PAUL V. CARLIN | MSBA Executive Director
Last month, Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) Executive Director Paul V. Carlin marked 25 years of service with the MSBA. When he arrived in Baltimore on March 1, 1985, to assume his new role as MSBA’s Chief Staff Executive Officer, Carlin was already an experienced and skilled bar executive, known for his leadership and vision in the bar association world. MSBA boasted 10,000 volunteer lawyer members and 18 staff members when Paul began, and under his leadership across two-and-a-half decades, the membership has soared to 24,000, though the staff has only grown to 26.
Carlin celebrated his 25th anniversary as MSBA’s Executive Director on March 1, 2010. MSBA’s volunteer leadership, staff and Maryland’s legal community all congratulate Paul on his devotion to MSBA, his outstanding leadership and his many achievements. On March 23, MSBA’s Board of Governors and Past Presidents offered a special tribute to Paul during the Association’s Board of Governors meeting in Rockville. MSBA President Thomas Cardaro honored Paul for 25 years of exemplary service to MSBA.
“MSBA is very fortunate to have had Paul Carlin at the helm as its Executive Director for the past twenty-five years,” declares Cardaro. “Paul is a visionary leader who possesses a keen intellect, great managerial skills and a ‘get it done’ attitude. With Paul as its Executive Director, MSBA is in the most capable of hands.”
“As we all know, the time flies by too quickly,” states Carlin. “Twenty-five years is more years than Cal Ripken! It has been an honor to serve as the MSBA’s Executive Director to achieve the goals of our professional organization.”
Under Paul’s executive leadership, working with outstanding volunteer leaders, MSBA has made great strides and attained many distinguished hallmarks. Often called the captain of the ship, Paul has navigated MSBA through a quarter-century of member service, membership expansion and ever-evolving member benefits, staying on top of and adapting to the changing needs and demographics of MSBA’s lawyer and associate members.
Looking back, Paul recalls “there have been major initiatives which brought all hands on deck: the creation of Legal Mutual, the Pro Bono Resource Center and the development of the Professionalism Course,” to name a few. Then there are the “hundreds of other projects, events and programs,” he adds. “Yes, the work, year in and year out, has a continuing rhythm, but the day-to-day challenges and personalities are always different. The ‘rolling blueprint’ is always changing.”
Paul is the epitome of a professional and distinguished bar executive, who has been honored for his outstanding leadership, excellent organizational skills and vision into the future. Working in conjunction with MSBA volunteer leaders, Paul’s steady focus has helped establish MSBA as a strong and vibrant professional association that functions as the powerful voice of lawyers in Maryland. Today, MSBA is one of the top state bars in the country and has enjoyed national acclaim for many of its programs.
Paul graduated from the Dickinson School of Law of Pennsylvania State University in 1970 and began his bar association career as the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Director of Legal Services in 1975. He has also served as the District of Columbia Bar’s Director of Public Service Activities and the Executive Director of both the Bar Association of Baltimore City and the Connecticut Bar Association. On March 1, 1985, he became MSBA’s Executive Director.
A past president of the National Association of Bar Executives, Paul was honored with NABE’s esteemed Bolton Award for Professional Excellence, the top national award given to a bar executive, in 1996. This award is given to an executive “who demonstrates outstanding professional leadership and effective management skills and displays humanitarianism, character, congeniality and service to the community.” Paul Carlin exemplifies these values.
Paul’s personal and professional creed at MSBA is “member service,” a mantra also chanted by his staff, many of whom have logged 20 or more years with MSBA. Paul is proud of his “team.” The staff enjoys such longevity and stability because of our leader, Paul Carlin. He emanates a sense of trust and cooperation in the office and maintains open lines of communication. Paul sets the tone for a professional and respectful work environment. He appreciates us, and we appreciate him.
“Perhaps the best feeling and accomplishment for me has been to build a strong, stable, cohesive staff and management team to get the work organized and done,” concludes Carlin. “Longevity of tenure has been a hallmark of this staff, and the staff members enjoy and respect each other. They also attack their work with diligence and urgency. I’m proud to be a part of the MSBA and happy to say that I love my job!”