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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Pamila Brown Named Macalester Distinguished Citizen

June 9, 2009 - The Honorable Pamila Brown of Columbia, Md., has been named one of Macalester College’s 2009 Distinguished Citizens. Brown graduated from Macalester in 1976.

The Distinguished Citizen Citation recognizes alumni who have exercised leadership in civic, social, religious and professional activities. It is given because the Alumni Association, the Board of Trustees and the faculty of Macalester believe that a college education should be the training and inspiration for unselfish and effective service to the community, the nation and the world. Recipients demonstrate a practical acceptance of these obligations in their lives and work.

When Brown was an eighth-grader, the trial of civil rights activist H. Rap Brown took place in her hometown of Bel Air, Md., and she witnessed renowned defense lawyer and civil rights activist William Kunstler in the courtroom. The experience convinced her that she could make a difference in the world as a lawyer.  Further inspired by her Macalester classes with professors Ted Mitau, Chuck Green, and Dorothy Dodge, Brown went on to earn her law degree at the University of Baltimore School of Law.

She served in the justice system in various capacities with the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, and in private practice before being appointed to the bench as associate judge for the District Court in Howard, Md., in 2002.

Brown is a frequent lecturer on topics from gender equity and tort liability to ethics, and she has assumed numerous professional and community roles dedicated to improving the lives of others. Throughout her career, Brown has mentored women and people of color in the legal profession. She worked with Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to obtain funds for a model breast health program for underserved women.

She currently serves as chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence.  She is past president of the Baltimore YWCA, and she received their Leadership Award in 2008 and their Eleanor Hood Gross Award in 1993. In 2005, The Daily Record (a newspaper devoted to Baltimore’s business and legal sector) presented her with its Leadership in the Law Award.

Louisa Chapman ’75 wrote, “Pamila has dedicated professional time to issues important to incarcerated prisoners in need of legal assistance, children thrust into the state foster care system, and committees focused on the support of women and minorities in the legal profession.”

Brown credits her family, husband Christopher and twins Marissa and Matthew, with delighting and grounding her, and supporting her in her work as a jurist.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,858 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.