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Oklahoma Bar Association

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Bar Center to Open May 18 to Visitors

May 15, 2020

The Oklahoma Bar Center, which houses the Oklahoma Bar Association (OBA), Oklahoma Bar Foundation, Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners and the Council on Judicial Complaints, will open its doors to the public on Monday, May 18. 

OBA Executive Director John Morris Williams said, “As we move into Phase II, I realize we need to begin the process of having some public access.” 

Promptly displayed on entering the building, visitors will see a large sign setting forth detailed conditions for entry.  Besides not being actively infected with COVID-19, the rules require everyone entering the building to wear a mask, and movement within the building is curtailed. 

Williams said, “We have more than 50 people working in the building and some are in the vulnerable categories.  While we allow those who are in the vulnerable categories to work remotely, some choose not to.  As an employer and as responsible citizens, we have an obligation to ensure a safe environment for our staff and visitors.”

Starting Monday, the OBA will begin phasing in additional staff members physically at the Bar Center.  OBA members and others are discouraged from coming to the Bar Center if their business can successfully be handled over the phone or by other electronic communications.  Group meetings at the Bar Center will be very limited and are subject to being cancelled. 

Williams explained, “We have done a very good job at working remotely with only a skeleton crew at the building on any given day.  Our members have embraced videoconferencing on a large scale, and we have proved that we can provide all levels of member service remotely.”  Williams said he feels comfortable having stringent rules in place, and it would be the rare case where anyone would actually need to be physically present.

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