Happy New Year!
As we look ahead to the promise of the New Year, it is with sadness that MCCA notes the recent loss of Clyde E. Bailey, Sr., a true leader in the profession who personally served as a mentor, inspiration, and role model for countless lawyers.
This first issue of the New Year strikes a special chord. The start of every New Year is traditionally a time to reflect upon the past and look ahead with promise to the future, and that was especially true for me this year.
In 2006, I celebrate 20 years as an attorney—having been first sworn in as a member of the Pennsylvania Bar upon my graduation from the University of Maryland law school in 1986. In so many ways things are very different, but in other ways, things have not changed all that much. The legal profession continues to struggle with getting the “people issues” right, and I’m hopeful that by the time the Class of 2006 celebrates its 20th anniversary, significant strides will have been made.
Back in 1986, my law school class did not suffer from a lack of women law students. In fact, women were well represented. Looking around our class and our law school, women were visible in many positions of influence and leadership. I even ran for Student Bar Association (SBA) president, and won. So as we newly minted, young, women lawyers started our legal careers, many of us expected that the sky would be the limit, and theoretically, it was. But after 20 years, we cannot help but notice that as one soars to higher levels of the legal profession and looks around, the number of women sharply declines.
In this issue of Diversity & the Bar®, MCCA® takes a look at women in the profession. We also identify our picks for the top cities for women lawyers. I was pleased that my former hometown, Philadelphia, made this list and it led me to wonder about the changes underway in Philly since 1986, when I started my legal career there. It seems “The City of Brotherly Love” has done a good job opening its professional heart to include more of its sisters in the law. Perhaps there are lessons other cities can learn.
In addition, this issue features the law students who were selected as the inaugural group of fellows and scholars under MCCA’s new Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship program. They are a phenomenal group of men and women who have already achieved so much at such a young age. MCCA is excited to contribute toward the advancement of their educational and professional development goals and to help cultivate the next generation of leaders.
As we look ahead to the promise of the New Year, it is with sadness that MCCA notes the recent loss of Clyde E. Bailey, Sr., a true leader in the profession who personally served as a mentor, inspiration, and role model for countless lawyers. May Clyde’s distinguished legacy of service to his profession and to his community serve as a catalyst that motivates all of us to set a New Year’s resolution to help new members of the profession who are struggling to build their own careers.
Veta T. Richardson
From the January/February 2006 issue of Diversity & The Bar®