A veteran prosecutor and member of the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office executive team will serve on the state board responsible for administering the bar exam.
Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, recently appointed Michael J. Moore to the State Board of Law Examiners. He is also chief of the district court division at the state’s attorney’s office, a position in which he will continue to serve. His appointment to the board is a five-year term.
Moore, representing the western region of Maryland, is one of seven lawyers on the board who affect the fate of hopeful attorneys — a duty the board has held since the 1800s. Board members grade bar exams, which are administered twice a year. They consist of eight essays and 200 multiple choice questions, Moore said. The board and its staff also coordinate the application process.
In addition to passing the bar, students who wish to practice law must undergo a character and fitness interview with a local lawyer. If that interview doesn’t end in the student’s favor, they can go to the Board of Law Examiners to ask for a hearing, according to Moore.
Moore, who took the exam in 2008, hasn’t forgotten his own character interview with local attorney Mary Beth Kaslick.
“I was so nervous walking into the character and fitness interview. I just remember how kind she was, and that really put me at ease,” Moore said — though she did remind him of a speeding ticket he got years ago.
The board position is not one Moore sought, but it’s one he is humbled to receive. The seat became available when longtime western region member Greg Getty retired.
“I’m definitely honored and 100 percent in on this,” Moore said.
He will have to be flexible in this new role, as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the exam being administered remotely. The next exam is scheduled to be held later this month.
Moore previously served as an assistant state’s attorney and as a law clerk to Judge Theresa M. Adams. His experience includes practicing in juvenile court, district court and handling felony cases. As chief of district court, Moore oversees the largest division in the state’s attorney’s office while managing his own caseload.