FROM THE PRESIDENT
Ohio Supreme Court “Access to Justice” Report, More on LRIS Revamp, Annual Meeting “Save the Date”
If you have been following these articles, you are aware that we are in the middle of a review of the services we provide to our members. I am happy to report that our membership is stabilized, and we are doing better in member retention than other Bars throughout the State of Ohio and throughout the country.
We have approximately 1,400 members out of about 2,800 Summit County attorneys who are registered with the Supreme Court of Ohio. Obviously, with each passing year there are lawyers who are graduating, including from the University of Akron School of Law.
We have a wonderful alliance with the School of Law. Dean Wilson has actively participated in a Board meeting and in presentations, and he
welcomes the opportunity. This is a great resource for us, and we value our relationship. We were able to host some law school classes while the construction is ongoing at the Law School. We could not have done this without having our own building, thanks to the members and our prior leaders.
I recently asked Judge McKenney, Al Schrader, and Kerri Keller to review the Access to Justice report from the Ohio Supreme Court. I urge all of you to go to the website and download the document at www.supremecourtofohio.gov. There is a wealth of information as to where the Supreme Court is heading.
Due to a downturn in lawyer trust accounts, obviously, the funds that were available for helping the disadvantaged are no longer available, and the court is looking to other avenues. In addition, the court is addressing issues of unbundling of legal services as well as the use and promotion of incubator projects. The Akron Bar Association, like Cleveland and Columbus, have incubators in place that are not only a service to the community but a wonderful opportunity for young lawyers wanting to establish a practice. In fact, on February 24, your Board of Trustees conducted its meeting at the Barberton Incubator, and I can report that we are very impressed with not only the facility but also with our mentor, Mark Hilkert.
As we revamp how we handle potential client inquiries through the Lawyer Referral Service, we are conducting an informal polling of our members on how they get and retain clients from this service, including in the suburban areas such as Twinsburg, Macedonia, Hudson, Stow as well as Green, Springfield and Coventry. Summit County is a diverse community with three municipal courts, a State court with four different divisions, and a Court of Appeals. We have a vibrant legal community with lawyers who commit a great deal of time and effort to the Association’s well-being.
On February 25, 2016, the Lawyers Assistance Committee along with Heart to Heart Communications sponsored a ground-breaking seminar entitled “Staying Grounded, Centered, Focused and Inspired in the Practice of Law: Remaining Vital and Purposeful in the Challenging Field of Law.” We are grateful to the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation that helped sponsor this event. This could not have happened without the efforts of Susan Baker Ross (Committee Co-Chair), John Myers (Committee Co-Chair), Lawrence W. Vulimen (Co-Founder of Heart to Heart Communications), and Michael Olah (Committee Member). The materials are available for seven hours of credit but if you did not have an opportunity to attend, the substantive material presented contained information that is not only good for re-education purposes but also for the body, mind, and soul.
Finally, the work of the Nominating Committee is complete, and there is a new slate of officers and board members for the 2016-2017 calendar year. Please save June 21, 2016 for our annual meeting, which will take place at the Akron Art Museum. President-Elect Meg Matejkovic promises that this year’s annual meeting is something not to be missed. Please plan on attending and participating.
Akron Bar Association President
Larry Scanlon is Managing Partner of Scanlon & Elliott in Akron.