Malcolm “Skip” Harsch is the Director on the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity at the American Bar Association. Mr. Harsch joined the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation in May 2018.
What does being a Fellow mean to you?
I think it means being a part of a family of distinguished individual attorneys throughout the country. Being a part of such an accomplished group gives me a sense that I have excelled in my profession and through my work have shown that I am a valued part of the legal community. It also means that some person or persons thought highly enough of me to submit my name for consideration to become a Fellow. It is truly an honor.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Geneva, IL.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in law?
Probably my father. He is an accomplished attorney, working in environmental law for over 40 years. He never pushed me to go to law school, actually the opposite. But his dedication to the profession always stuck with me, even when I chose to pursue a degree in biology in college.
If you hadn’t pursued a career in law, what would you have done?
I probably would have become a teacher. Mostly likely high school. I love interacting with younger generations and think I would have made a great high school science teacher.
What do you do in your free time?
My first passion is sailing. I race competitively on a Tartan 10. This summer I will be participating in my fourth Race to Mackinaw Island. I also love to sing. I am a member of the Great Lakes Dredge and Philharmonic Society. We are an all men’s caroling group. It’s a blast.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Being an attorney is a true honor, but one that comes with a great deal of responsibility. Every day I am grateful that I get to use my JD and my law license to advocate of behalf of the ABA and LGBTQ+ individuals. My work is my passion and I only hope that I can continue to make a difference in the ABA and our profession.