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.
We’re marking this momentous occasion with special events, publications, and unique editorial content throughout the rest of the year.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Louise Michaux Gonzales is the first woman elected to the Presidency of MSBA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.