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 Photo: The Frederick News-Post

Alumnus Logs 75 Years as a Member of a Maryland Bar Association

 

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W. Jerome Offutt, Class of 1937, earned his J.D. from Catholic University’s law school four years before America entered World War Two. Working fulltime and taking classes by night, he graduated at nineteen and was sworn into the Maryland State Bar at the minimum age of 21. 
 
Seventy-five years later, Offutt is still practicing law, though no longer fulltime. At the age of 97, he remains an active member of the Bar Association of Frederick County, Maryland, and is very likely the longest-serving attorney in Frederick County history.
 
Offutt’s remarkable career was the subject of an admiring profile in the Feb. 14 edition of The Frederick News-Post, titled “Legal Lion' honored for 75-year career.”
 
The article recounts how the county bar association honored Offutt’s legal career at the opening term of court, a ceremonial meeting held twice a year in September and February. The newspaper's biography of Offutt described his childhood growing up on a farm during the Great Depression, as well as his dedication to helping his community and country any way he could -  even assembling hand grenades on the evening shift to assist America’s war effort in the 1940s.
 
Offutt served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1943 to 1947, helping to write motor vehicle and election laws and lifting Frederick County prohibitions on showing movies or holding sporting events on Sundays.
 
In March 2005, the Bar Association of Frederick County surprised Offutt by presenting him with the first W. Jerome Offutt Award, which is now bestowed annually to a local lawyer who promotes professionalism and civility in the practice of law.