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Marcus Maples Receives Alabama State Bar President's Award

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Baker Donelson attorney Marcus M. Maples has been recognized by the Alabama State Bar with its President's Award.

Mr. Maples was recognized for his role as co-chair of the Bar's Diversity & Inclusion in the Profession Committee, which is focused on furthering the Bar's commitment to advancing the principles of racial, ethnic, gender, age and geographic diversity in the profession.

During his service as co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion in the Profession Committee, Mr. Maples was successful in achieving a number of accomplishments.

  • He launched the BIG (Brilliant, Innovative and Grand) Ideas Campaign to create new programs to dramatically increase the number of diverse attorneys in the Bar, which included recommendations for (1) the hiring of a chief diversity officer for the Bar, (2) implementation of a second chance redemption program to assist students who had not passed the bar exam, (3) implementation of continuing legal education programs focused on cultural competency and (4) encouraging the Bar to take a lead role in organizing all pipeline programs assisting diverse students with their path to a law degree.
  • He called for a Diversity & Inclusion Summit to address the lack of diversity in the Bar and to determine a strategic path forward with all stakeholders involved, including law firms, law schools, colleges and universities, community organizations and the judiciary. Originally scheduled for May 2020, the event has been postponed due to the pandemic.
  • He transitioned the focus of the Bar's efforts from merely advocating for diversity to inclusion of diverse attorneys. These efforts included renaming the Committee and modifying its primary objectives.
  • He created the LGBTQ Standing Subcommittee, which will present a comprehensive strategy to increase inclusion of LGBTQ members, including mentorship of law students, collection of demographic data by the Bar, and specific programming on issues impacting the LGBTQ community.
  • He expanded the Bar's collection of data on race and ethnicity beyond just three categories (black, white and "other") to include Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, Multiracial, American Indian/Alaska Native and African American/Black.

Through his work over more than a decade, Mr. Maples has demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion. He spent his entire career promoting pipeline programs to increase the number of minorities who gain law school admission. Mr. Maples founded Students Today Lawyers Tomorrow, a program that gave undergraduate students the ability to compete in trial advocacy programs through the American Mock Trial Association, provided LSAT prep and one-on-one mentoring to ensure the students' success. He is also the past chair of the Minority Pre-Law Conference Series, which provides high school students with information on the value of a legal education. Mr. Maples also dedicates his time to ensure that diverse associates can be successful in what are typically non-diverse spaces.

Mr. Maples is a member of Baker Donelson's Diversity Committee and the IADC Diversity Committee, and has served as chair of the Diversity Subcommittees for DRI's Young Lawyers Committee and Life Health Disability & ERISA Committee.

A shareholder in the Birmingham office of Baker Donelson, Mr. Maples tries cases and leads defense teams in a wide range of high stakes cases including complex commercial litigation, shareholder disputes, and construction litigation. He has experience litigating in at least a dozen states due to his role as national counsel for an international engineering firm.

Mr. Maples is a frequent speaker on leadership in the legal profession. He has been recognized as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers and the Birmingham Business Journal, and was named to the Birmingham Business Journal's 2020 "Top 40 Under 40." He is a member of the board of directors of the Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation and serves on the board of trustees for the University of North Alabama. A graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, Mr. Maples is a member of the Magic City and American Bar Associations and past president of the Alabama Lawyers Association.

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