Gay man to lead nation's oldest bar association

Attorney Andrew A. Chirls was elected vice chancellor of the 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association on Tuesday, which means that in 2005 he will become the first openly gay attorney to serve as chancellor of the nation's oldest chartered metropolitan bar association. Chirls, 46, will serve as vice chancellor of the association in 2003, as chancellor-elect in 2004, and automatically move up to chancellor the following year.

"It is an honor to be elected to this post at such a challenging time," said Chirls. "My colleagues' selection of me as their leader says a lot about the collegiality of our legal community. I hope it attracts the best, brightest, and most diverse new law school graduates to Philadelphia."

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