HARRISBURG (April 25, 2023) — Lackawanna County lawyer Michael J. McDonald, a founding partner in the Scranton law firm of McDonald and MacGregor PC, will become president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) at the conclusion of the association’s Annual Meeting, May 5, in Philadelphia.
McDonald is concluding his current term as PBA president-elect. He served as the 2021-22 vice president. From May 2016 through May 2019, McDonald served as PBA secretary.
During his year as president, McDonald will form a technology committee that will provide professional development to lawyers as they incorporate more innovations into their legal practices to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness of technological advances. The committee will also be a resource for the judicial and legislative branches in their understanding and implementation of technological advances that impact Pennsylvania’s legal system. For example, the task force will examine the impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots such as ChatGPT. McDonald also foresees the organization of a technology retreat focusing on methods to integrate technology into practice management, client communications and marketing.
McDonald is a member of the Task Force on Statewide Electronic Filing, an effort initiated by outgoing PBA President Jay N. Silberblatt to collect information for and analyze costs of establishing a statewide system to be used for civil filings in Pennsylvania’s 60 judicial districts. The task force will continue its work while McDonald is president.
McDonald is a member of the PBA Aeronautical and Space Law, Civil Litigation, Solo and Small Firm and Workers’ Compensation sections. He also is a member of the Bylaws, Finance, Health Care Law, Investment, Law-Related Education, Membership Development and Minority Bar committees. Since 2018, he has served a PABAR-PAC zone director.
McDonald is a past co-chair of the PBA Bar Leadership Institute, past co-vice chair of PBA Strategic Planning Committee and a past member of the Minority Bar Committee Diversity and Attorney Conference Sponsorship Subcommittee.
From 2007 to 2010, McDonald has served as a PBA zone governor on the PBA Board of Governors, representing lawyers from Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties. He previously served as a zone delegate and a county delegate to the PBA Young Lawyers Division.
McDonald received a PBA Special Achievement Award in 2015 for his leadership and service.
He is a former vice president and a Commonwealth Club member of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the PBA. In 2013, McDonald established the foundation’s Joseph T. McDonald Memorial Scholarship Program that annually provides a $3,000 scholarship to a full-time, 3L Pennsylvania resident involved in the Penn State Dickinson Law trial advocacy program.
McDonald is a former president of the Lackawanna Bar Association and its Young Lawyers Division. He received the association’s President’s Award for outstanding service to the legal profession. He also is a past president of the Federal Bar Association, Middle District of Pennsylvania Chapter, and past president of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers’ Association. He is a past governor of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.
McDonald has been chosen for certification and/or membership in the National Board of Trial Advocacy, the National Board of Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He is recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and listed in Best Lawyers in America.
Also active in the community, McDonald has served as vice chairman, Audit Committee chair and as a member of the Board of Directors for Fidelity Bank, a community bank headquartered in Dunmore with offices throughout northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.
He also has served on the Board of Trustees for Scranton Preparatory School, as well as the Board of Directors for the Holy Cross School System of the Diocese of Scranton, Meals on Wheels of Lackawanna County and Lackawanna Pro Bono Inc., which provides legal services to low-income residents. Lackawanna Pro Bono recently honored McDonald with its Robert W. Munley Distinguished Service Award.
He is a graduate of Villanova University and Dickinson School of Law, which awarded him the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award for distinguished achievement in trial advocacy.