A native of Howard County, Md., Marcella Holland laid the groundwork for her bright future while enrolled at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Upon graduation in 1980, she enrolled at the University of Maryland School of Law.

While at the Law School, Judge Holland was active in many organizations. She participated in the Black Law Students Association, where she served as president.

Judge Holland also participated in the Asper Internship Program, where she worked for Judge Robert M. Bell during his tenure on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

When she graduated in 1983, she received the Alumni Association Prize.

Upon her admission to the Maryland Bar in December 1983, Holland was sworn in as the assistant state’s attorney for Baltimore City and held that position for 13 years. She then was assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit for nine years before she was appointed to the bench.

On Sept. 18, 1997, Judge Holland was sworn in as an associate judge on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. After serving in that position for four years, she was appointed control over the domestic docket. Thereafter, she began her appointment as administrative judge of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City in 2003.

Judge Holland has dedicated much of her time to community involvement. She has served as the Druid Hill YMCA board manager, the Black Achievers Program Steering Committee chair and she served on the Bridge Beyond Bars Advisory Committee. Holland is currently affiliated with the National Girl Scouts of America and the Friends of Soulful Symphony. Former mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke also appointed her to the Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation, on which she served as chair for two terms.

Judge Holland has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career. In 2008, she won the Outstanding Alumni of the Year award from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She also received The Daily Record’s Maryland Top 100 Women Award. Additionally, Judge Holland received the NBA Judicial Council’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005, among many other prestigious honors.

On Feb. 14, the AFRO honored Judge Holland for her outstanding service in her career and the community at the company’s fifth annual Legends and Pioneers ceremony at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.