Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor
Ohio State Bar Foundation New Fellows Induction Ceremony
June 12, 2018

(Remarks prepared for delivery on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in the Law Library at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center)

Good evening, everyone.

Thank you Carol (Marx) for that introduction – and for the OSBF’s invitation for me to speak at this event.

Thank you, as well for your leadership of the Foundation.

I also want to acknowledge Executive Director Lori Keating for her remarks.

Lori served the Supreme Court with distinction for nine years as secretary of the Commission on Professionalism. She also led our Lawyer to Lawyer mentoring program.

Also, our own Janet Green Marbley is on your Board of Trustees.  Many of you know about her work at the Supreme Court as administrator of the Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection.

We are here for a very happy occasion. I’m pleased to welcome the newest Bar Foundation Fellows into the fold, especially given that I’ve been an honorary Fellow since 2003.

The foundation’s mission is promoting the pursuit of justice and the public understanding of the rule of law. The Supreme Court of Ohio and our staff are committed to that very same mission.

We work with the foundation to encourage more minority students to consider a career in the law through the annual Law and Leadership Institute, now in its 11th year.

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

These collaborations are worthy ventures. Their potential is great. As one of the 32 new Fellows, you will have a chance to make a difference 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. Picture yourself in one – or more...

For example, you could assist with the Law and Leadership program I just mentioned, helping young people develop their minds 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 receives grants from the foundation, and every one of them would benefit from your involvement.

Another option for you would be to visit classrooms in your community. There is such a great need out there for civic education. School children need to know much, much more about how our justice system works – and its value to our democracy. Think about that in the context of our current times.

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

The idea behind the Fellows program is to engage the minds, energies, and talents of civic-minded lawyers enrolled in these kinds of endeavors.

Whatever volunteer opportunity you choose, your work will have an impact and leave a lasting legacy from your time as a 2018 Fellow.

Congratulations on your induction.

Embrace your Foundation membership!

It’s an honor to be a Foundation Fellow!

Thank you and God bless.