Law Forum Symposium Honors State’s First Black Lawyers

In 1844 Macon B. Allen was the first Black lawyer was admitted to the state bar of Maine, and that same year he was unable to practice simply due to the color of his skin. Undaunted, Allen moved to Massachusetts to begin practicing, and eventually became the first Black American appointed to a judicial position. It would take four decades for Maryland to follow suit and admit a Black man, Everett J. Waring, to the state bar. 

UBalt Law’s February Law Forum symposium, “Blazing the Trail: Maryland’s First Black Lawyers and the Legacy They Built,” explored this history. The event brought together a panel of distinguished legal professionals to discuss Maryland’s early Black lawyers and the challenges they faced in gaining admission to the bar, as well as obstacles still in existence for Black lawyers seeking bar admission and judgeships. 

UBalt Law Prof. Jose Anderson and the Hon. Sidney Butcher, associate judge on the District Court of Anne Arundel County, moderated the discussions, to both honor the legacy and imagine the future for Black lawyers in Maryland. 

Panelists include author and Texas attorney John Browning; Maryland lawyer Domonique Flowers; the Hon. Lynn Stewart Mays, associate judge on the Circuit Court of Baltimore City; and UBalt Law alumna the Hon. Pamila Brown, J.D. ’79, administrative judge of the Howard County District Court.

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