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By Chris Mincher

The Maryland State Bar Association State and Local Government Law Section is proud to unveil this blog, a forum — the first in the state, as far as we can tell — for commentary and news relevant to Maryland’s government practitioners. Authored by Section members (and the occasional guest writer, when appropriate), the blog aims to be a prime source for information on a wide range of topics that impact government law practice, including:

  • Developing legal issues
  • Recent cases
  • Legislative changes
  • Section programs and offerings
  • News
  • Job opportunities and personnel changes in government law offices
  • Practice tips
  • Interviews with prominent current and former government attorneys

The goal is for ever-changing original and diverse viewpoints (but not, we should add, advocacy on behalf of writers’ clients) from a robust cast of contributors. “Goal” is the operative word here, as it takes time to build up a roster of bloggers, establish a steady flow of articles, and draw an audience of repeat viewers. This is especially true when — as many on the Section Council have already learned — government employers may discourage or prohibit their attorneys from engaging in public commentary on the law.

With those challenges, it might be a tough row to hoe, but ahead we forge. And you Section members out there can help. Trust us, a resume always looks fancier with a list of published works — and with the rise of blogs such as this one, you no longer have to toil away for months on an article just to have it shelved by some punk second-year law student who can’t find the time to citecheck it. And while scholarship has its place, we’re also very much in the market for short, scroll-conducive case analyses, legislative updates, news items, job alerts, and other bits of easy reading.

So if you’ve got an idea that would interest Maryland government attorneys, send it along to a member of the Section Council’s Communications Committee — Frank Johnson (frank.johnson@gaithersburgmd.gov), Chris Mincher (cminch@gmail.com), Robert A. McFarland (Roberta.mcfarland@maryland.gov), Kimberly H. Carney (Kimberly.carney@maryland.gov), Patrick Hughes (phughes718@gmail.com), Gorman Getty (ggetty@ggettylaw.com), or Patrick Thomas (pthomas@mlg-lawyers.com). After some light and speedy editing, your submission can come to life online in no time.

And if you read something here you find interesting, please, share it with others! Fingers crossed that, with your support, this will develop into a space that government attorneys find useful for a variety of reasons. Our gratitude to the MSBA and administrator Angela Munro for their assistance in developing and hosting the blog. And with that, please enjoy our first article, a brief synopsis of the Section’s Fall Law Institute penned by state Department of Natural Resources assistant attorney general Robert A. McFarland.