In 1969, the Chairman of the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Maryland State Bar Association, John F. McAuliffe, Esq., began to advocate the public need for education about the law. He appointed young lawyer, Arthur M. Monty Ahalt, Esq., as the Chair of a newly formed committee named The Youth and Law Committee. That committee was charged with the responsibility of establishing means and methods of public education about the law, particularly in the public and private school systems, kindergarten through twelfth grade.
For the next 25 years, lawyer Monty Ahalt, then Judge Monty Ahalt, led the Bar’s efforts to promote the public understanding of the law. For five years he chaired the Young Lawyers’ Committee on Youth & Law and in 1973 successfully advocated the creation of a Special Committee of the Maryland State Bar Association on Law-Related Education. This committee became the first committee of the State Bar Association to allow non-lawyer participating and voting members.
For over twenty years, Judge Ahalt has been a nationally recognized advocate, lecturer and author in the field of Law-Related Education. He has served as Chairman of the Law-Related Education Committee of the Maryland State Bar Association from 1973 to the present. Among his publications are Understanding The Judicial Branch of the Government; Law-Related Education — A Ten Year Experience and Sexual Harassment and Judicial Decision Making, Character Controls Conduct and A Juror’s Guide to Understanding the Judicial Branch of the Government. He has been the principal lecturer at numerous teacher education and training seminars and conferences. As a result of Judge Ahalt’s efforts, over 20,000 teachers have received training in the field of Law-Related Education. This teacher training effort impacts over 700,000 Maryland primary and secondary students each year.
Judge Ahalt also lectures before numerous groups of judges, lawyers, insurance adjusters and court employees on evaluating risk. He has compiled a group of 20 recurring accidents and injuries and a method of evaluating the jury’s potential entitled Evaluating Risk.
Judge Ahalt is a nationally recognized advocate, lecturer, and presenter of technology programs, which aid the courts of the country in conducting the business of dispute resolution. He has made presentations to the Conference of Chief Justices, the Conference of State Court Administrators, the American Bar Association’s tech show, the Maryland Bar Association’s mid-winter and annual meetings and the Prince George’s County Bar Association membership meetings. He is on the faculty of the Institute for Court Management-National Center for State Courts where he has conducted seminars on electronic filing, electronic public access to the courts and public policy considerations of electronic public access. He has published articles on The Promise of Electronic Filing, A Public-Private Partnership and Electronic Filing – The Need, The Change, The Promise and The Value. He presents a three-day seminar on Electronic Public Access Issues & Technologies along with other Institute faculty.
Judge Ahalt’s leadership has also resulted in one of the largest number of lawyer and non-lawyer participants in State Bar Associations. Every year over 6,000 hours of pro bono service by lawyers having a value of over $300,000 is contributed. Lawyers participate as Mock Trial coaches, judges, writers, teacher seminar lecturers, classroom resources, mentors, mediator trainers, workshop moderators, drama actors and summer institute facilitators.
As a result of Judge Ahalt’s leadership, the committee has raised in excess of $5 million from public and private foundations. These funds have allowed for the publication of over 20 teacher guides for use in State classrooms as well as numerous classroom-teaching aides. They have also produced a broadcast quality videotape entitled Good Times, Bad Times: Drugs, Youth & the Judiciary. These funds additionally produced the first remedial interactive computer software package covering the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, CITED.
Judge Ahalt Continues to provide law related educational material on LawRelatedEducation.com.