The Maryland Chapter of the Federal Bar Association hosted a Summer Speaker Series for summer associates and interns. For the second year in a row, the speakers presented virtually but were able to answer questions for the attendees. Judges Richard D. Bennett and Ellen L. Hollander led off the Speaker Series on June 15 with a discussion of the role of judges and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The following week, on June 23, Federal Public Defender James Wyda and Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Lenzner discussed criminal justice issues and the role played by prosecutors and defense attorneys. Assistant United States Attorney Sean Delaney moderated the discussion.
For the first time, the Speaker Series included a panel of attorneys practicing at local non-profit organizations. The June 30 panel included former Maryland Chapter members of the Board of Directors Anthony Ashton, who is director of affirmative litigation at the NAACP, Sally Dworak-Fisher, lead attorney for the Workplace Justice Project and the Public Justice Center, and incoming Board Member Sonia Kumar, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Maryland. Outgoing Board President Katherine Tang Newberger moderated the panel, which discussed the realities of working for non-profit organizations and engaging in impact litigation. Local attorney and author Paul Mark Sandler moderated a discussion on July 9 between U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Nancy V. Alquist and U.S. Magistrate Judge Gina L. Simms. The two jurists talked about their roles on the Court and gave advice for law students and young lawyers, most notably on the importance of finding mentors.
The final panel, on July 16, featured five law clerks who collectively have clerked for judges on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, U.S. District Court judges (in Maryland and elsewhere), for U.S. magistrate judges and for judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Lisa Bergstrom, Catherine Gamper, Charlie Seidell, Jeffery Stein, and Jessica Zhang answered questions about clerking, the differences among clerkships and applying for clerkships. Attendance reached more than 50 people for some of the panels. The Maryland Chapter of the FBA would like to thank Baker Donelson, and specifically Diane Schmitt, Terri Schappell, Debra Gregory, Laura Wagner, Phil Doster and Ryan Wahl, who donated their virtual platform and technical support to make the virtual speaker series run smoothly.