Pamila J. Brown, an assistant attorney general with a long history of Community involvement, was appointed yesterday to the Howard County District Court bench
Brown, one on a diverse list of five finalists for the job whose names were forwarded to Gov. Parris N. Glendening in January, will fill the vacancy created by District Court Chief Judge James N. Vaughan's promotion in September.
"I'm so honored and so humbled to receive the appointment," a clearly overwhelmed Brown said yesterday, a few hours after receiving word and after fielding kudos all afternoon. "I think being a judge is one of the highest public callings you, as a lawyer, can have. It's just a lifelong dream."
Glendening's decision to pick Brown, 47, a nominee for District Court openings in the mid-1990s, was lauded by her bosses and by members of Howard County's legal and African-American communities. She is the third African-American to be appointed to a Howard County judgeship - the second in District Court after Judge Alice Gail Pollard Clark in 1997.
Brown, a 12-year Columbia resident and mother of 10-year-old twins, had been mentioned as a top contender among a field of 23 applicants for the post nearly from the start and received endorsements from the local bar association and from the county's African-American Coalition.
Most recently, she has served as principal counsel for the state Department of General Services, an agency responsible for contracts and building projects throughout the state. As an assistant attorney general, she has earned a reputation as an intelligent worker who has often been seen as a mentor-figure, said Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. and Deputy Attorney General Donna Hill Staton.
Those who know Brown praised her skill as a lawyer and her legal and community involvement yesterday. In addition to memberships in a variety of legal organizations, she serves as chair-woman of the Hickory Ridge Village Board and as a member of the county's social services board.