Rule Day Club Research Paper

The Rule Day Club began in 1932 during the final year of prohibition, and the beginning years of the great depression. This club acquired its name because it met on the second Monday of every month, which at the time was colloquially known as “Rule Day” or the day “the law made certain writs returnable after service to the civil common law courts in Baltimore.” Unlike the Lawyers’ Round Table—which respected the legal restraints imposed by prohibition—the members of the Rule Day Club “freely imbibed” on the grounds that liquor was an “institutionalized ritual.” Indeed, the Rule Day Club was founded at Congressman John Philip Hill’s rowhome at 3 West Franklin Street, which the congressman had conveniently renamed “Franklin Farms” in order to…

Sause, Jr., Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, invited himself and seven other lawyers to attend a very exclusive luncheon at the Merchants’ Club for the purpose of discussing the formation of a “law club.” The seven invitees were F. Hooper Bank, Charles Cahn, II, P. McEvoy Cromwell, Joseph G. Finnerty, Jr., Robert J. Martineau, Shale D. Stiller, and H. Rutherford Turnbull, III. The date of the luncheon was January 12, 1961.
The club initially met at the University Club. On September 18, 1961, the group resolved to call themselves “The Serjeants’ Club.” In March of 2012, however, the club decided to change its name to “the Serjeants’ Inn.” Indeed, the name that this club chose for themselves is telling and consistent with the objectives of this club’s predecessors to improve and “elevate” the integrity and legitimacy of the bar.
A serjeant was traditionally the highest ranking title in the hierarchy of the order of the coif. At that time, a lawyer could only become a serjeant by a direct writ from the king, and between 1164 and 1875 kings created serjeants at a rate of about 1.5 a year. Most notably, however, a serjeant had a duty not only to act as counsel to the sovereign itself, but also to the King’s subjects directly. Indeed, upon elevation, a…

Although it is true that many of the city’s successful law clubs have roots dating back to the early 20th century, this tradition continues with groups of lawyers regularly organizing to form new clubs. Take for example the Black Aggie Society organized in 2012, by judge, then-master William M. Dunn of the Maryland District Court. The Black Aggie Society was organized to cater to younger members of the bar and provided a more relaxed meeting structure that called for group topic discussions rather than the lecture format adopted by other law clubs. The Black Aggies accomplish this goal by maintaining a membership of twenty-five, but requiring sixteen percent of the members to be under the age of thirty. Indeed, whether by its inclusive membership policy, its relatively low membership dues, or by the informal nature of its meetings, the objective of the Black Aggie Society was to promote congeniality among its members and the bar. As Judge Dunn reported, “If someone doesn’t feel welcome in a law club, then I don’t think the law club is properly serving its purpose, or our…