Published on:

Buchdahl Receives ABA Award for Law Practice Management Excellence


Pictured (L to R): Pam McDevitt, Tom Grella, Micah Buchdahl, Walt Karnstein, Andrea Hartley

On May 18th, I had the privilege of being honored by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division with the Samuel S. Smith Award, recognizing an individual who has demonstrated outstanding lifetime achievement in the field of law practice management.

Read the ABA’s press release here.

The award reception and dinner were held at the beautiful Squantum Association on the shores of Narragansett Bay in Riverside, Rhode Island. If you were in attendance, thanks for being there. If not, you missed an awesome steak & lobster dinner. But good news…you can watch the presentation here…

Watch the 2023 Samuel S. Smith Award Ceremony here.

Viewing tips:  Start at the 2:30 mark if you want to hear the introduction from LP chair Stephen Embry. The award speech is presented by Tom Grella at the 4:00 mark. My acceptance remarks begin at 13:00. Sorry for the on-site microphone issues, but you can still hear everything.

I’d like to thank Zachary Bambacht, ABA Law Practice Division Director, for everything he did to make the Sam Smith Award ceremony special (and for recording the speeches). Stephen Embry, for the kind words about me and my long-time commitment to the ABA and LP. And Tom Grella for the wonderful presentation speech, where he included extensive remarks and greetings from three attorneys that are my long-time clients, but more importantly now very close friends, Edward Kang, Kandis Kovalsky and Jackie Fetbroyt from Kang Haggerty in Philadelphia.

In the audience, I had special guest Scott Farley (and his better half, Rachel). We were summer associates together a few hours down the road at Bernstein Shur in Portland, Maine, back in the summer of 1990. I can assure you he did not see this award coming down the pike. I speak at length about my good friend Pam McDevitt (in attendance with her daughter Meg), Executive Director of the New York State Bar Association, who was an important part of my ABA and LP leadership roles. And, of course, together with Tom Grella and Pam, the rest of our tightknit ABA LP group, Andrea Hartley and Walter Karnstein.

My acceptance speech allowed me to anecdotally talk about some ABA LP members that had been instrumental in my success within the association, including Greg Siskind and Heather Jefferson. I was able to reference lots of people that make up my ABA LP family, including former division marketer Mary Beth Thede, and active members Andrea Malone, John Bowers, Nick Gaffney, Bill Henslee, Tom Bolt, Bob Young, Bill Ferreira, Ireneo Reuss and many more. You must watch the speech to catch all the names. Thanks again to everyone for making the Samuel Smith Award possible. It was a great honor to be recognized for the few decades of service to the ABA, LP and the profession. Hopefully, I’m not done contributing yet.

Contact Information