Join us this fall as we celebrate 125 years of service, growth, and impact.

 

WATCH: Exploring our past. Forging our future.

For 125 years, the Maryland State Bar Association has been the home of the legal profession. Tens of thousands of our members have built a legacy of service, leadership, and connection.

And we’re just getting started.

We’re paving the way for continued innovation, growth, and impact in the years ahead.

 

Celebrate With Us

We’re marking this momentous occasion with special events, publications, and unique editorial content throughout the rest of the year.

 

MSBA Timeline

1896
Maryland State Bar Association Forms

On August 28, 100 Maryland judges and lawyers meet at the Blue Mountain House in Pen Mar, Washington County, to establish the Maryland State Bar Association. A constitution and by-laws are adopted and a slate of officers are elected, including as president, the Honorable James McSherry, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland.

1946

First Female MSBA Member

After a nearly two-decades long struggle for admission, during which she sent MSBA a yearly check for membership, Rose Zetzer is admitted to MSBA. Ms. Zetzer formed Maryland’s first all-women law firm in 1904.

1960

First African-American MSBA Members

MSBA admits its first African-American members: Linwood Koger and John Raymond Hargrove, Sr.. The matter is not without debate. James McSherry advocates for admission; George Washington Williams of Baltimore opposes.

1965

Maryland Bar Foundation Incorporated

The Maryland Bar Foundation is incorporated to advance the study and practice of law, the administration of justice, and increase public respect for an understanding of the law through educational, scientific, literary, and charitable means.

1991

First Female MSBA President

Louise Michaux Gonzales is the first woman elected to the Presidency of MSBA.

1999

MSBA Establishes Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP), Adds Services

MSBA Lawyer Counseling Service (the first in the country created by a State Bar Association) is renamed the Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP), and adds services for depression, chronic illness, health & wellness.

2003

First African-American MSBA President

Harry S. Johnson, a partner with Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, becomes the first African-American President of MSBA. Johnson focuses his tenure on three key areas: the history of the association, leadership, and integrity in the profession.

2008

MSBA Launches Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project

200 Maryland attorneys respond to the call for volunteers to assist at-risk homeowners during the mortgage foreclosure crisis, as MSBA partners with the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Department of Labor to launch the Foreclosure Prevention Pro Bono Project.

2020

MSBA Opposes and Defeats Proposed Legal Services Tax

MSBA opposes and successfully defeats House Bill 1628, a proposed expanded sales tax to include legal services, that would ultimately discourage clients from seeking Maryland legal services. MSBA mobilizes its membership, partners with other organizations including the Maryland Defense Counsel and the Maryland Association for Justice, conducts media interviews, and meets with bill sponsors and other legislators to quash the proposed tax.

MSBA Supports the Profession Through the Covid-19 Crisis

  • MSBA supports the profession during the Covid-19 crisis by going fully virtual and offering free Covid-related webinars and CLE programs to members and non-members (including all 40+ attorneys in Maryland).
  • Over 850 legal professionals join the MSBA in a full week of virtual learning in MSBA’s inaugural Legal Excellence Week, featuring several Fall Institutes and the Solo Summit.
  • MSBA’s partner, Maryland Access to Justice Commission, leads a Covid-19 Task Force with Attorney General Brian Frosh, and secures over $20 million in civil legal aid funding over the next year.

2021
MSBA Continues Virtual Experiences and Celebrates 125 Years

  • MSBA exceeds its renewal target and welcomes new members to the association, achieving a 105% renewal and join rate for the year.
  • MSBA welcomes hundreds of legal professionals to its virtual Legal Summit and Annual Meeting, featuring over 80 learning programs and thought leaders including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford, Tina Tchen, and Nina Totenberg.
  • M. Natalie McSherry, a Principal at Kramon and Graham, becomes President of the MSBA, 125 years after her great-grandfather, the Honorable James McSherry, became president in 1896.
  • MSBA will celebrate its 125th year through a commemorative publication, a special Maryland Bar Journal edition, video tributes, learning opportunities for the profession, a gala celebration, and much more.


 

Exploring Our Past, Forging Our Future: 125 Years of Change

All-new digital publication documenting the organization's historical impact

Exploring Our Past, Forging Our Future: 125 Years of Change is a collaborative effort between MSBA’s editorial team, MSBA members, and those who’ve been impacted by the MSBA. This insightful publication shows the ways in which MSBA has evolved over the past 125 years and where the organization is headed, featuring exclusive interviews, profiles, historical photographs and documents, and more.

Release: Fall 2021

MSBA 125th Anniversary Gala

March 3, 2022 at Live! Casino (Arundel Mills)

On March 3, 2022, join us at the 125th Anniversary Gala to recognize and reflect on MSBA’s past achievements and plans for the future. Connect with multiple generations of MSBA members, hear from noteworthy figures across the legal profession, and celebrate our shared success in building the MSBA community.

Register Now

Thought Leadership Series

MSBA’s 125th Anniversary invites us to pause for critical reflection on the state of our profession, how we have wielded our position of influence historically; how we might exercise that privilege responsibly going forward, and, finally, what we imagine and dare to reimagine about the legal profession’s role in the future of justice in our state, nation, and world.

Of particular importance in this moment is examining the role that the law, lawyers and the legal profession have played in creating and enabling distinctions based on race, which have served to perpetuate racial inequities in society at large. Click below to learn more about MSBA’s 125th Anniversary Thought Leadership Series and submit any ideas through our Content Submission Portal.

Learn More

 

Share Your MSBA Memories

We want to know: What does 125 years of MSBA mean to you?

Submit your memories, reflections, and meaningful moments from your time with the MSBA. We’ll be sharing quotes from members throughout the fall as we mark 125 years of MSBA.

 
  • Share your favorite memory or reflection from your time with MSBA.