April 19, 2018

National Volunteer Week: CBA Style

by Kelsey Pohlman, Columbus Bar Association

Since 1974, this week (April 15 – 21) has been known as National Volunteer Week. In the spirit of service, the Columbus Bar Association would like to thank the many volunteers who work hard to advance the legal profession and improve our community:

CBA and CBF Board Members
Board members are elected by their peers, and serve for two years representing the entire CBA membership. They meet twice a month to set association policy, guide programming and act as liaisons who oversee and authorize committee activities. The Columbus Bar Association relies heavily on our governing board to serve as ambassadors for our programs and services.

Committee Chairs
Columbus Bar Committee Chairs serve a vital role in furthering the education of colleagues in their practice area by planning monthly meetings and arranging speakers and topical legal discussions. Committee chairs are appointed by the Columbus Bar President and serve at the pleasure of the president to gain opportunities for leadership development, networking and recognition across the Bar.

Special Task Force Volunteers
From time to time, the Columbus Bar Association assembles members to serve on specific projects. These include developing pilot programs, examining processes and procedures and evaluating ongoing strategies. Typically, these assignments are short-term but no less important to the overall success or execution of the CBA’s mission to enhance professionalism and collegiality in the Central Ohio legal community.

Ask the Attorney
Every Wednesday, the CBA participates in ABC6 Ask the Attorney. Two to six members volunteer each week to answer over 200 calls in an hour and a half. These volunteers help Columbus residents navigate the next step in their legal situation: from landlord/tenant disputes, bankruptcy, divorce and much more. Providing Columbus citizens with accurate information while dealing with a troubling legal issue is a service to the community at large.

Sustaining Membership
Each year, more than 500 Sustaining Members support the Columbus Bar Association and the integrity of our profession by giving more than what is asked. This past year, the generosity of these individuals helped the CBA pursue and accomplish programs that strengthen our profession and the justice system, including pro bono services, judicial evaluations, professionalism, diversity, and inspiring public confidence in the legal system. These efforts could not have been possible without their philanthropic spirit and unwavering commitment to the mission and ideals of the Columbus Bar Association.

Lawyer Referral Service
The Columbus Bar Lawyer Referral Service has been helping people find a lawyer for over 50 years; while many of our members are on the Lawyer Referral Service to get clients, we also have a handful who step in and help take the numerous calls that come in from Central Ohio citizens. These members take two to three hours weekly to stop by the CBA, answer upwards of 20 calls and help direct people in need to a lawyer who can help. Their service is priceless.

CBA inc Mentors
One of the benefits to Columbus Bar inc is to provide new attorneys with a support system of professionals to help them navigate the practice of law, all while practicing in the office environment of the Columbus Bar Association. Longtime mentor Rick Colby recently passed on the baton to Kendra Carpenter, who will meet with the inc attorneys and provide guidance. The mentoring relationship is a fundamental part of what Columbus Bar inc is providing to new solo attorneys to enhance their likelihood of success.