Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor
Ohio State Bar Foundation New Fellows Event
June 6, 2017

Good evening. Thank you Andy (Storar – OSBF president) for that introduction and for the invitation to speak at this event. Thank you as well for your leadership of the foundation.

I also want to publicly congratulate the foundation’s new executive director, Lori Keating, who also is a Fellow this year.

Lori served the Supreme Court with distinction for nine years as secretary of the Commission on Professionalism and led our Lawyer to Lawyer mentoring program. I have no doubt that you will be equally pleased with her leadership of the foundation.

I’m pleased to welcome the newest Bar Foundation Fellows into the fold.

As you know, the mission of the foundation is promoting the pursuit of justice and the public understanding of the rule of law.

We at the Ohio Supreme Court are committed to that very same mission. That’s why we collaborate with the foundation.

We work together to encourage more minority students to consider a career in the law through the annual Law and Leadership Institute, now in its tenth year.

We are both supporters of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education.

Beyond those collaborative initiatives at an organizational level, several Supreme Court staff members have served as Fellows and worked on class projects throughout the years, or are currently volunteering in their local communities.

As one of the 39 new fellows, you will have a chance to make a contribution and make your mark this year by becoming involved in community activities that relate to the foundation’s mission either through group or individual service projects.

There are many volunteer opportunities.

For example, you could assist with the Law and Leadership program I just mentioned, helping young people develop for a potential career in the law.

You could help OCLRE, which oversees mock trials, moot courts, and citizenship initiatives.

In the past, fellows have volunteered as mock trial advisers, coordinators, and judges.

Each of these initiatives is a grantee of the foundation and each would benefit from your involvement.

As another option, you could visit classrooms in your community and talk about the Constitution or present on a Forward at 18 (FWD@18) topic such as the dangers of sexting and cyberbullying.

Or, you could speak to service clubs to ensure their membership knows the value of the courts and what we do.

The whole idea behind the fellows program is to engage the minds, energies, and talents of civic-minded lawyers enrolled in the program.

Whatever volunteer opportunity you choose, your work will have an impact and leave a lasting legacy from your time as a 2017 Fellow.

Congratulations on your induction and embrace your Foundation membership! It’s an honor to be a Foundation Fellow!

Thank you and God bless.