Bar Association (ABA), the Caucus is a group of bar presidents and presidents-elect representing over 50 states and territories which provides insight and guidance on key issues facing today’s legal profession. As the ABA charts the future direction of the legal profession, the Caucus’ state bar leaders offer input, giving the lawyer’s perspective.
Howard, General Counsel for Regional Management, Inc. in Baltimore City, served as MSBA President in 2008/2009 and President of the Bar Association of Baltimore City in 2003/2004 and is well known as a dynamic leader in the state and national bar association world. As President of the Caucus, she will “bring the perspective of the average lawyer to the attention of ABA policy-makers.” Leadership of the Caucus rotates geographically, with this being the year for the Mid-Atlantic region, and leaders from this region elected Howard President.
“As head of the NC, my role is to scrutinize ABA proposals and positions and examine them through the lens of a state bar president,” she explains. Collectively, the Caucus examines each matter then relays pertinent information to its broader membership, everyday lawyers. “We communicate the issue’s importance to lawyers as well as the impact on their daily law practice,” she asserts. “It is vital that the ABA hear and consider the voice of the average lawyer.”
At the NC’s bi-annual meetings, ABA officials present report findings, positions, proposed policies and other issues of concern to bar leaders. At a recent NC gathering, everything from a voluntary dispute resolution process with clients participating in the negotiations and the state of the judiciary to the Legal Services Corporation assisting inmates in family law matters and immigration were discussed. The ABA President and other top leaders usually attend.
“We serve as the watchdog of lawyers across this country,” Howard continues, “safeguarding their interests at the national level. The everyday lawyer needs this voice. In our continuing tough times, there are many, many lawyers still struggling with economic woes and daily challenges of law practice. I look forward to representing their points of view.”