The Back Page | The Rewards of Volunteering
By Ed Wunch
It all began with an email. In 2018, one of my mentors asked me to speak on a panel about expungements for the upcoming Law Day program. The same mentor stood beside me the first time I walked into chambers to present a routine matter, promptly to be told by the judge just how wrong I was (since then and continuing into his retirement, the judge and I have become good friends). I was honored to be asked to speak on the topic, and it was just an afternoon.
The afternoon we filmed the panel, I had the pleasure of meeting my co-panelists. Justin Wolf served in counsel’s office at OSBI and handled every expungement in the state. Bob Wyatt not only had prolific expungement experience but also had plenty of war stories from his years of criminal defense practice. We stayed for about an hour after filming, discussing our practices and lives while learning from one another.
This was my introduction to volunteering with the OBA. I gave up just an afternoon of my time and gained knowledge and introductions to colleagues I may not have met otherwise. I wanted more.
Roy Tucker, co-chair of the Law Day Committee at that time, invited me to join the committee. For me, the Law Day Committee is a good fit. I enjoy putting together the public education portion of our program as well as meeting other lawyers who volunteer their time for Ask a Lawyer. Working with my colleagues on the Law Day Committee has been an absolute privilege.
Since I was selected to chair the committee in 2020, I’ve enjoyed working with our Board of Governors, bar president and the tremendous staff we have at the OBA. I especially want to thank John Morris Williams for his guidance over the years, as well as the great teams in the Communications, IT and CLE departments who have all helped with Law Day.
Other OBA committees are doing equally amazing work. As we approach the end of the year, I encourage you to consider signing up for a committee. If you are unfamiliar with the work of a committee, reach out to the current chair.1
I speak for many of my fellow chairs when I say that we value any time you can give back to the OBA. Perhaps that is just time in meetings where you can share ideas and offer feedback on how to improve the work of the committee. You may see a committee project you are passionate about, and you can lead that project. There is no shortage of opportunities.
I can say with certainty, if you find a project or committee you are passionate about, you will receive far more than you give. You will build connections with colleagues that extend beyond the committee’s work, and you will enjoy the reward of seeing your hard work pay off. Join me in volunteering with the OBA.
Ed Wunch is a staff attorney with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Inc. and serves as the OBA’s 2022 Law Day Committee chair. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
- Committee chairperson information can be found at www.okbar.org/committees.
Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 93 Vol 8 (October 2022)