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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, December 11, 2020

Maraleen Shields to Seek One of Three LC Judgeships

Maraleen Shields, Esq. 
There will be three judicial vacancies in Lehigh County last year. Maraleen Shields is seeking one of them.

Shields is originally from North Braddock in Allegheny County. She unfortunately lost her father when she was just seven years old, and was raised by her mother, Doris. She attended Woodland Hills High School, a school created as the result of a 1981 court-ordered desegregation merger. There, she discovered her interest in the law by participating in high school mock trial competitions. 

After graduating from Kenyon College, Shields earned her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, graduating magna cum laude. She also participated in the school's Law Review, an honor reserved for top students. 

After law school, Maraleen began her career in Philadelphia handling commercial and mass tort defense litigation at Saul Ewing and Reed Smith. She went on to practice at Post & Schell and Stevens & Lee, handling complex medical malpractice litigation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. In 2014, Maraleen joined Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, P.C. (FL&B) becoming a member of both the Health Care as well as the Litigation and Trial Practice groups. In 2017, she became the first person of color to become a shareholder of the firm. She serves on FL&B’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Marketing, and Summer Associate Committees. She joins her colleagues in many volunteer efforts such as Habitat for Humanity’s She Nailed It! Fundraising social and competition.

In 2006, Maraleen and her husband, a Lehigh Valley native, decided to make the Lehigh Valley their home. Over the last nearly fifteen years, Maraleen has developed deep connections to the Lehigh Valley. She currently resides in South Whitehall Township with her husband of 14 years, Kevin Law Orloski, Esq., and their two children, Cole (age 10) and Sage (age 4).

She was the President of the Parents’ Association of Cetronia Elementary School, where her son is in the fifth grade. She was a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Hillside School; a member of the Board of Directors of Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers; and a Member of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council of Lehigh Valley Inter-regional Networking & Connecting (LINC). She was recently invited to participate in Parkland School District’s Equity and Inclusion Committee, which will guide the district in developing a sustainable pathway towards equity, inclusion, cultural relevance/responsiveness, and social emotional learning.

She is active in the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA), serving as Chair of the Minority Bar Committee’s Rising Star Program Subcommittee, Co-Chair of the Women in the Profession Commission’s Diversity Committee, and Co-Chair of the Health Care Committee. In 2016, she was invited to serve on the PBA’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Membership Engagement which focused on engagement of mothers, millennials, and minorities. For this work, she was honored with the PBA President’s Award in 2018.

Maraleen was invited to join the PBA’s Joint Task Force on Continuity of Legal Services, which is currently focused on creating recommendations to ensure continuity and consistency of legal services from one jurisdiction to another in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year she was honored to receive the prestigious Lynette Norton Award. This award recognizes a female attorney who excels in litigation and is devoted to the mentorship of women in the profession. Maraleen is especially proud to be the first woman of color to receive this award. 

She has been named to the PA Rising Stars list 2008, 2010, 2012-2018. She received Lehigh Valley Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award and Lehigh Valley Magazine’s Legal Leader Award. She is a frequent speaker on diversity, equity, and inclusion, health care, and litigation matters.

Asked why she is seeking a seat on the court, Maraleen said“I believe my experience and deep respect for the law will be a valuable asset to the people of Lehigh County. Being a good judge is about more than knowing the law, it is also about compassion and communicating effectively with people. The judicial system is, by its very nature, adversarial. When people arrive in the courtroom, it is because something has gone wrong and the parties have not been able to resolve their differences. In my life and practice, I treat people with a baseline level of kindness, decency, and respect. If given the opportunity, I intend to continue in this vein and judge cases without being judgmental of the participants.”

For more information please go to shieldsforlcjudge.com to connect with the campaign.

All I can say is Wow!


Anonymous said...

that's quite a resume

Anonymous said...

Very Impressive She has it all and will make a Great Judge

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree. She would make a great judge.

Joe Bubba said...

B--Altho I read your column religously (if I'm still allowed to say that) this is the first time I've ever added a comment. Maraleen's CV is truly impressive and I can tell you from first hand experience with her as my partner she will be a welcome addition to the Bench.

Anonymous said...

Informative article, she is an impressive local person I'd never heard of. Good for her.

Unknown said...

Maraleen is an outstanding citizen. Beyond her professional capabilities, she will bring a wonderful outlook to the bench.

Mary Ellen Snyder