Oklahoma Bar Journal

The Importance of Being an Engaged Bar Member

By Janet K. Johnson

Executive Director Johnson discusses law school engagement opportunities with Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, dean of the OCU School of Law.

Being an active member of the Oklahoma Bar Association is an asset to you, other bar members and the community. Whether you are a seasoned attorney or a newly minted lawyer, active participation in the OBA can be a valuable aspect of your legal career. There are several ways to see the significance of membership engagement, and all are rewarding.

For example, there are many networking and professional growth opportunities. One of the most compelling reasons to be an engaged bar member is the opportunity to build a robust professional network. The OBA hosts a plethora of events, conferences and seminars where attorneys from various practice areas come together to share their expertise and experiences. Engaging in these activities can lead to valuable connections, mentorship opportunities and even referrals for new clients. These connections can be pivotal in advancing your legal career and staying updated on the latest developments in the field.

Additionally, the OBA CLE Department is top notch. In fact, it is the leading provider in the state. Since CLE is essential for attorneys to maintain their licenses and stay current with the ever-evolving legal landscape, you don’t want to miss what the OBA CLE Department has to offer. By actively participating in these programs, you not only fulfill your professional obligations but also enhance your knowledge and skills, making you a more effective advocate for your clients.

And last but certainly not least, involvement and engagement with the OBA in a leadership role, sections, committees and other member offerings allows you to mentor and be mentored – to give and receive support. All lawyers, new and seasoned, can benefit greatly from the guidance and mentorship of experienced attorneys. The OBA is bringing back its Leadership Academy in 2024. As a Leadership Academy alumna, I can personally attest to the remarkable curriculum and value of this program. Be on the lookout for more information coming to you soon!

Being an engaged bar member is more than just a professional obligation; it is a commitment to the betterment of the legal profession and the communities we serve. By actively participating in OBA events, programs, seminars, etc., you can network with peers, continue your legal education and provide support to both new and experienced attorneys. Ultimately, being an engaged bar member not only enriches your legal career but also contributes to the broader goals of promoting fairness, access to justice and the rule of law. Thus, I leave you with a challenge: Embrace your role as an engaged bar member, and let it be a cornerstone of your legal journey.

To contact Executive Director Johnson, email her at janetj@okbar.org.

Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 95 Vol 9 (November 2023)

Statements or opinions expressed in the Oklahoma Bar Journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Oklahoma Bar Association, its officers, Board of Governors, Board of Editors or staff.