Meet Maraleen D. Shields, Esq

Maraleen was born and raised in North Braddock, Pennsylvania. After her father’s sudden death when she was in the fourth grade, she and her sister were raised by her single mother, Doris. Maraleen attended Woodland Hills High School, a school which was created as the result of a 1981 court-ordered desegregation merger. She discovered her interest in the law by participating in high school mock trial competitions. 

 

She is a graduate of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where she was a double major in political science and philosophy with a law and society concentration. While at Kenyon College, she was a student-athlete, running track and field, and was active in several student organizations. Kenyon College awarded her with the McGregor Fellowship, which gave her the opportunity to study, publish, and present work on her chosen topic: racial gerrymandering. She experienced the legislative process first hand when she interned on two separate occasions for Congressman John Larsen (CT-1) and Congressman John Conyers (MI-14). She was named a member of Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honors society). Because of her hard work both in the classroom and on campus, where she held several campus jobs, Maraleen emerged from college without any student loan debt. 

After graduating from Kenyon College in 2000, she immediately attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law on the K. Leroy Irvis Scholarship (three-year full tuition), named for the first African American to serve as a speaker of the house in any state legislature in the United States since Reconstruction. This scholarship is awarded to one applicant to the law school each year. She earned a position on the University of Pittsburgh Law Review and became a member of its Editorial Board. While in law school, she helped coach her high school mock trial team. In 2003, she received her Juris Doctor degree Magna Cum Laude (with high honors) and was named to the Order of the Coif.

 

Maraleen began her career handling commercial litigation and mass tort defense work at Saul Ewing and Reed Smith in Philadelphia. In 2006, she and her husband, Kevin, chose to make the Lehigh Valley their home. She worked as an attorney for the law firms Post & Schell and Stevens & Lee, handling complex medical malpractice litigation throughout northeastern Pennsylvania.

In 2014, Maraleen joined the Lehigh Valley-based Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, P.C. (FL&B) becoming a member of both the health care as well as the litigation and trial practice groups. She represents physicians and medical staffs in the internal Fair Hearing and Appellate process, counsels clients regarding risk and event management, licensure disputes, and HIPAA compliance. She also handles a wide range of litigation matters ranging from personal injury to business disputes on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants. In 2017, she became the first person of color to become a shareholder at FL&B. She joins her colleagues in many volunteer efforts such as Habitat for Humanity’s She Nailed It! fundraising social and competition.

Over the last 14 years, Maraleen has developed deep connections to the Lehigh Valley. She was a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Hillside School; a member of the Board of Directors of Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers; President of the Parents’ Association of Cetronia

"In 2017, Maraleen became the first person of color to become a shareholder at Fitzpatrick, Lentz & Bubba, P.C."

quotes_edited_edited.png

Elementary School; and a Member of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council of Lehigh Valley Inter-regional Networking & Connecting (LINC). She was recently invited to participate in Parkland School District’s Equity and Inclusion Committee, which will guide the district in developing a sustainable pathway towards equity, inclusion, cultural relevance/responsiveness, and social emotional learning. She remains closely connected with her alma mater, Kenyon College, serving as Chair of the Kenyon Fund Executive Committee and a member of the Kenyon College Campaign Leadership Committee. 

Maraleen's accomplishments include

PBA President's Award (2018); the Lynette Norton Award (2020); PA Rising Stars (2008, 2010, 2012-2018); Lehigh Valley Business Journal's Forty under 40; Lehigh Valley Magazine's Legal Leader. 

quotes%202_edited.png

She is active in the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA), serving as Chair of the Minority Bar Committee’s Rising Star Program Subcommittee, Co-Chair of the Women in the Profession Commission’s Diversity Committee, and Co-Chair of the Health Care Committee. In 2016, she was invited by then PBA President, Sharon R. Lopez, to participate in its Blue Ribbon Panel on Membership Engagement which focused on PBA engagement of mothers, millennials, and minorities. Because of her work on this project, she was given the PBA President’s Award in 2018. In 2020, PBA President, David E. Schwager, named Maraleen to the Joint Task Force on Continuity of Legal Services, which is focused on creating recommendations to ensure continuity and consistency of legal services from one jurisdiction to another in response to the ongoing pandemic. Also in 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Lynette Norton Award. This prestigious award recognizes a female attorney who excels in litigation and is devoted to the mentorship of women in the profession. Maraleen was the first woman of color to receive this award. 

Maraleen has been named to the PA Rising Stars list 2008, 2010, 2012-2018. She received Lehigh Valley Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 Award and Lehigh Valley Magazine’s Legal Leader Award. She is a frequent speaker on diversity, equity, and inclusion, health care, and litigation matters.

Maraleen is an avid runner. She is currently in the midst of a daily workout streak that extends back to January 1, 2018. She is an intermediate level Spanish speaker, having started learning the language in 2019 along with her two children, Cole and Sage. She resides in South Whitehall Township with her husband of 14 years, Kevin L. Orloski, Esq., and their two children.