Bar Association of Montgomery County
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"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."
                                               - Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926 
     I should not be surprised that April has arrived; it always seems to come around this time of year.  Nonetheless, like the variation in the days of April itself, I feel mixed emotions as I write my final column of the bar year.  I am honored to have served you as BAMC’s President, and I feel the warmth and sunshine of relationships nurtured and goals accomplished as attorneys, human beings, and an association during the past 12 months. At the same time, I feel an April chill and a raindrop in my eye regarding a worthy endeavor that seems to have come to an end too soon. Thank you for the experience, and for your involvement and support.
     This space is far too small to enumerate all that BAMC attorneys have accomplished this year, but I will try to identify a few items.  The BAMC celebrates and fosters diversity and inclusion, and it has collaborated with specialty bars and sought greater participation across all demographics and practice areas. In this regard, BAMC attorneys have shared in events and activities, including: the Emancipation Proclamation/MLK Speech anniversary tour and dinner; Party Around the World; a tribute to the Chief Judge; and, the Pipeline Scholars Program. 
     The first Leadership Development Academy class will graduate at Law Day later this month, and its Fellows demonstrated great promise in completing training programs and implementing a middle school peer mediation/truancy project in an outstanding manner.  Speaking of communicating with young people in our community, attorneys in the Creating an Improved Tomorrow (“C-IT”) Program, along with members of the police and media, successfully initiated a collaborative effort to enhance high school curriculum and engage in a dialogue with students on legal issues.  BAMC’s community outreach also included sponsoring three Special Olympics events, as well as supporting other causes.  Further, the BAMC hosted a Legislative Breakfast, as part of increasing its legislative focus.  And Bar Revue was a smash hit.
     The BAMC’s Judicial Selections Committee was extraordinarily busy as part of the important process of choosing excellent jurists to provide access to justice and promote the rule of law in this County.  At the same time, BAMC attorneys and judges continue to be well-served by its District and Circuit Court Bench-Bar Committees. 
     BAMC plans to continue its fabulous educational, professional development, monthly luncheon, and networking events, and increase membership, benefits, and synergy between new practitioners and experienced attorneys.  This includes collaborating with law schools to develop relationships with students who may then join our legal community as new attorneys. 
     Thank you to Julie Petersen and her BAMC staff for their steady guidance, as well as to the Executive Committee members and all Section and Committee chairs for their good work.  I know that the BAMC will be in good hands with my successor, Mal Snyder, who brings an abundance of energy and drive to continuing to further our strategic plan and goals.        
     I am grateful for the opportunity to have served you as BAMC President, and I hope that the BAMC has helped you, your practice, the legal profession, or someone in the community along the way.  I’ll see you around the bend, at that sunlit arch, and may the wind be still or gently at our backs.  Peace.

Rich Melnick

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