Ward Coe is a partner and head of the litigation department at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP and has spent well over 1,300 hours working for systemic changes in the delivery of pro bono legal services in Maryland.
Mr. Coe exercised tremendous leadership in encouraging his firm to adopt a pro bono policy and, some years later, to lead his firm's efforts to become the first in Baltimore to dedicate a partner to pro bono service. As a result of Mr. Coe's leadership, the amount of the firm's pro bono legal service has doubled.
In addition to firm leadership, Mr. Coe has provided direct pro bono representation, such as administering trusts for plaintiffs from a 1986 law suit against the state challenging the foster care system. He has also served as a member of the Maryland Judicial Commission on Pro Bono which recommended new state pro bono rules and has chaired the Court of Appeals Standing Committee on Pro Bono Service which is charged with implementing the new rules. He has traveled the state and provided countless hours of pro bono fulfilling the obligations of these roles.
In 2002, Mr. Coe received a Maryland Pro Bono Service Award from the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland for his successful multi-year representation of an impoverished mental health patient who had been denied benefits by his disability insurer. In September, 2005, Mr. Coe received The Maryland Bar Foundation's Professional Legal Excellence Award for the Advancement of the Rights of the Disadvantaged, and in October, 2005, he was selected by a past Maryland State Bar Association President to receive The Pro Bono Resource Center's Pro Bono Legal Service Award.