In addition to working on cases, most lawyers are involved in at least one organization outside of their role at a firm or company. These organizations often include professional, community and charitable organizations, and may also include groups with which the lawyer has a personal connection, such as churches or religious organizations, alumni groups from schools that they attended, or organizations that focus on a particular interest or hobby that the lawyer has.
Some of the most common professional organizations in the legal profession are bar associations. There are bar associations on pretty much every level. The American Bar Association is one of the biggest national professional legal organizations. There are also state and local bar associations in every state, and for pretty much every county or regional area. Participation in the bar association can range from simply being a member and receiving information and mailings to serving as a leader within the group, and everything in between. Most bar associations offer a variety of events and activities, including continued legal education events or seminars where lawyers can learn more about a particular area or topic of practice from other lawyers with experience in that area, and social or networking events, where lawyers can meet other lawyers in that geographic area and develop professional or referral relationships. Bar associations can be a great opportunity for lawyers to learn more about topics or issues that specifically affect their own geographic area of practice. For example, the recent opioid epidemic in West Virginia and southern Ohio has been an important topic that many bar associations have chosen to address because of the multitude of legal issues that are involved with that crisis. Things like this help bring lawyers together for important causes within the profession and help make them aware of resources and other ways to better serve clients on these topics.
Lawyers may also be involved in organizations that address their specific area of practice. Many civil litigation attorneys who represent plaintiffs and criminal defense lawyers are members of “Associations for Justice” or “Trial Lawyers Associations.” These organizations serve many of the same purposes as the bar association but are more geared toward the plaintiffs’ side of the case and the issues that affect plaintiffs and their lawyers.
In addition to professional associations, many lawyers are involved in community and charitable organizations of all kinds. Bordas & Bordas attorneys serve as members on organizations such as the YMCA, Youth Services Systems, Wheeling Health Right, the Junior League, Catholic Charities, Ohio Valley Breast Cancer Awareness, Lions Club, West Virginia Children’s Advocacy Network, Marshall County Animal Rescue League, and many more! Participation in these organizations is an important way for lawyers to give back to their communities, build relationships with others from various professions and backgrounds, and learn more about their current and potential future clients. If you are ever curious about your lawyer’s participation in professional or other organizations, just ask them. Most lawyers take great pride in their involvement in these groups and would be happy to share their experiences working with them and the reasons that these groups and causes are near and dear to their heart.
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