The MSBA continues to advocate for Maryland attorneys to receive vaccine priority in Group 1C, in accordance with national CDC guidelines. The need to advocate for the profession is critical, as the Judiciary issued orders last week signaling a return to full operations by April, including a resumption of jury trials. Maryland remains an outlier from our surrounding jurisdictions, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia, which currently include all attorneys in 1C vaccine priority status.
Vaccine priority for our profession is about protecting attorneys on the frontlines of justice, and the clients and communities we serve. In order to continue the work that we do representing Marylanders – as litigators with court dockets, estates and trusts attorneys meeting with vulnerable populations, criminal attorneys meeting with incarcerated clients, and immigration attorneys meeting face to face with populations with limited access to technology, just to name a few examples – we need to be vaccinated. (Any attorney could individually opt-out of 1C vaccine priority if that became available to all attorneys.)
Summary of Recent Efforts – Dept. of Health, Local and Specialty Bars, Lawyer Legislators
Last week, the MSBA held a second call with representatives from the Maryland Department of Health reiterating the need for attorney prioritization. Health representatives shared that 1.5 million already-prioritized individuals currently in groups 1A through 1C have not yet been vaccinated. The Department’s priority is currently on individuals 65+, educators, disabled individuals, and essential employees, before considering any expansion of these populations. The MSBA shared that surrounding jurisdictions with the same attorney populations have prioritized all attorneys rather than a subset. MSBA will continue to liaise with Department of Health officials on this issue.
Yesterday, MSBA President Scurti held a call with over sixty local and specialty bar associations to discuss MSBA’s advocacy efforts. He invited these associations to sign on to a letter to Governor Hogan, the Department of Health, and the Maryland Judiciary in support of prioritizing all Maryland attorneys as recommended by the CDC. Local and specialty bar leaders discussed the vaccine process in their local communities and shared their perspectives on the vaccine priority and its impact on their members. We thank our partners for joining us in this important, ongoing dialogue.
We continue to work with our lawyer legislator leaders in Annapolis on another vaccine advocacy letter to share with Maryland leaders in the coming days.
Share Your Voice This Week
This week, we’ll be communicating with all of you about ways that you can share your voice and personal experiences by contacting your local leaders. Stay tuned for further details on this initiative.
In the meantime, please continue to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re glad so many of you have already written to us, and we welcome all of your voices.