Volume 29, Number 2 - Winter 2014

The Advocate

Young Lawyers Section - Maryland State Bar Association

from the chair | Articles | Riding the circuit | Reports | About | SPONSORS

From the Chair

Like most kids growing up, Christmastime was my favorite part of the year. Whatever the reason—the presents, no school, the possibility of snow—it was an exciting time. Not much has changed, and I still look forward to it, albeit for different reasons that mostly involve family.  Now, however, just like back then, once the holiday parties are over and January rolls in, the excitement fades and it is back to the grind.

As young lawyers, though, instead of getting down or trying to fulfill the same old New Year’s resolutions, you should take the opportunity during this slower time of the year to build your career. Whether you are trying to find a job, find a better job, or build your book of business, here are some tried-and-true ways to accomplish your goals when going to a bar association or other event:

  1. Arrive early when it is calmer and people have not yet settled into groups, so it is easier to find others who have not yet found conversation partners.
  2. Take the initiative and simply walk up to a person or a group and ask, “May I join you?” or “What brings you to this event?” Do not forget to listen intently to their names and replies. It always impresses people when you remember.
  3. Do not start with a sales pitch or express interest in a new job, as it may turn people off and make them uncomfortable. Networking is all about relationship building so be patient and keep your exchange light and informal—you do not need to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting. People are more apt to want to work with someone whose company they enjoy.
  4. Be prepared with a short and easy-to-remember introduction about your practice or job interests in case you are asked. Weaving in a key relevant accomplishment or two without sounding like you are bragging will make you stand out and memorable. Look people in the eyes, repeat their names, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.
  5. Remain enthusiastic, upbeat, and happy.  If you are perceived to have a negative attitude, then others likely will not want to be around you, let alone work with you or trust you with their business. People gravitate towards other happy and enthusiastic people.
  6. Remember to follow up. This is the most important step, as one conversation is not enough to build a relationship. If you have made a connection, then ask about the best way to stay in touch. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you are interested and available. Reference something that you discussed, so your contact recalls the conversation with you. Also, remember that people do not like it if you call only when you need something, so take this time to reach out to contacts just to say “hi” or to grab lunch, even if you are not looking for new business or need help finding a job.
  7. Get something on the calendar. Many tend to say “we need to get together,” but then busy lives get in the way. To the extent that the other person is available, make every effort to be available as well and finalize plans.

The MSBA Young Lawyers Section hosts various social and networking events for you to attend, have fun, and engage with your peers and professional colleagues. I welcome any questions you may have about our programming and hope you will contact me if you wish to get more involved.

Greg Kirby


Practical Tips on Client Development for Young Lawyers

By Cordell Parvin

I have done a lot of work helping associates with client development in my old firm and now as a coach. In this article, I want to share with you my practical ideas for young lawyers on client development.

Set Yourself Apart:

Client development is more challenging today for a variety of reasons. First, business clients are no longer local or loyal, and there are many more lawyers from which to choose. Second, as a young lawyer in 2014, you have less time than I had and more choices of client development actions. Because you have too many choices, you may either never get started or become very scattered in your efforts.

Click here to

Morse’s Book on Yoga Store Murder in Montgomery County is a Must Read for Maryland Attorneys

By Scott MacMullan

In his new book The Yoga Store Murder: The Shocking True Account of the Lululemon Athletica Killing, Washington Post Investigative Reporter Dan Morse presents an extremely well-researched, yet easily digestible, behind-the-scenes account of the horrific murder of Jayna Murray at Bethesda’s Lululemon Athletica store in March 2011 and the subsequent shocking investigation that ultimately led to the arrest and conviction of her coworker Brittany Norwood.

Click here to


5th Circuit

Anne Arundel, Carroll, and Howard Counties
Kemp Walden Hammond and Ryan J. Dymek, Circuit Representatives

On January 15, 2013, the Howard County Bar Association (HCBA) held its annual new admitees’ luncheon to welcome new members to the HCBA. 

On February 19, 2013, the HCBA will hold its monthly membership meeting.  

A retirement party for Circuit Court Judge Louis A. Becker, III will be held in April. Additional details will be made available in the near future.

6th Circuit

Montgomery and Frederick Counties
Gretchen Anna Slater and Sean P. O’Keefe, Circuit Representatives

On January 27, 2014, the Bar Association of Frederick County (BAFC) will hold its Annual Meeting at Frederick Courthouse Circuit Court Room #1 at 4:30 p.m. The BAFC Opening Term Ceremony will be held at the same location on February 3, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. 


Activities Committee

Co-Chairs: Meighan Griffin Burton and Michael Hudak

The MSBA Young Lawyers Annual Charity Event will be held on Friday, March 14, 2014, at Admiral Fell Inn located in the historic waterfront neighborhood of Fells Point in Baltimore City. This year, the event will benefit The Melody Cronin Fund at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. As many know, Melody Cronin was an active and instrumental member of YLS who spearheaded and helped shape many of the Section’s past and current programs. She lost her life to a rare form of Leukemia. For additional information regarding the charity and Melody, please visit http://www.melodyfund.org/. Please contact Michael Hudak at mhudak007@gmail.com or Meighan Burton if you would like to make a cash or other donation in support of this wonderful charity. 

The Young Lawyers Section Activities Committee hosted an event on November 22, 2013, along with the Young Lawyers Division of Bar Association of Baltimore City, Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Maryland, and Merrill Lad. The event was held at Mustang Alley’s in Baltimore City. The event, which was attended by over 50 people, featured an evening of networking, information about our organization, and bowling. 

Special Projects Reports

Family Friendly Initiative

Co-Chairs: Simon Torres and Lisa A. Hall Johnson

After two very successful Fall 2013 events—the Barristers’ BBQ Bonanza with the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro and an outing at Clark’s Elioak Farm with the Howard County Bar Association—the Family Friendly Initiative group is looking forward to planning and holding great events in Spring 2014. We will continue the tradition of holding an ice cream social at the annual MSBA meeting in Ocean City and are exploring several other options, including a family outing at a local minor league baseball game in April or May. We welcome ideas and opportunities to co-sponsor with local bar associations and other organizations. More to come!

Four Corners Initiative

Co-Chairs: Richard Grason and Chad Gregory Spencer

On November 07, 2013, the MSBA YLS and the Harford County Bar Association held a joint meeting at the Harford County Circuit Court as part of its “4 Corners Initiative.” The catered luncheon was attended by at least 60 attorneys to hear Judge William Carr speak on general pre-trial civil litigation. Many thanks to Angela Munro, Brenden Hodge, and Brian Young for their hard work in organizing the event.

On November 14, 2013, the MSBA YLS held a meeting at Layton’s Chance Winery in Vienna in conjunction with the Dorchester and Worcester County Bar Associations as part of the Initiative. Attendees were treated to a comprehensive discussion regarding the Administrative Law Process by Administrative Law Judge Susan Sinrod, with a significant portion of the talk devoted to the Office of Administrative Hearings’ work on foreclosure mediation. Thank you to Chad Malkus and Susan Land for their extensive assistance in ensuring the program ran smoothly. 

The 4 Corners Initiative will be holding additional events in Southern Maryland and Western Maryland this Spring. We also hope to continue our outreach efforts to counties outside the Baltimore-Washington corridor in future years.

Law Student / New Lawyer Outreach

Chair: Tom Prevas

Law School Event: We Need You.
On Thursday, February 27, 2014, at 6:00 p.m., the new University of Baltimore Law School and the Law School Liaison Committee will be co-hosting a jobs workshop with the University of Baltimore, the YLS Events and Membership Committees, and others. This event is the most important part of our law student outreach effort this year.

A key component to the event is small breakout sessions with members of the YLS, who will be available to answer law students’ specific questions about what it is like in the first few years of practice and how to get a job. These breakout sessions, coupled with a reception before and happy hour after, will provide a key opportunity for our group to link with law students and to grow the YLS/MSBA in years to come. Please volunteer for a breakout session so that we can offer as much individualized and practical advice as possible.

RSVP to Thomas.Prevas@dlapiper.com and include a description of your practice, noting whether you work at a firm, government organization, non-profit, etc.

Wills For Heroes

Co-Chairs: Sarah Dawn Cline and Bryan Saxton

The Wills for Heroes Program sponsored five successful events in the fall of 2013, assisting over 300 Maryland first responders and their spouses. Events were held across the state of Maryland in Rising Sun, Marriottsville, Gaithersburg, and Cockeysville. On December 7, the Program held its largest-ever event in the state of Maryland, assisting 127 officers of the Montgomery County Police Department and their spouses. The Wills for Heroes Program would like to extend special thanks to David H. Karceski, Esq. of Venable LLP, who sponsored the event held on November 16, 2013, in Cockeysville, purchasing breakfast and lunch for event volunteers, as well as much-needed supplies.

The Wills for Heroes Foundation is a national non-profit organization that provides free wills, advance directives and powers of attorney to first responders, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and corrections and probation officers.  The foundation was started in response to the tragic events of 9/11, and is administered nationwide by local affiliate programs.  At day-long Wills for Heroes events, volunteer attorneys meet with first responders and use HotDocs software donated by LexisNexis to draft the documents, which are then signed, witnessed and notarized at the event. More information on the Wills for Heroes Foundation is available at www.willsforheroes.org.

If you are interested in planning a Wills for Heroes event to benefit your local first responders, or if you have any questions about the Wills for Heroes Program, please contact Wills for Heroes Program Chairs Sarah Cline (scline@shulmanrogers.com)  or Bryan Saxton (bsaxton@coleschotz.com) . Sarah and Bryan are looking forward to holding many more events in 2014.


Platinum Sponsor

Planet Depos

Silver Sponsor

Planet Depos

Bronze Sponsor

Planet Depos

The Maryland State Bar Association, Inc.
520 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Phone: 410.685.7878 Fax: 410.685.1016 www.msba.org