Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
- Nelson Mandela
Happy New Year, everyone! As we begin 2014, I look forward to all of us working together and communicating, as attorneys and members of this Bar Association, with a renewed resolve, civility, compassion, courage, and passion that leads us to achieve great success in our professional and personal lives. We are a strong community of attorneys who, through our association with one another, bring great value to our clients, one another, and our society.
Near the end of 2013, the world sadly lost Nelson Mandela, a man who exhibited great courage, vision, and leadership in overcoming unjust imprisonment and peacefully bringing people together in a conflict-ridden South Africa. There is much we can learn from the way Mr. Mandela approached his life that may positively impact our own lives. As noted in the above quote, education is paramount to bringing forth and fostering a free and peaceful society.
The BAMC is committed to, and participates in, educating young people and attorneys on numerous fronts. Through its “Creating an Improved Tomorrow” (“C-IT”) Program, BAMC attorneys are enhancing classroom curriculum, seeking student viewpoints through an essay contest, and generating a dialogue that encourages young people in our high schools to be a part of our society’s legal processes—rather than just being subject to them. In this regard, please visit http://www.montbar.org/
associations/12896/files/C-ITFlyer.pdf, and make a tax-deductible contribution in an amount with which you are comfortable, in order to help fund scholarships to award C-IT contest winners as part of this educational effort. Also, if you have not been able to get involved in this year’s activities, please contact me so that we can make you a part of C-IT in the future.
Also, the BAMC’s Leadership Development Academy, through its Co-Chairs Casey Florance and Tom DeGonia, recently hosted a forum to educate its Fellows. We thank Aindrea Conroy and Keith Rosa for moderating this leadership discussion, as well as Maryland Delegate Kathleen Dumais, Senator Nancy King, County Council President Craig Rice, County Executive Isaiah Leggett, Police Chief Thomas Manger, and Department of Corrections Director Arthur Wallenstein for their inspiring and thoughtful remarks as panel members.
In addition to the above, Nelson Mandela said: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” He further noted: “There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” I thought of Mr. Mandela’s quotes recently while addressing newly-minted attorneys being admitted to the Maryland Bar, who had just graduated from law school and passed the bar exam. By educating, serving as mentors to, and developing mutually-beneficial relationships with young attorneys, we create opportunities for ourselves in which we may: leverage their talents, allay some of our practice development fears, and optimize our own success. At the same time, we potentially reduce the fears young attorneys face from their student loan debt and uncertain career paths. Let’s continue to implement programs that bring together new and experienced practitioners, as well as attorneys in complementary practice areas, to share skills and perspectives in ways that present synergy and value to us all.
The BAMC, through its Sections, Committees, and CLE programs, provides members with a wealth of educational, professional, networking, leadership, and community outreach activities. Please share your ideas with us, and be a part of planning and participating in events that you find relevant and meaningful. By communicating, and educating ourselves and others, we can conquer our fears, achieve success, live to our highest potential, and change the world.