Sahmra is passionate about her role as a public servant. She has worked with attorneys in Maryland to combat exploitive labor practices endured by immigrant workers in Maryland forming the group, “Maryland Attorneys Working Against Labor Trafficking” (MDAWALT) as a way to educate attorneys and non-attorneys on labor trafficking and employment issues, and provide valuable resources to the vulnerable population.
She also volunteers her time and skills as a mediator to help resolve foreclosure disputes and utilizes her expertise as a custody attorney by providing pro bono litigation services to immigrant children seeking asylum and Special Immigration Juvenile Status (“SJIS”) in Maryland. As an artist herself, she considers her work with Maryland Volunteer Attorneys for the Arts to be amongst the most important of the volunteer work she does.
Sahmra graduated from the American University Washington College of Law (“AU WCL” or “WCL”) with a Juris Doctor in May of 2010. While matriculating at Washington College of Law Ms. Stevenson worked for judges in both D.C. Superior Court and the D.C. District Court. She also served as a Rule 16 student attorney with the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office where she litigated cases at both the District and Circuit Court levels. Upon completion of her second year at WCL Sahmra was one of six law students in the country selected by the NAACP to participate in the 2009 NAACP/Kellogg’s Law Fellow Program.
During her second year of law school, Sahmra was selected to serve as a part of the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Deans Fellow Project, teaching a year-long course in Youth Justice and Constitutional Literacy to tenth through twelfth grade students at Wilson High School in the Northwest D.C. After graduating Ms. Stevenson worked for the Honorable Judge David W. Young in the Baltimore City Circuit Court where she oversaw a criminal felony docket before starting her own practice.
Ms. Stevenson has also developed creative ways to give back to her peers in the profession. A prime example is the launching of her monthly newsletter “After Work Networking” in May of 2011. The electronic publication was an assemblage of free and semi-free events in the local area as well as a listing of local volunteer opportunities that was disseminated to readers once a month. During the four years that the newsletter was active Sahmra’s readership grew from six to almost six-hundred before production was suspended.
In addition to her work as attorney, Ms. Stevenson pursues her second passion which is painting and furniture making and in 2014 launched a website (www.artbySahmra.com) and a greeting card line that she is still working to get off the ground. When she is not painting she enjoys competitive long distance running and she has completed a total of six full marathons and seven half-marathons in five different states since 2012.
Sahmra April Stevenson is a graduate of Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts where she received her B.A. in History and American-Studies and studied as part of a combined degree program with the School of Museum of Fine Arts Boston. During her time at Tufts Sahmra was selected as one of twenty University College Public Service Scholars assigned to help develop community based projects throughout the Boston area. As a scholar Sahmra successfully designed and implemented an after school program at East Somerville Elementary School titled Better Faster Stronger Athletes (“B.F.S.A”) which provided education about fitness and nutrition to fourth through eighth grade students. The program is still in existence to this day.
In addition to her work as a University College Public Service Scholar, Sahmra served as Director and Program Coordinator for NIA, a local non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring and tutoring youth in the local community. After graduating from Tufts, Ms. Stevenson accepted a position at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr, LLP where she worked for nearly two years before enrolling in law school.
As a proud member of the American Bar Association since 2012, Ms. Stevenson has served in the following esteemed roles:
- ABA’s Young Lawyers Division Assistant Editor of The Affiliate Newsletter (2012 – 2015)
- ABA Young Lawyers Division Diversity Scholar (2014-2015)
- ABA’s Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Section, Young Lawyer Fellow (2014-2015)
- ABA Young Lawyers Division Fit-To-Practice Lead for the National Conferences Team (2015-2016)
- ABA Business Law Section Diversity Fellow (2015 -2017)
- Presidential Appointment with the ABA’s Commission on Youth At Risk Advisory Committee (2016 -2019)
- American Bar Association’s Litigation Section Young Lawyer Leadership Fellow (2017-2019)
- ABA Section of Litigation, Family Law Committee, Social Media Sub-Committee Chair (2017-Present)
- ABA Section of Litigation, Family Law Committee, Web Page Chair (2019-Present)
- ABA Young Lawyers Division, Co-Chair Business Law Committee (2016-2017)
On the local level, Ms. Stevenson is an active member of the Maryland State Bar Association (“MSBA”) and served as one of fourteen 2013-2014 MSBA Leadership Academy Fellows. In 2013 she was selected as the recipient of the 2013 MSBA Rising Star Award, and in 2015 she graciously accepted the Melody Tagliaferri-Cronin Distinguished Service Award for her work with the Young Lawyers Section.
Ms. Stevenson has served in the following leadership roles with thee Maryland State Bar Association since 2011:
- MSBA Young Lawyers Section, Awards Committee Chair (2011-2012)
- MSBA Young Lawyers Section, Technology Committee Chair (2012-2016)
- MSBA Young Lawyers Section, Mentoring Committee Chair (2018-2019)
- MSBA Membership Committee, Council (2015-2019)
- MSBA Membership Committee, Co-Chair (2019 -Present)
- MSBA Technology Committee, Council (2015-2018)
- MSBA Leadership Academy Committee, Council (2014-2016)
- MSBA Solo & Small Firm Committee, Council (2019-Prsent)
- Maryland State Bar Association_Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Chair of Technology Committee, (August 2012-2015)
Separately, Ms. Stevenson has also served as Chair of the Social Media Team for the Committee to Elect the Sittings Judges of Prince George’s County since fall 2017.
In addition to maintaining her blog and YouTube Channel where she discusses the importance of practicing wellness, the benefits of remote work, living a healthy lifestyle and making opportunities to travel and move around, Ms. Stevenson is a frequent speaker at events throughout the country:
- NBA Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Section/Section of Litigation: 2019 Annual Meeting 2019, New York City –“So You want To Be The Boss: Managing Your Own Solo Practice” Panelist
- American Bar Association Real Property, Trust & Estates Section: 2019 Annual CLE Conference, Boston, MA. –“Leveraging Technology to Supercharge your Law Practice” -Panelist
- Maryland State Bar Association 2019 Annual Meeting, Ocean City, MD –“50 Tch Tips and Tools” -Panelist
- Maryland State Bar Association 2018 Annual Meeting, Ocean City, MD –“Office Without Walls: Setting up a virtual or mobile law office” -Key Note Speaker
- Maryland State Bar Association 2018 Annual Meeting, Ocean City, MD –“Management Gone Paperless” -Panelist
- American Bar Association, Business Law Section, “2016 Ethics Year In Review” presented at the ABA Business Law Section’s Spring Meeting in New Orleans, LA (April, 2017).
- American Bar Association, Business Law Section, “What Lawyers Need To Know About Internet and Social Media: From LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter”_ ABA Business Law Section 2016 Annual Meeting, Boston MA. September 9, 2016
- American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, “It’s Five-O’Clock Somewhere: The Dangers of Drinking as a Young Lawyer On and Off the Clock” _ABA Midyear Meeting, San Diego, CA, February 5, 2016.
- American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, “Safe & Responsible Drinking for the Young Professional” ABA Midyear Meeting, Houston, TX, February 6, 2015.
- Maryland State Bar Association, Solo and Small Firm Practice, “How to Get & Retain Clients” University of Baltimore School of Law, October 25, 2013.
Sahmra has been published in the following places:
- Stevenson, S. 5 Ways To Keep Remote Teams Mindful & Motivated, Wyoming State Bar Association Newsletter, March 2018.
- Stevenson, S. The Precarious Nature of Emergency Custody Hearings, American Bar Association Business Law Section Review, Spring 2018 Issue
- Stevenson, S. The Precarious Nature of Emergency Custody Hearings, Prince George’s County Bar Association Newsletter, March 2017 Issue.
- Stevenson, S. Exploring Your Leadership Brand, ABA’s Diversity and Inclusion Newsletter. Winter 2017. Volume 5, Issue 1 (January 2017)
- Stevenson, S. The Path Towards Shard Parenting, Prince George’s County Bar Association Newsletter, January 2017 Issue.
- Stevenson, S. Diversity Dialogue: A Focus on Mentoring, The Affiliate, The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association’s Newsletter, Volume 38: Number 3 (January 2013).
- Stevenson, S. Taking on Debby: A Quick and Efficient Response from the DLS Team, the Importance of Training, The Affiliate, The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association’s Newsletter, Volume 38: Number 4 (March 2013).
- Stevenson, S. Affiliate Leader Spotlight: Dana Hrelic, The Affiliate, The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association’s Newsletter, Volume 38: Number 6 (June 2013).
- Stevenson, S. National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, Monumental Minutes, Volume IV: Spring Edition (March 2012).
- Stevenson, S. ABA YLD “Year of Service”, The Affiliate, The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association’s Newsletter, Volume 38: Number 1(September 2012).
- Stevenson, S. A Lawyer on Every Smartphone, The Affiliate, The Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association’s Newsletter, Volume 38: Number 2 (Novemeber 2012).