The National College of Probate Judges (NCPJ) has presented Shale Stiller, adjunct faculty member at Maryland Carey Law, with its 2016 Treat Award for Excellence. The award, named in honor of the NCPJ’s founder and first president the Hon. William W. Treat, is given annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of probate law.
Stiller was nominated for the prestigious award by Sol & Carlyn Hubert Professor of Law Paula Monopoli, the founding director of Maryland Carey Law’s Women, Leadership and Equality Program. A trusts and estates, probate and inheritance law scholar and teacher herself, Monopoli is also the author of American Probate: Protecting the Public, Improving the Process (Northeastern University Press 2003).
Emphasizing Stiller’s more than fifty years of service as an adjunct faculty member at Maryland Carey Law in her nomination letter, Monopoli described Stiller’s Federal Estate & Gift Tax course as “legendary among students for its rigor and the interest it sparks in those who have gone on to become estate planning lawyers.” Since he began teaching in 1963, Stiller has also instructed classes in Commercial Law, Constitutional Law, Federal Jurisdiction, and Taxation of Non-Profit Organizations.
Stiller graduated with an A.B. from Hamilton College, an M.L.A. from Johns Hopkins University and an LL.B. from Yale Law School. Over the course of his legal career he became a well-known lawyer in Baltimore at DLA Piper, where he is currently a partner in the estate planning area, as well as served as the President, CEO and Chairman of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and a handful of other private charitable foundations. His leadership has extended to many Baltimore-based organizations such as Johns Hopkins Hospital and University where he has been a long time member of the Boards of Trustees. Stiller has also been credited with being the principal writer of Maryland’s statutory laws on estates and trusts.
“Despite his many achievements and great stature in Baltimore's legal and civic circles, [Stiller] always treats his students as colleagues and partners in the shared experience of learning,” recalls Michael Bakhama ’13, who was mentored by Stiller during law school and is now an associate at DLA Piper and adjunct faculty member at Maryland Carey Law. “Few professors invest as much time, effort, and interest in their students as Shale; he has undoubtedly helped shape my own career, as well as those of several generations of Maryland law students.”
Monopoli credits Stiller’s enthusiastic teaching with encouraging countless Maryland Carey Law students to enter the probate law field, telling the NCPJ nomination committee “this is the kind of contribution that I believe we should incentivize among the current members of our profession. It is only through such teaching and mentoring that we create a new generation of well-qualified lawyers and judges to serve the public who seek our assistance navigating the American probate process.”