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A supplement to

Facilities Manager

3 · Gregory Huff

Firm Administrator

6 · Vicki Cavey

Sponsors

17 · Raymond Dearchs

Legal Accounting Professional Legal Marketer

19 · Jennifer Boehm

Firm IT Professional

11 · Kathleen Schlehr

Legal Secretary

20 · Kelly Hammen

Law Librarian

14 · Trevor Rosen

Sponsors

18 · Tracy Canady 18 · Rebecca Parker 21 21 22 22 23

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24 · Dalene Radcliffe

Facilities Manager

4 · Lillian Karl

Legal Accounting Professional Legal Secretary

· Sharon Curley · Cynthia Czarnecki · Diana Ford · Janice Hughlett · Iris Wyvill

Firm Administrator

7 · Harriet Bessel 8 · Joseph Crossney 9 · Frances Grondalski 9 · Eric Hightower 10 · Jan Mahar

Firm IT Professional

12 · Eli Simon

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25 25 26 26 · Alicia Bowers · Laura Corcoran · Cloie Dufour · Jill Smith

Law Librarian

15 · Tonya Baroudi 15 · Bernice Bernstein 16 · Ronelle "Ronney" Manger

2 · Judging Process 27 · Sponsor Profiles

Christopher A. Eddings ..........................................Publisher Suzanne E. Fischer-Huettner ..................................Associate Publisher, Vice President Rebecca Snyder ......................................................General Manager, Vice President Tom Linthicum ........................................................Executive Editor, Vice President Emily Arnold ............................................................Special Publications Editor Francis Smith ..........................................................Assistant Editor Joseph Patrick Bulko, Alan Dessoff, Karen Nitkin ..........Contributing Writers Doug Puller ............................................................Art Director Erin V. Alexander ....................................................Senior Graphic Designer Eric Stocklin ............................................................Photo Editor Maximilian Franz ....................................................Staff Photographer Rich Dennison ........................................................Photo Technician Erin Young ..............................................................Advertising Director Gail Clough ............................................................Director of Business Development Greg Pohlman, Alexi Marchesi ..................................Account Managers Emily Koziol ................................................................Advertising and Events Coordinator

Unsung Legal Heroes is published as a supplement to The Daily Record.

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The Daily Record's 2008 Unsung Legal Heroes ·

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The Daily Record created the Unsung Legal Heroes awards program to recognize the professionals who, behind the scenes, make law firms go -- and go well. There are eight categories: facilities manager, firm administrator, firm IT professional, law librarian, legal accounting professional, legal marketer, legal secretary and paralegal. Applicants were judged on three criteria: career accomplishments, impact on the firm and community involvement. Four judges scored each of the applicants to determine the winners. The judges came together at The Daily Record in Baltimore on May 6 to select the top winner in each category.

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Paul V. Carlin

Executive Director Maryland State Bar Association

Christina Doran

Assistant Legal Editor The Daily Record

Abby Rosenbloom

Senior Business Development Director Special Counsel

Joanna L. Trela

Director of Administration Neuberger, Quinn, Gielen, Rubin & Gibber P.A.

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Gregory Huff,

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Saul Ewing LLP

Greg Huff began his career 20 years ago at the law firm of Weinberg & Green, now Saul Ewing, as an office services employee who showed initiative and willingness to always get the job done. After six years, he was promoted to manager of office services, the position he holds today at the firm's Baltimore office. Supervising a staff of up to five at any given time, Huff provides vital infrastructure support services including catering for office events and dealing with housekeepers and supply vendors. "Greg is instrumental in keeping the mailroom, copy center, catering and general office appearance in tip-top shape," says Office Manager Ruth Fry. "He is very firm-minded, in that he is always looking for better and more efficient ways to save the firm money and time. He works closely with his staff to maintain a high level of service." Fry adds that Huff has "exceptional" people skills and vendor negotiation skills and is "a role model for his staff." He "consistently performs the tasks at hand each day and will always go above and beyond the call of duty," Fry says. "I think I have made a significant impact as it relates to establishing a service-driven department geared to getting the job done by any means necessary," Huff says. "I feel that my department does a great job at batting cleanup for our fantastic attorneys at their most pressing times of need."

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Being able to deliver at the time of need in the heat of the moment brings great satisfaction to me.

He also is proud of "earning the trust" of the firm's attorneys and staff over his two decades of service at Saul Ewing. "I have been involved in many high-profile, stay-the-weekend, night-type cases, and in some strange way I enjoy being under the gun to produce for our firm," Huff says. "Being able to deliver at the time of need in the heat of the moment brings great satisfaction to me." He cites his role in assisting Fry and others in moving the firm's offices in 2005 from 100 South Charles Street to its current location at Lockwood Place. Now, "being in the premier office space in Baltimore, I gain great satisfaction in the comments and compliments that we always get about our space from visitors and clients," Huff says. Fry points out that in addition to what he does for Saul Ewing, Huff gives back to the community. He has coached basketball for more than 10 years in various local recreation programs and in 2006 he co-founded a nonprofit organization, The Future Inc., which seeks to enhance the lives and futures of boys and girls from ages 9 to 16, using basketball as a way to do it. Huff says The Future Inc. wants to increase the children's selfesteem, build self-confidence, and emphasize and reinforce good morals, values and beliefs by providing "positive and consistent role models, stressing goal achievement and hard work." The most critical objective, he says, is "to have these kids believe in something positive, themselves, one another, structure, and most importantly, their future."

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The Daily Record's 2008 Unsung Legal Heroes ·

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Lillian Karl, Niles, Barton & Wilmer LLP

Lillian Karl worked for 23 years as an accountant for a company in the lubricants industry before deciding she wanted to try something different. After temping for two years for several law firms, a position came up as assistant to the administrator at Niles, Barton & Wilmer, and she took it. "It was totally different from anything I had ever done, but I wanted to try it and I loved it," she says. Now, four-anda-half years later, she is office manager at the firm with 35 attorneys and 28 staff employees. She was promoted to the position "because of her impressive, hands-on work ethic," says Tina Lewandowski, the firm's marketing director. "She is everyone's `go-to' person for all questions, from copier issues to health benefits to electronic billing. She is the glue that holds this firm together." Among her many responsibilities, Karl manages the support staff of legal secretaries, paralegals, a mail clerk, IT technicians and accounting personnel. Handling electronic billing is "a full-time job in itself," says Lewandowski, but Karl does it. She also is the firm's human resources contact and assists with marketing and event planning. "I just make sure everything is running properly for everyone to be able to do their jobs -- that their offices are set up comfortably and they have all the tools they need," Karl says.

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She thinks her most significant achievement was supervising renovation of the office two years ago with the least disruption to the daily functioning of the firm. "It was a huge undertaking, but I totally enjoyed doing it," she says. Karl "always helps people with a positive attitude, no matter how ridiculous the request may sometimes seem. Many people wear several hats, but Lillian tops that by wearing a hat in practically every category," says Lewandowski. "We don't know what we would do without her."

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Vicki Cavey,

Fishbein & Fishbein P.A.

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Office Administrator Vicki Cavey of Fishbein & Fishbein reached the 30-year mark with the law firm in March, a testament to her dedication that often includes putting in extra hours on weekends or evenings to make sure her work is current. Typically, her 10-hour days start at 7 a.m. "I couldn't do my job well if I didn't put in the hours," she said. "This is where the buck stops. I am responsible for all human resources for the firm: billing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, training, vendors, maintenance for the building, and management and supervision of all employees." During that three-decade span, Fishbein has grown from one attorney and one employee to three lawyers and nine support staff. Cavey's work ethic is a key reason for the growth, which started in the pre-personal computer era and required her to master the skills needed to run a modern Information Age office. She is credited with placing the firm on the cutting edge of legal technology, and her ongoing involvement with the Maryland Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) has provided excellent networking opportunities for the firm. She assists with every Fishbein project, ensuring that each is handled timely and professionally. Noted for her sense of humor, Cavey serves as a role model to her colleagues. Her work ethic sets the standard for professionalism and competence. Her daily routine is never

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Every day is different. I'm constantly learning new things, and I'm TOP WINNER llenged to learn and do more. cha

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routine. "It changes on a day-to-day basis," said Cavey. "Every day is different. I'm constantly learning new things, and I'm challenged to learn and do more. I have successfully managed the firm through a water leak, which damaged the office, and two fires." Because Fishbein is such a small firm, Cavey goes outside her official job description to help the attorneys with dictation, interrogatories and handling client calls when the attorneys are not available. She also helps with "instructing new attorneys about filings or other procedures." Other attorneys frequently call her as well for advice on particular issues or procedures. Staff members also confide in her about issues in their personal lives. Clients frequently call her with questions about their cases, which she handles with sensitivity and professionalism, allowing the attorneys to concentrate on the substantive issues of the cases they are handling. "I feel that my significant impact is in my association with our clients," she said. "Our clients are my first concern. I do my best to assure them that I am listening and that I will be able to help them with their concerns, or I will refer them to someone who can help them." Her community involvement has included the Girl Scouts of America, the Women's Inner Wheel of the Ellicott City Rotary, serving as an officer of the Glenelg High School Parent, Teacher and Student Association, and serving as a mentor for students through the Howard County Board of Education.

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Harriet Bessel,

Murthy Law Firm

Law Firm Administrator Harriet Bessel, of the Murthy Law Firm, faced a daunting challenge shortly after her arrival at the firm in 2007. Because of a change in government regulation, MLF was required to prepare and file 4,500 applications on behalf of their clientele in just over one month. Despite an atmosphere of panic, Bessel calmly took responsibility of the Herculean task and organized the firm's efforts to complete the project ahead of schedule. Facilitating everything from leasing extra copiers to hiring and training over 20 temporary employees, she guided the firm through this major achievement. Additionally, under Bessel's direction, the administrative department for the first time is maintaining its role as a key player in MLF's daily operations. "This [reorganization] has allowed for the examination of our processes and procedures, as well as the equally important development and definition of roles and tasks for all positions in the department," she said. "A spirit of cohesiveness and excitement has grown, which enables these staff to provide the best structure and support for the legal work done at the firm." Among her accomplishments is the arrangement of new workspace to suit the firm's expanding staff. "As a member of the executive team, I share responsibility for strategic planning, practice management and marketing," she said. Beyond Murthy, Bessel is an adjunct faculty member of the Community College of Baltimore County, where she teaches speech and mass communication. "I specifically enjoy the ability to assist students in stepping out more successfully into the world of work or in their own personal growth and satisfaction," she said.

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The Daily Record's 2008 Unsung Legal Heroes ·

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Joseph Crossney,

Offit|Kurman

As chief administrative officer of Offit Kurman since his arrival at the law firm in 2005, Joseph Crossney's job description lists responsibility for facilities, information technology and vendor management as his official areas of concern, but he also provides leadership and experience to firm marketing activities, employee benefits, A/R management and recruiting. "I also assist with all firm insurance -- health, dental, life, malpractice, liability and workers compensation," he said of his duties covering three offices and 75 employees. Crossney is noted for his willingness to take on any task -- no matter how large or small. "I assist with most marketing functions, including firm networking events, ads, catering coordination, etc.," he said. "I have helped the firm grow and get their name more recognized." Under his supervision, the firm doubled in size during the past two years. He added that he is responsible for handling all new employee orientation, which has been a busy aspect of his job during the growth spurt. Another important marketing initiative involves his leadership of "the Maple Lawn business group, which consists of representatives from all businesses in Maple Lawn," Crossney said. "This helps get our firm name out. I also help with Howard County Chamber and Baltimore/Washington Corridor Chamber events." Crossney brings to the firm 30 years experience as a former director with Verizon/Bell Atlantic. He considers his most significant professional accomplishment "helping the law firm grow and assisting the attorneys and administrative staff gain business, not legal, knowledge."

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Frances "Fran" Grondalski, Legal Aid Bureau Inc.

Fran Grondalski, office administrator of the Metropolitan Maryland Office of the Legal Aid Bureau, is noted for her selfless dedication, tremendous work ethic and kind but firm leadership. She is responsible for managing the daily administration of, and support for, the bureau's second-largest office, with 50 personnel. The Legal Aid Bureau is a nonprofit civil legal services law firm serving low-income people needing legal assistance. Grondalski's office serves Prince George's, Howard and Montgomery counties. "I like helping people, especially the disadvantaged in lower incomes," she said. "It's just a good feeling to help people. Lawyers in general tend to help people. I admire attorneys. They're there to be of service to people. I feel good about being a part of the legal system." Grondalski, the first to arrive at the office each day, handles a variety of tasks that include ensuring the office is well supplied, balancing the office litigation account books, comforting a distraught person who has walked in for legal assistance, and ensuring that the phones are answered professionally and courteously. "I like the work -- dealing with the courts," she said. "It's

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challenging. There's a lot of reporting that has to be done," which requires checking records for the number of cases, the time spent on cases and more. Recently, Grondalski joined Legal Aid's Strategic Planning Committee, which will chart the course for the bureau's operations for the next five to 10 years. "I plan on staying here for a long, long time," she said.

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Eric Hightower,

Ingerman & Horwitz LLP

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Firm Administrator Eric Hightower, of Ingerman & Horwitz, does everything from renegotiating contracts to improving the morale of employees. His formal job duties include management of finance, accounting, human resources, marketing, facilities and operations. "My organizational abilities and negotiation skills have contributed to the increase of our bottom line," he said. "My understanding and ability to listen has improved employee morale and improved performance." In addition to ensuring

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the proper operation of the business, he said, "You have to make sure that the firm is functioning within the bar association rules of conduct." Of his professional accomplishments, he cites as significant the opening of two new offices, moving and revamping a 401(k) program, and updating and installing a voice-overInternet phone system that ties together five offices. "Each accomplishment was a challenging endeavor and a valuable learning experience," he said. Additionally, he is the vice president-elect for the Maryland Association of Legal Administrators, after having served as secretary last year. In May, he traveled to Seattle for the ALA conference, where he took -- and passed -- the exam to become the first Certified Legal Manager in Baltimore. The exam covers all aspects of law firm management. In preparation, he studied two hours per day for three months. "It certifies that you are competent to manage a mid to large law firm," Hightower said. "You're the top in your field." An example of his community involvement is the ALA Community Challenge Program, through which he "implemented and helped with the school supply drive and installation of an education garden for Federal Hill Preparatory School for the last two years."

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The Daily Record's 2008 Unsung Legal Heroes ·

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Jan Mahar,

Brown, Goldstein & Levy LLP

Jan Mahar, firm administrator for Brown, Goldstein & Levy, is considered the glue that holds the law firm together and makes its accomplishments possible. She operates a steady ship while tending to the myriad of necessary, though not publicly rewarded, detailed tasks that include dealing with suppliers, supervising payroll and overseeing staff, among others. "I wear all the hats in the office," she said. "I'm here to see that the office runs smoothly and efficiently. The attorneys are here to practice law." With the firm since 2002, and in charge of an 11member staff, she began her career as a legal secretary and moved up from there. "I had no desire for this position," Mahar said. "It just sort of fell in my lap." She has been a member of the ALA since 2000, and has served on both the Vendors Event and Partners Event committees. She said a firm administrator needs "a lot of knowledge -- not expertise -- because there's no time." Managing the diverse personalities in the office requires a skill set that Mahar possesses. "I'm the expensive babysitter," she said. "You have to be a kind of guidance counselor. I oversee the entire staff -- making sure the jobs get done and hopefully keeping everyone smiling." Mahar interacts with the attorneys on a daily basis. "This is a team effort," she said. Sometimes the issue might be a staff problem, or sometimes a client is late with a payment, so Mahar plays the role of collections. "I wear that hat," she said. The firm also has a summer project. "We're trying to go green," Mahar said. "What does that mean? We're trying to figure out how to do that."

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DLA Piper's Kathleen Schlehr has been with the law firm for over 20 years. She is the IT services manager for the Mount Washington (Baltimore), Easton and Annapolis offices. "My responsibilities include local office IT support for this region and overall operational management of the Centralized IT Help Desk for all 27 DLA Piper North American offices," she said. "My team and I work for all the attorneys in the North American offices of the firm -- over 1,500 -- and their support staff, responding to their daily IT support needs." Support includes standard computer issues, plus the office's audio-visual needs, BlackBerry/cell phone support, remote access connections, support manuals and training, and other needs that arise in the fast-changing IT climate. Schlehr also manages the Regional IT Support Team, which consists of four team members. "My local IT support team is fantastic," she said. "Throughout the day, every day, our team provides quick and efficient service to our regional offices. They understand the importance of addressing problems and resolving calls quickly so our lawyers can continue to provide their best service to our clients. No job is too big or too small." Because the attorneys work all hours of the day and travel frequently for their clients, Schlehr's team must be ready. "My job is to ensure that we consistently provide world-class professional service on the Help Desk," she said. "This includes the integration of processes and methodologies to produce maximum service results." She has worked on many IT projects over the years: system upgrades, rollout of new technology, opening of new offices, mergers, etc. "While all of these major projects have an end date," said Schlehr, "our lawyers consistently rely on technology -- and IT support -- for their practice every day. For me, providing the 24-Hour Help Desk service on a daily basis is most interesting, challenging and rewarding. I believe that the success of my team and our efforts to continually improve the Help Desk service has had the greatest impact on the firm." This July will be her 23rd anniversary with the firm. "I started with the firm in the IT training area," she said. "I was hired to implement an official IT training program. At that time, the firm had only two offices: seven floors in Baltimore and one-and-a-half floors in Washington, D.C. Back then we converted from WANG to Microsoft, and I was responsible for training the partners, associates and staff on how to use a computer. They were all wonderful -- even when I was challenged to teach them the difficult task of how to use the mouse. Playing an integral part of training our staff and attorneys of the latest technology was a daunting but very rewarding accomplishment." Schlehr is a founding member of the Maryland Chapter of the Help Desk Institute, serving as national coordinator/secretary from 1995 to 1997. She uses her passion for running to help the community, participating in numerous races for charity. Among them are the Baltimore Woman's Classic for Cancer and Be True To Our Schools for Harford County Public Schools.

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The Daily Record's 2008 Unsung Legal Heroes ·

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Eli Simon, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP

A member of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston's 10-person IT Service Center, Systems Engineer Eli Simon is a key part of the firm's information technology team. He is a veritable goto guy for the attorneys and staff when computer issues arise, and can be called upon for support and advice on dozens of specialized litigation support and other legal-focus applications. He continues to broaden his knowledge base outside the realm of traditional IT and into the special needs and requirements of a wide range of practice groups. "At WTP, I have significantly expanded my technical skill set," he said. "Commensurate increases in responsibility allowed the best use of those skills both for my benefit and the benefit of the firm." Colleagues view him as the embodiment of customer service, believing in its fundamental importance. Simon consistently goes beyond the scope of his position to pitch in where needed and to set a positive example for his team members. "During the formative years of our current department, I was able to provide high-quality customer service to end users and to help put a positive face on the IT department," he said. "Thanks to excellent leadership in our department and support

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from the firm, I've had the opportunity to witness and participate in a quantum leap in the level of technology and the quality of the support for that technology at the firm." Considered to be the consummate team player, Simon brings a positive attitude and constructive approach to dealing with the stress and challenges that go along with being in IT.

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Trevor Rosen,TOP apiro Sher Guinot & Sandler Sh WINNER

Trevor Rosen has made significant changes to the law library since joining the firm of Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler as its first professional librarian in May 2004. "They'd never had a professional person dealing with this department," said Rosen. "I was sort of the first person who has a background in the field and was taking on this position." In particular, Rosen, 31, increased the status of the library within the firm and improved the services it provided. One of his first acts was to change the name of the library, calling it the research center in order to reflect a more modern vision of what it could do. "The old model of what a librarian should be was as a custodian of physical print volumes," he said. "The newer definition of a librarian is somebody who facilitates research." Almost immediately, he began cancelling subscriptions and moving more and more material online. "If it was available online, you weren't necessarily gaining anything by having the print version," he said. "There wasn't any need to maintain that." He also reorganized the print materials so they were easier to find and more intuitive to use. "We put the collection into overall categories by practice area, which I thought would work a lot better for this firm," he said. Rosen, who now lives in Baltimore, grew up between South Africa and Indianapolis. His family moved to Baltimore when he was a student at McGill University in Montreal, and his mother, Gwen Rosen, is a librarian currently with Johns Hopkins Hospital. "In terms of getting me interested in the profession, I definitely got that from my mom," he said. Rosen received his master's degree in library science from the University of Maryland College Park in 2004. About halfway through the program, he decided to focus on business law. "It was just sort of an evolving interest," Rosen said. Upon graduation, he began working at Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler. A major part of his job, he said, is "to get the word out" about the research center. To that end, he started a monthly newsletter called The Monthly Deal. The idea was to bring attention to the resources available to attorneys and also increase communication between the firm's four practice areas, he said. "We wanted something to combine the different practice areas and get people to talk more," Rosen said. He also writes a blog, called Maryland Law, which gets about 1,000 visitors a month, he said. And he has helped three attorneys in the firm start their own blogs, he said. These began because Rosen would send lawyers articles and materials about cases they were handling. "At a certain point, it became easy to establish a blog to handle the information," he said.

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Tonya Baroudi,

Circuit Court for Prince George's County

Tonya E. Baroudi, head law librarian in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County, said she switched from the private sector to the public because she enjoys helping the ordinary citizens who come in, particularly the ones who plan to represent themselves in court. Before taking the circuit court job in 2006, she worked in a large Washington, D.C. law firm with about 70 attorneys. "I wanted something a little different," she said. "I didn't feel as though I was truly helping, whereas here you see your end results. It's more human." Baroudi said she often finds herself on a first-name basis with people searching for information. "Then they tell you the result, good or bad. And if it's bad, you help them with the next step," she said. Baroudi grew up in Howard County and now lives in Anne Arundel County. She earned a master's in library science from Catholic University of America in Washington. During her circuit court tenure, she has overseen an expansion of the online resources and research applications available at the library, and with a grant from the Maryland State Law Library she increased the number of computers from two to five. Baroudi always thinks of the people who use the library when deciding what to purchase. She is acutely aware that

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people must feel comfortable with the materials in order to use them. "Some people still like paper, some people still like books," she said. "I can appreciate that. I'm a book lover myself." She added: "I'm not going to select something that's not user friendly. Otherwise, you're buying things and you don't see them being used."

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Bernice G. Bernstein has been a librarian with the Maryland State Law Library since June 29, 1966. "People will think, how can somebody stay 41 years in the same spot and not get bored," she said. "But believe me, I never get bored."

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Bernstein has seen quite a bit of change in those four-plus decades. "We've gone from everything in print, everything done manually" to a more electronic system, she said. Before joining the state law library, she had been a librarian with an insurance company and then at Martin Marietta. When she started at the library, there were four employees, plus the director, and everybody "wore many hats," she said. "I would do cataloguing, I would do ordering, I would do bill-paying." Now, the state law library has a director, 10 full-time staffers and five contract workers, she said. Over time, the tasks have become more specialized. Bernstein has been acquisitions librarian since 1981. In that job, "all incoming publications come through me," she said, with the exception of state and federal documents. She verifies that it was ordered or that it is something the library wants and then adds it to the system and creates the required records. She also is responsible for the payment of all purchases and oversees the gift and exchange program. "When I came here, I had no intention of staying for an extended period of time," she said. "It was just a job. ... I must admit that time has gone by really fast."

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Ronelle "Ronney" Manger, DLA Piper

Ronelle "Ronney" Manger, head librarian for DLA Piper, devotedly provides professional and caring service to clients, the DLA Piper lawyers and staff, and the Baltimore community. In her 11 years with the law firm, she has always been eager to go the extra mile to provide information whenever it is needed. Under her guidance, the library is well run and she is always searching for ways to improve access to research and information. "Our team's goal is to exceed expectations," she said. "We strive to provide customer service that reaches the `wow' level. We love the literal `wow' when it comes back to us." She keeps herself at the forefront of library-related research tools and technologies, and ensures that the firm's staff and lawyers know about these advances, too. Manger is the leader of DLA Piper's association with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and its Corporate Internship Program, which helps to make the private college prep school affordable to urban youth from Baltimore. She serves as a mentor to the four Cristo Rey interns the firm is hosting this year, integrating the students into the daily activities of the law firm. "I would like to say my impact on the firm has been my

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department's involvement in pro bono and community-related initiatives," Manger said. "The [Cristo Rey] interns are high school freshmen and earn their tuition by working in the corporate world. They receive a private school-level education and, probably as valuable, through their internships they learn skills that will carry them into careers."

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tance of backing his team. He treats those around him with enormous respect and courtesy and without coddling, and his staff knows he will support them 100 percent." Dearchs considers his most significant professional accomplishment in his present position to be his supervisory and mentoring work with his team and helping them grow as professionals. "They are the very best. Even with the incredible growth we have experienced," including a doubling of revenue over three years that ended last year, "quality has not suffered," says Dearchs. "We continue to have an incredibly accurate budget and reporting process, deliver reliable tax information to our 690 partners by mid-March, and manage our billing and collections as well as any firm in the country. Not missing a step, under these incredible growth conditions, speaks for itself. My team has sacrificed a lot during this period and I am proud to be their leader," he says. Given his six- or seven-day work schedule over the past several years, Dearchs says his community involvement has been focused on events at his children's schools and offering financial support to local charities that "make a real difference in the community," like the Franciscan Center. Meanwhile, he continues to make a difference on DLA Piper's team as well. "One of the most remarkable things about Ray is that, while he is the consummate brilliant financial administrator and manager, his demeanor is that of a regular, likable guy who is just trying to do his job right," says Tiburzi. "The firm could not be as successful as it is today without his relentless efforts and oversight over the many years he has been part of our team."

Raymond Dearchs, DLA Piper

As DLA Piper entered into several major mergers in recent years to become the largest law firm in the world, with more than 3,700 attorneys and 8,000 employees in 64 offices in 25 countries, it counted on its chief financial officer, Raymond Dearchs, to play a significant role -- and Dearchs has not let the firm down. "Ray has ably dealt with the ramifications of this rapid growth -- the merging of several sizable partnerships and accounting systems into a single, unified business entity -- with his characteristic competence, determination and honesty," says Paul Tiburzi, managing partner in the Baltimore office. As the head of a department of 132 employees, Dearchs is responsible for all the accounting and financial reporting functions in the firm, and manages the financial processes and accounting staff in its 27 U.S. offices. He and his team respond to the daily accounting and financial support needs of the more than 1,500 attorneys and their support staff in those offices. In addition to seven direct reports in the U.S., he collaborates with the finance department in the United Kingdom on many international initiatives. He also sits on the firm's U.S. Finance Committee and Global Finance and Audit Committee. "He understands how to competently manage the intricate demands of large entities involved in complex financial situations," says Tiburzi. "He understands the importance of using technology to enable his staff to get the job done faster at lower cost. He understands that there is no substitute for honest, candid communication. He also understands the impor-

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Tracy Canady, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP WINNER

Tracy Canady says that before she took the job as accounts receivable specialist at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, the firm's attorneys were mostly unwilling to let a staff employee get involved with their clients. She changed how they thought about that. Her most significant professional accomplishment, she says, was "gaining the confidence of the attorneys so that they would allow me to work directly with their clients." Now, says Kristin Valentine, the firm's communications manager, "Clients love her. Attorneys love her." "This is amazing," Valentine says, given that Canady's job is to work with both to collect money due. The attorneys are happy, Canady says, because she relieves them of the burden of doing that. In turn, the attorneys receive "very good feedback" from clients about her work. When necessary, Canady sets up payment plans and monitors the payments to ensure that clients are adhering to the plans. She works monthly with the firm's controller to present a "billings and collections" update to the Management Committee, which has "the utmost respect and highest regard for Tracy, both professionally and personally," says Nick Politakis, the firm's executive director. For some, says Valentine, the challenge of working with 310 professionals, including 156 attorneys, would be overwhelm-

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ing. But Canady, she says, is "an organized, detail-focused professional who handles everything in stride," no matter how many accounts she is handling or how difficult the situations she might face at any given time. "Tracy communicates with a kind nature and sensitivity that wins the respect of everyone she comes into contact with," Valentine says. Canady has been at the firm for seven years, most of the time in her current position. "I take my job very personally and take great pride when the money comes in," she says.

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Rebecca Parker, Maryland Legal Services Corporation

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banking and other issues. Between phone calls, she merges all online filing forms into IOLTA's database and manually inputs data from mailed forms into lawyers' records, as well as performing many other administrative functions while supervising one part-time employee. In her conversations with attorneys, Parker is "always pleasant, patient and extremely helpful in addressing their questions and concerns. She often spends additional time answering questions that are not strictly IOLTA inquiries but certainly within her field of knowledge," says Susan Erlichman, MLSC's executive director. "She always goes above and beyond to be helpful, as opposed to referring attorneys to related agencies to answer questions that she is capable of addressing. She brings her desire to be as helpful as possible to all areas of her work," Erlichman says. Parker worked for 17 years for General Electric Company in New Jersey, then spent 18 years out of the job market as a homemaker and mother actively involved in local schools and the community in New Jersey. She says she gained her financial training "on the job" and in business and computer applications courses. Parker, who has battled breast cancer twice over the past four years, says she feels "honored to have the opportunity to work for an organization that does so much for the community and the poor." She notes that the income generated by IOLTA currently helps about 100,000 Marylanders.

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When Maryland lawyers have concerns or questions about their compliance with the state's Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program and its mandatory annual reporting submission, chances are they call Rebecca Parker. As IOLTA administrator at the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC), she speaks with hundreds of attorneys each year. Hired in 2004 to enter compliance data into attorneys' files, she was promoted six months later to her current position. Now she is the direct point of contact for attorneys on compliance reporting,

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Jennifer Boehm,

Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP

"The lawyers see the difference," she said. "They were really surprised that, that was something they could have help with." Three years ago, Boehm created an annual two-day conference in Washington in response to requests from housing authority clients who wanted to meet with others in the field. The event, held each November, seems to grow each year, she said. Last year, about 200 people attended, up from 150 the year before, Boehm said. She is in charge of everything from sending out the invitations, to working with the lawyers to coordinate the panel presenters and keynote speakers, to making the hotel arrangements. Boehm also organizes a discussion series in the Baltimore office called Breakfast with Ballard Spahr, with speakers including Gov. Martin O'Malley (who was mayor at the time) and Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Boehm, who grew up in Parkton, said she's "always been interested in marketing and advertising." Working in a law firm wasn't necessarily part of the plan, but now that she is at Ballard Spahr, she plans to stay. "I like working with the people in the law firm and having the lawyers or accountants as my clients as opposed to the product-oriented world of an advertising agency," she said. "The advertising world is a lot crazier," she said. Being part of a law firm "is not that way, even though I still have crazy days."

Jennifer Dongarra Boehm has shaken things up at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, adding a bit of marketing magic to the firm's housing group. "It was definitely exciting to help them out; to look at their lawyerly way of formatting a document and take it and make it look nice," said Boehm, regional marketing manager for the firm. But Boehm has done much more than make the documents look nice. She has raised the profile of Ballard Spahr both locally and nationally, in part by organizing conferences and meetings that bring the nation's affordable housing experts together. Boehm comes from a marketing background. She graduated from Towson University with a degree in advertising and public relations, and worked in the marketing departments of accounting, law and technology firms. She joined Ballard Spahr in 2005. She works specifically with the 40 lawyers in the Baltimore office and 70 or so in the housing group, which includes among its clients developers of affordable housing and more than 40 housing authorities across the nation, Boehm said. "They had never had a marketing person in the Baltimore office," she said. Boehm quickly saw that she could improve the documents sent out by the office by changing fonts, adding bullets and charts, and even, in many cases, simplifying the language.

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Kelly Hammen, TOP WINNER

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Saul Ewing LLP

sometimes more, depend on and trust me to keep them organized, make sure they have what they need for that particular day and/or meeting, and make sure that everything is done in an efficient manner and arrives on time. "Being challenged on a daily basis is also very satisfying for me, and in this line of work you just never know what you will face each morning. My job is different every day and some days it is much more challenging than others," she says. Hammen calls herself the "go-to person" when newly hired or promoted employees have questions or problems. "I feel like I am an excellent role model and team player and hopefully have impacted others within the firm to follow in my footsteps," she says. She also has played a key role in the firm's participation in the Maryland Mentoring Partnership by "adopting" a local high school student and serving as her mentor for two years. Manuelides points out that when a longtime friend and employee of the firm died, "Kelly quietly stepped in to lend support to the family and to organize fundraising activities to assist in the children's future education." She even has a part-time job with the Sisters of Mercy. She has been cleaning their offices on weekends for 12 years. That is just an example, says Manuelides, of the "outstanding and consistent professionalism" that Hammen demonstrates in everything she does at Saul Ewing and beyond.

As practice assistant for three busy partners at Saul Ewing, Kelly Hammen is always busy herself, performing secretarial duties, scheduling travel, typing pleadings, letters, court forms and memoranda from dictation, corresponding directly with clients, maintaining and organizing case files, and scheduling appointments and meetings. And if that isn't enough, she assists with overflow from other departments within the firm. "Kelly is the engine that keeps my practice plus the practices of two other high-volume attorneys running on time," says Kimberly A. Manuelides, special counsel at the firm. "She does not allow the ball to drop, no matter how busy she may be nor how tight a turnaround time we give to her." "She has demonstrated exceptional skills," says Henry R. Abrams, another of her bosses. "She helps evaluate the merits of my cases and legal arguments, providing a seasoned informal sounding board." "Kelly maintains the highest standard in every aspect of her job. She is extremely organized, professional, thoughtful and looks ahead to solve problems before they arise," adds another partner. "Kelly has never failed to meet a deadline, no matter how pressing, and even when I've given her work at the last minute, she comes through with positive results." Hammen says the greatest satisfaction she gets from her job, which she has held for 10 years, is "knowing that three people, and

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Being challenged on a daily basis is very satisfying for me, and in this line of work you just never know what you will face each morning.

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Sharon Curley, University of Baltimore School of Law Center for Families, ChildTOPnd the Courts ren a WINNER

Sharon Curley says it was a "culture shock" to enter the nonprofit world after working in a corporate law environment for many years. But she quickly adjusted when she became program administrative specialist at the University of Baltimore School of Law's Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC) in 2000. And it is the position she holds today. Her prior experience helped in establishing the center, which opened in 2000. "Getting in on the ground floor of this position was an invaluable asset because it allowed me to set up the administrative processes for a new entity created to operate within a large university setting," Curley says. She says she also began to realize that she "was in a position to contribute to real-world problems." She has done that in many ways, including: organizing and implementing a series of continuing legal education sessions; working extensively with students in CFCC's Student Fellows Program, a three-credit law school course; and staying involved in the center's grant-funded initiatives, including a Truancy Court program, a major substance-abuse training conference and a national Summit on Unified Family Courts, co-sponsored by the American Bar Association and CFCC and held in Baltimore last year. In everything she does, Curley "maintains admirable grace under pressure and the highest level of professionalism in the face of substantial programmatic and administrative challenges," says CFCC Director Barbara Babb. "She does all this and manages consistently to

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go above and beyond the call of duty," Babb says. "Maintaining a sense that I am contributing to real-world problems allows me to acknowledge at the end of the day that maybe I make a small difference in the lives of families and children, and that is a good feeling," says Curley. She makes a difference outside her job as well. A "dear friend" is a breast cancer survivor and in her honor, Curley has been involved since 2004 in organizing a team for the Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure.

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Cynthia Czarnecki,

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DLA Piper

In addition to her responsibilities in Baltimore, Czarnecki acts as coordinator for the firm's Annapolis office. At DLA Piper for nearly 10 years, she was one of the original team members who opened the Annapolis office in 2002. According to Tiburzi, she is known in the Baltimore and Annapolis offices for her keen business sense and "an ability to keep her attorneys and their clients happy." "That is often a daunting task," he says. While maintaining her partners' practice of more than 5,000 billable hours a year, she "always is ready to lend a helping hand" to assist other secretaries on lobbying matters, including document filings and other issues with regards to the Ethics Commission, he says. With 25 years of experience as a legal secretary, Czarnecki has taught herself many of the technical skills that make her "one of the best in her profession," says Tiburzi. "I can't believe I used to create legal documents for court filings on an electric typewriter with carbon paper," Czarnecki says. Considering that she lacked an advanced education, she says she was "lucky" to be "able to get a lot of on-the-job training and move up" in her career. Now, "it's not just that I come in and put in eight hours and go home," she says. "Paul and Carville let me know that they really appreciate the work that I do. They make me feel like part of the team. You don't get that kind of feeling everywhere." The Daily Record's 2008 Unsung Legal Heroes ·

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As legal secretary for not one but two busy partners at DLA Piper, Cynthia "Cindi" Czarnecki has her hands full. "Cindi has one of the most high-profile and stressful jobs in our Baltimore office, supporting me," says Paul Tiburzi, managing partner in the office -- and "if that wasn't enough," he says, also supporting another leading senior partner, Carville Collins. That kind of responsibility "would overwhelm many a legal secretary," says Tiburzi, but it doesn't bother Czarnecki. "She has a very tough job and handles it calmly, professionally and with a smile," he says.

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Diana Ford, Baxter, Baker, Sidle, Conn & Jones P.A.

After more than 30 years as a legal secretary, Diana Ford retired this year from Baxter, Baker, Sidle, Conn & Jones, where she spent 11 years. Before that, she was an executive legal secretary at Smith, Somerville & Case LLC. "She has served with grace and professionalism" throughout her career and is "well known and respected in legal circles," says Michael Baxter, for whom Ford worked for more than 15 years. "Over my 30-plus years in the legal secretary field, I've watched technology advance as we've gone from typewriters to computers, from carbon paper to electronic files," Ford says, adding that she also has observed changes in the description of a legal secretary. She cites the fulfillment she gained from the diverse nature of the position. "There were so many facets to being a legal secretary that even though I was repeating the same tasks, the job itself was never the same," she says. Her greatest professional and personal accomplishment, Ford says, is that "despite all of these changes, I've maintained the ability to adapt, grow and learn along the way." "It has been a rewarding and satisfying career for me and

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one that I've enjoyed to the fullest," she says. Before entering the legal profession, Ford was an instructional aide for five years in Anne Arundel County schools. Later, she took courses in Anne Arundel Community College's paralegal program. For the past 10 years, she has been a notary public for the county. She also has been a supporter of the Special Olympics since 2000.

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Janice Hughlett,

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Niles, Barton & Wilmer LLP

skilled person at Niles Barton," Lewandowski says. In addition to her secretarial duties, Hughlett collects ground rents for about 130 of the firm's clients. Hughlett believes her most significant impact on the firm during her more than three decades of service is that she's helped her "superiors be the best they can be by learning to anticipate their needs, enabling them to focus fully on their practice." One way she does that is by always looking for ways to streamline everything she does, which adds to the overall efficiency of the firm's office operations. "Janice truly goes above and beyond the call of duty. Her desire to lend a helping hand to those who need additional support is deeply engrained within her," says Lewandowski. That is evident outside the firm as well, where Hughlett spends her personal time caring for injured and abandoned animals and training others in wildlife rehabilitation. Her volunteer efforts have focused on caring for injured and orphaned opossums and she has been president of the National Opossum Society since 2002. "Janice is a valued member of our firm and community," Lewandowski says.

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Over 36 years at Niles, Barton & Wilmer, Janice Hughlett has worked in just about every area of its practice, including corporate, maritime, wills and trusts, and litigation. As a legal secretary, she now supports three attorneys in three different practice areas, "which is particularly impressive due to the technical terminology and procedures of the legal profession," says Tina Lewandowski, the firm's marketing director. "It can be argued that Janice is the most technologically

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Iris Wyvill, Circuit Court for Prince George's County

Iris D. Wyvill has been the executive administrative aide to Judge William D. Missouri, chief and administrative judge of Prince George's County Circuit Court, since 1992. Sixteen years later, "I still learn something new every day," she said. Because Missouri is the circuit administrative judge, a tremendous amount of paperwork goes through his office. He is in charge of administrative matters for Prince George's County Circuit Court, and oversees administrators for the courts in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties, said Wyvill. "If a judge requests leave, it gets processed through our office," she said. "If litigants or attorneys walk in, we assist them." She drafts memoranda, reviews mail and finds answers to questions. Her job, she said, is "anything that I can do that means Judge Missouri doesn't have to do it and that frees him up to do the things he has to do." That means she does everything from serve as office manager to help maintain files for all 31 judges in the Seventh Circuit. Wyvill grew up in Prince George's County. In 1982, she took a job as clerk for the court in Prince George's County. She

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liked the work and held several other jobs in both the public and private sector, but has no plans to leave her current position, she said. "I will be here until Judge Missouri is not here. One of the nicest things about the job is that Judge Missouri doesn't micromanage," she said. "He really encourages personal growth. You know what your job is, you get it done."

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Dalene Radcliffe, Niles, Barton & Wilmer LLP

In her five-and-a-half years at Niles, Barton & Wilmer, Dalene A. Radcliffe has made herself indispensable. "Occasionally, you find that rare person who seems like she can take on the world," said Tina Lewandowski, the firm's marketing director, when she nominated Radcliffe. "Dalene Radcliffe is that person for our litigation department." Radcliffe takes on a staggering number of assignments for the law firm, which focuses on litigation, particularly insurance defense work. "I don't say no," she admitted. On an average day, she might draft discovery requests and subpoenas, coordinate document reviews, conduct legal research, contact expert witnesses and research the backgrounds of people who will be investigated. "I prepare attorneys for all phases of litigation, including depositions, motion hearings and trial, and communicate directly with clients, local counsel, opposing counsel, expert witnesses and judge's chambers," she said in her nominating materials. She is also a member of the firm's litigation team and attends strategy meetings, depositions, hearings and trials to provide support to attorneys. Radcliffe said she does have aspirations of becoming a lawyer, but with her youngest daughter currently in high school, this is "not the right time," she said. Instead, she is in the process of earning a master's degree in legal and ethical studies at the University of Baltimore. Radcliffe, originally from Boston, did not initially pursue a law career. Her undergraduate degree, from Boston University, is in hotel and restaurant management. But when she started a family, the hours no longer worked for her, she said, so she went to the National Academy for Paralegal Studies, graduating in 1992 with a Scholarly Distinction Award and joining the 95employee Niles, Barton & Wilmer in 2002. "The wonderful thing about my job at Niles is the more I learn, the more responsibilities they give me," she said. "They let me run with quite a bit of things. They always let me take that step ahead and so I'm always challenged, which is very nice." Radcliffe works for both the property and the surety department, she said. "If any of the partners or any of the associates within those two departments need anything or have a case they want me to work on, I do it." Between the two departments, there are maybe 15 partners, she said, plus associates. Part of her job, she said, has been to teach the litigation attorneys how to best use the skills of a paralegal. "Niles, Barton & Wilmer LLP is the oldest law firm in Baltimore and many of the partners were unreceptive to the `paralegal' position," she said. "By taking control over many job duties thought to be lawyer tasks, I showed the firm firsthand the benefits of having a professional paralegal on their team."

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[They] always let me take that step ahead and so I'm always challenged, which is very nice.

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· The Daily Record's 2008 Unsung Legal Heroes

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Alicia Bowers,

State's Attorney's Office for Washington County

Alicia Bowers works on every homicide case that comes through Washington County. Among her responsibilities, she makes contact with witnesses and experts, pulls together exhibits, gets police reports and closely monitors the proceedings. "Throughout the course of the trial, I'm there to keep in touch with people and get what we need," she said. Her first homicide case, after joining the office as a legal secretary in 1998, was in 2001 -- a double homicide that took place in 1994 and was retried in 2002. To prepare for the retrial, Bowers organized enormous amounts of evidence from the prior trial and investigation, and coordinated experts. "It was a long two years of my life, but it was very satisfying," she said. "We were able to retry this case and bring some peace to the victims' families." Since then, she's been involved in every homicide in the county. One year, there were six, and "for us, that's a lot," she said. Bowers, who was born in Hagerstown and has lived in Washington County her entire life, is the daughter of a police

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officer. She became interested in law from an early age. While still in high school, she decided to become a paralegal and vowed she would be working at the state's attorney's office within five years of graduation. She met her goal and, 10 years later, is still happy with her career choice. "This is what I like to do," she said.

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Laura Corcoran,

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American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland

WINNERzation and being a part of that."

she said. "I always had an interest in working with the organi-

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Laura V. Corcoran started working at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as part of an internship for the paralegal program at the Community College of Baltimore CountyDundalk. Corcoran already had a history degree from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "I was really familiar with the history of the ACLU and the historic cases it has been part of,"

After she earned her paralegal certificate, she returned to the ACLU, offering her services as a volunteer. As it turned out, there was an opening. As an intern, said Corcoran, she got involved in Thompson v. HUD, a housing desegregation lawsuit filed on behalf of 14,000 public housing residents in Baltimore. "I got to actually sit in on the trial regarding the remedy phase of the case," she said. Corcoran now works to remedy the situation through programs resulting from the Thompson consent decree. "I work closely with a lot of the clients. We just try to help as much as we can to make sure the programs work in conjunction with the decrees," she said. Working to better the lives of Baltimore residents means a lot to Corcoran. "I grew up in Baltimore, so I remember seeing the high rises and the public housing developments. I was very familiar with the residences and what the case was about," she said. "Knowing I could be a part of breaking this horrible cycle of segregationist policy was really exciting."

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Cloie Dufour,

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP

Cloie Dufour has been with Whiteford, Taylor & Preston for 14 years and has been a paralegal since 1976. "I love it," she said. As a paralegal in the corporate department of the 150lawyer firm, Dufour files documents with the state; drafts minutes in connection with deals, mergers and loans; helps companies set up business in other states; and basically helps with "anything they might need to change on their corporate documents," she said. One way to look at it is that her job is to make life easier for entrepreneurs so they can focus on their businesses. She likes solving the many problems that arrive every day and figuring out how to do what needs to be done. She prides herself on not giving up, doing all she can to meet the needs of the attorney, who can then meet the needs of the client. "The people I work with always point to my knowledge of filing procedures, whether with Maryland or in other states," she said. "But for me, that knowledge came from not being afraid to pick up the phone." Dufour was an English major at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, graduating in 1974. "I didn't know what I was going to do," she said, so she attended the Institute for

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Paralegal Education in Philadelphia. The rest, as they say, is history. "I don't have any expectation of changing," she said. She likes what she does. "It's pretty varied. Every day is kind of different. It's not like you're stuck in a room doing one thing; you're doing a variety of things."

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Jill Smith, Circuit Court for Prince George's County

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SARAH BECK

Jill A. Smith has worked in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County for 14 years. One of her favorite responsibilities is coordinating the Youth Drug and Violence Prevention Program. The goal of the program is to introduce middle school students to the court system so they can see firsthand the problems brought on by drugs and violent actions. Students in public and

private schools are brought to the courthouse, where they observe cases and hear from the judges who volunteer to be in the program. Often, police officers or volunteers from the Second Genesis drug rehabilitation program also come in to talk to the students. Some schools send at-risk kids and some send their social studies classes, but either way, Smith is the one who coordinates the visits. "It's a lot of juggling," she says, particularly since she wants the students to see cases that will be meaningful to them but not too graphic. Since court calendars can change at a moment's notice, she sometimes has to change her plans on the fly, sending the students to juvenile court instead. But the effort is worthwhile. "You can actually see the benefit if you sit in there and observe the kids' reactions," Smith says. "It's nice to intervene at an early enough stage where they're not too hardened to the system." Smith, whose title is paralegal supervisor, also keeps track of the defendants in the Prince George's County Detention Center Jail, making sure everyone has a court date and "nobody is sitting there, forgotten about." Smith likes "the variety of the work and the challenges," she says. "You just never know what you're going to have from day to day."

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Sponsors

VPC, Inc.

Founded in 1992 by video director and scoreboard design pioneer Eli Eisenberg, VPC has evolved as a production company, multimedia content producer, and technology systems designfrom Concept to Completion.... er and integrator. VPC has earned its reputation with "thinking outside the screen" www.vpcinc.net concepts, detail-oriented project management and precision event execution. VPC has a strong reputation of serving its production clients in the mid-Atlantic Region and providing consulting and systems design and engineering in high-profile facilities nationwide. Our professional staff offers a wealth of event and project experiences to ensure we meet or exceed your goals. VPC produces numerous awards, corporate and specialty television events including today's Unsung Legal Hero Awards.

Sponsors

Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll LLP DLA Piper Epsilon Registration Saul Ewing LLP

Sponsors

NRI Staffing Resources University of Baltimore School of Law Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP

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· The Daily Record's 2008 Unsung Legal Heroes

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