Paul V. Carlin, who has been the Executive Director of the Maryland State Bar Association for 28 years, has now worked with 5 bar associations for the last 38 years. After getting his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law, Paul began his career with the Attorney General of Pennsylvania. In the era of Vietnam conflict, Paul served in the US Army Reserves for 6 years, the last 3 of which he was based in Munich, West Germany. Upon his return, he was motivated to be involved with the delivery of legal services to those who were unable to find or pay for the services due to their financial means. Rich Weiner and then Philadelphia Bar Executive Director, Phil Goldsmith recognized that commitment and were kindred spirits to develop new mechanisms to provide those services. Paul was hired to be the Bar Association’s Director of Legal Services. Although the primary focus of the position was to renovate and administer the Lawyer Reference Service, at Paul’s request, the LRS Committee allowed him in 1975 to ask the 1,000 panel lawyers if they would volunteer to provide pro bono services. After some initial resistance at a time when pro bono was not widely embraced or organized, the request was made and 500 of the 1,000 lawyers agreed. Later, by 1980, the American Bar Association began to strongly advocate for the pro bono programs to be supported by bar associations nationwide.
Paul spearheaded efforts to apply for the innovative Judicare grant program of the federal Legal Services Corporation. $175,000 was granted then to start the Senior Citizen Judicare Project (now Senior Law Center). No one then would have imagined the success and growth of SLC due to the leadership and commitment of all those involved over the years, many who are being honored here at this 35th Anniversary.
Paul also authored another grant proposal which received $60,000 from the ABA to create the 59th Street Legal Clinic in West Philadelphia. This Clinic devised many novel methods to provide basic legal services to the middle class at very reasonable prices. After his success in Philadelphia, Paul moved to Washington, DC to be the Director of Public Service Activities of the DC Bar. The prime concern of this office was the counseling of those needing legal services and pro bono referrals. Paul was able to continue his legal service efforts with the Baltimore City Bar Association and the Maryland State Bar Association. He currently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Pro Bono Resource Center, which he helped to create in 1990.
Paul was the President of the National Association of Bar Executives and received its highest professional award, the Bolton Award for Professional Excellence, in 1996. Paul has served on numerous committees of the ABA. He was honored by the Maryland Bar Foundation with its Legal Excellence Award for Professional Competence, the Daily Record’s Leaders in the Law Award in 2007 and its Most Admired CEO Award in 2012.
Paul is a native of McKeesport, PA and is admitted to the Pennsylvania and District of Columbia Bars as well as the US Supreme Court. Paul resides in Baltimore with his wife, Hildegard, and is the father of 2 lovely daughters.
We are honored to formally express our tremendous gratitude to Paul, with his induction as a member of the inaugural class of the SeniorLAW Center Hall of Fame.
Donate in honor of Paul V. Carlin