A total of 219 new attorneys who finished law school, passed the bar exam, and met all other requirements for admission were sworn in on May 9, 2011 at a ceremony officially admitting them to the bar.
Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Yvette McGee Brown offered remarks at the ceremony, which took place during a special session of the Supreme Court at the historic Ohio Theatre. She congratulated the newest members of the bar, discussed the privilege of being a lawyer and encouraged them to chart a path of significance while upholding the highest professional standards.
Justice Paul E. Pfeifer administered the oath to the new attorneys, while Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor opened the ceremony and served as the emcee. Also present at the ceremony were Justices Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Terrence O'Donnell, Judith Ann Lanzinger and Robert R. Cupp.
Lisa Weekley Coulter, chair of the Board of Bar Examiners, presented a motion to admit the successful applicants.
Dean Louis Bilionis of the University of Cincinnati College of Law and Carmen V. Roberto, president of the Ohio State Bar Association, spoke on behalf of the law schools and state bar.
"Our society turns to lawyers for its most fundamental concerns," Dean Bilionis said. "The protection of our families and our property. The orderly and reliable conduct of our business transactions. The provision of critical social support for those in need. The fairness of our trials. The access to justice for one and all on equal terms. The sanctity of the rule of law. Today, your society entrusts you with these pressing matters. You leave here today with a great privilege - and a great responsibility."
OSBA President Roberto provided a few final pieces of advice.
"Each year we welcome a new group of attorneys to the legal profession and we wish them well as they embark on their careers," he said. "We remind them that the OSBA's core purpose is to support lawyers in their practice of law and to provide them with the tools they need to serve their clients. We encourage them to give back to their communities by providing pro bono legal services to Ohioans in need and to support community organizations with their service. And we ask them to undertake all of their endeavors with professionalism, courtesy and civility."
The attorneys sworn in today passed the February 2011 bar examination and satisfied all of the Supreme Court's other requirements for admission. Overall, 277 applicants out of 397 (69.77 percent) received passing scores while 85.84 percent of the 226 first-time applicants received passing scores.
Following the ceremony, the attorneys were encouraged to visit the Ohio Judicial Center, including the Supreme Court Courtroom and the Law Library. New attorneys were also urged to file their registration paperwork and learn about the Supreme Court's Lawyer to Lawyer mentoring program.
The bar exam is administered by the Supreme Court, which regulates the practice of law in Ohio, including the admission of new attorneys, the biennial registration of current attorneys, attorney discipline in cases of misconduct, and the administration of continuing legal education.