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It may not have been “down the ocean,” but last week’s completely virtual Legal Summit & Annual Meeting provided lots of opportunities for networking, learning, and laughing. Thanks to the hundreds of engaged participants, the distance was not an obstacle to the sense of community MSBA members have come to expect from the Legal Summit & Annual Meeting.

Day One—Wednesday—gave participants a lineup of high-profile keynote speakers who spoke live to participants about a variety of topics. Former MSBA President Judge Mark Scurti sat down, virtually, with Senator Amy Klobuchar to discuss antitrust issues. Judge Scurti then spent an hour in a congenial discussion with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, touching on topics ranging from her time as Secretary of State to her acting gigs on popular television shows. The keynote series concluded with NPR Legal Analyst Nina Totenberg discussing her insights on the U.S. Supreme Court, which she has covered for the public station for more than 40 years.

On a lighter note, the first day concluded with the popular “Are you Smarter Than a Law Clerk,” complete with applause, chair dancing, and prizes, followed by Judge Scurti’s final “Cooking Connections.” Chef Gwyn Novak of No Thyme to Cook joined Judge Scurti to make cocktails and desserts, with participants donating money to support the Maryland Food Bank.

Day Two included a full slate of educational offerings ranging from ADR practice, online lawyering, and the civil legal system’s impact on communities of color. Keynote speaker Tina Tchen, co-founder and CEO of Time’s Up, spoke about the importance of this moment in creating workplaces that are safe for everyone, especially people of color and women. Attendees had the opportunity to network at virtual lunch tables. The day ended with more entertainment: a live performance by The Second City improv group, with special appearances by MSBA staff, members, and Judge Scurti. 

The last day of the Legal Summit included a final keynote speech by bestselling author Robert Glazer on harnessing the power of the remote workforce, addressing how employees and employers can make the best of a remote or hybrid work schedule. A second virtual lunch was held, in addition to another full schedule of legal education seminars.

Finally, after a successful first all-virtual Legal Summit, the MSBA’s Annual Business Meeting was brought to order at 3:15 pm on Friday. This was our opportunity to say thank you and farewell to outgoing President Judge Scurti, and welcome new President M. Natalie McSherry. Keynote speaker Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford delivered a “State of the State” address. The MSBA also announced the upcoming celebration of the association’s 125th Anniversary, which will be commemorated by various events over the next 18 months.

We would once again like to thank everyone who participated in our 2021 Legal Summit! If you missed out on some or all of this incredible event, don’t fret! All registrants have access to all of our programming on demand for 90 days. In fact, even if you didn’t register to attend this week, you can register now and have access to the entirety of the Legal Summit’s programming on demand for 90 days! Register here.