Matthew Ballard Celebrates 20 Years
In the Spring of 2003, heading into the summer between my 2nd and 3rd year of law school, I applied for an estates and trusts litigation law clerk position at a small firm in Annapolis Maryland. I met with the firm’s partners, John Rhody and Charlie Bagley, in 2003 for my interview. My parents happened to be in Maryland visiting me from South Carolina that week and drove with me, thinking we would go have lunch and look around Annapolis after the interview. As it turned out, Charlie and John had their own plans of taking me to lunch at Killarney House for my interview. Not wanting to say no, I ran out to tell my parents who insisted it was ok and that they would just wait in the car as I went to lunch with Charlie and John.
After we had finished lunch, I finally admitted to Charlie and John that my parents were with me and had hung out in the car the entire time. John and Charlie couldn’t believe I didn’t tell them beforehand and felt awful that they sat in the parking lot while we enjoyed a long lunch. We parked the car, and they immediately walked over, introduced themselves and apologized to my parents for my making them wait in the car so long. It was as if they had known me and my parents for years, not hours/minutes. Their endearing personalities, personal touch, and laid-back interview process stood out from the other firms to which I had applied and interviewed.
Charlie was looking for a “right hand man” to mentor and help him with estate litigation and I had recently clerked for the Baltimore County Orphans’ Court. Thankfully, neither of them asked if I wanted to be a litigator, as I would have more than likely answered “no” at that time. They offered me the position and I started my journey at Bagley & Rhody on June 18, 2003. It turned out to be one of the best decisions in my life and the fit of the firm and practice areas turned out to be ideal as I can’t imagine not litigating, especially counter-balanced with the (generally) non-adversarial estate/trust administration.
I remained with the firm and after passing the bar exam, I joined B&R as an associate in January 2004. For years after law school, I would occasionally meet up with classmates, many of whom did not like their current jobs, and I would think to myself how lucky I was to enjoy what I do and the people that I work with. That sentiment remains the same 20 years later. It is truly an honor and a privilege to come into the office and work with our team and clients every day.