Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Chief Justice Encourages Heroes of the Future

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor ushered in her last class of more than 600 new attorneys during the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Bar Admissions ceremonies on Nov. 14.  She recognized their hard work and sacrifice, encouraging them to be heroes to the justice system.

“I charge you to be those heroes who do the work well, who serve others, who value and protect your reputation and the reputation of the justice system,” Chief Justice O’Connor said during her remarks.

Many of the 619 new lawyers sworn in at the Palace Theater in Columbus talked about the accomplishment and their dedication to service within the legal profession.

“It’s amazing to finally get to the dream I’ve been working toward for a long time,” said new attorney Abigail Wiet.

“I want to be a part of the solution in the justice system,” said new attorney Jeremy Pratt, a first-generation college student. “I felt that in order to do that, I would need something like a law degree to put myself at that table.”

Chief Justice O’Connor emphasized the value of new attorneys using their legal education to benefit their communities and help others navigate difficult situations.

“Countless fellow Ohioans and fellow Americans are disadvantaged and need legal advice. Think about how you can use your growing wisdom and expertise to help them,” Chief Justice O’Connor said during her remarks.

Many of the new lawyers have already committed themselves to public service. Forty new members of the bar exceeded 150 hours of pro bono work while managing law school and other responsibilities. Some of those efforts included externing at courts to better understand the judicial system, assisting with legal service clinics to help underprivileged Ohioans dealing with civil issues, and projects providing support to underserved populations – such as veterans and children with autism.

“There are so many people throughout any local area that just need help and don’t have someone with our legal education to provide answers,” said Shea Daley, a new attorney moving to the legal profession after years of service in the Air Force.

She, like many of the new lawyers, is proud to join more than 44,000 members of the Ohio bar and continue a career serving others.

“Being an attorney is a big responsibility, and it’s something you should appreciate,” said Kunga Drungchewa, a new attorney. “You affect people’s lives in a real way.”