Commission on Professionalism

About the Commission

Commission Events

National Legal Mentoring Conference
The Commission and the National Legal Mentoring Consortium will co-sponsor a national legal mentoring conference on May 1-3, 2014. Conference events will be held at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center and the Sheraton at Capitol Square in Columbus, Ohio. The theme of the conference will be “Mentoring in Our Evolving Profession.” Join us for a national discussion on the importance of mentoring in our rapidly changing legal profession and how to promote, establish, and support successful mentoring experiences. For several years, this conference has offered a tremendous networking opportunity for attendees along with excellent curriculum content at an extremely affordable price. For more conference information go to http://legalmentoring.org/.

20th Anniversary Luncheon
In 2012, the Commission celebrated its 20th anniversary. A luncheon was held on September 27, 2012 to commemorate this event. Attendees included past and current Commission members, as well as mentors who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program by serving every year since the program's pilot, for a total of five terms. The luncheon provided an opportunity to review Commission accomplishments and discuss ideas for possible future initiatives. If you have suggestions for Commission projects, please send an e-mail to lori.keating@sc.ohio.gov.

Student to Lawyer Symposium
On November 16, 2012, the Commission hosted its second Student to Lawyer Symposium, a discussion between law school professors, experienced practicing attorneys, new lawyers, law school students, and judges on best practices for preparing law school students to be exemplary professionals.

The Commission plans on hosting its third Student to Lawyer Symposium in the winter of 2014. Updates will be posted as this event nears.

Video camera icon View the symposium videos from the 2012 program
Section One
Section Two
Section Three

Video camera icon View the symposium video from the 2010 program

Commission Programs

Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring Program
This state-wide program pairs newly admitted attorneys to experienced attorneys who serve as mentors. Mentors provide professional guidance and share practical knowledge to assist new lawyers in the transition from law school student to legal practitioner.

Promoting Professionalism On and From the Bench

This is an educational program presented through the Ohio Judicial College about how judges and magistrates may best promote professionalism of attorneys inside and outside of the courtroom. Topics include setting a positive example, reducing discovery misconduct, and reining in unprofessional behavior occurring in the presence of the court. It is the Commission’s hope that the highest standards of professionalism in attorneys may be promoted by intervention by the judiciary.

View materials from this series.

Commission Publications

Professionalism Dos and Don’ts: Depositions
This is a list of best practices for scheduling, conducting, or attending depositions. This publication may be distributed by presenters at professionalism CLEs, given by judges to practitioners who come before them, or used by law professor to educate their students. To obtain copies free of charge, please contact the Commission.

Professionalism Dos and Don’ts: Professionalism in the Courtroom
This is a list of best practices for proper conduct, civility, and respect in the courtroom.  This publication may be distributed by presenters at professionalism CLEs, given by judges to practitioners who come before them, or used by law professor to educate their students. To obtain copies free of charge, please contact the Commission.

Professionalism Dos and Don'ts: Working with Opposing Counsel & Other Lawyers
This is a list of best practices to guide lawyers in their everyday communications and interactions with opposing counsel and other lawyers. This publication may be distributed by presenters at professionalism CLEs, given by judges to practitioners who come before them, or used by law professor to educate their students. To obtain copies free of charge, please contact the Commission.

Professionalism Dos and Don'ts: Conduct of Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys
This is a list of best practices specifically for criminal law practitioners. This publication may be distributed by presenters at professionalism CLEs, given by judges to practitioners who come before them, or used by law professor to educate their students. To obtain copies free of charge, please contact the Commission.

A Consumer's Practical Guide to Managing a Relationship with a Lawyer
A joint venture between the Commission and the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Clients’ Security Fund, this publication provides general, practical information about the lawyer-client relationship, including how to find a lawyer, what to expect after hiring a lawyer, and how to avoid problems in the lawyer-client relationship. Attorneys may distribute this guide to their clients and judges may provide it to persons involved in the court system. To obtain copies free of charge, please contact the Commission.

Professional Ideals for Ohio Lawyers and Judges
This publication puts forward ideals of professionalism for lawyers and judges. A Lawyer’s Creed, A Lawyer’s Aspirational Ideals, A Judicial Creed, and the Statement regarding the Provision of pro bono Legal Services by Ohio Lawyers are included. This brochure may be distributed to law school students or to attendees at professionalism CLE’s. To obtain copies free of charge, please contact the Commission.

Professionalism CLE Materials
The Commission now offers materials that presenters may use at professionalism CLEs or other venues. Presenters who choose to use these materials for CLE courses must still submit a complete application to the CLE Commission in accordance with Gov. Bar R. X, as these materials have not been preapproved by the CLE Commission.

Colorado & Denver Bar Association Teaching Vignettes
This DVD of short vignettes features professionalism problems that attorneys often face.  Also provided is a teaching manual designed to help a program instructor facilitate meaningful discussion with attendees about the professionalism issues depicted. This interactive educational program has been extremely well-received by groups that have used it. The Commission is grateful that the Colorado & Denver Bar Associations have made this material available to other states. To borrow the DVD and teaching manual please contact the Commission.

American College of Trial Lawyers Vignettes
This educational material, which was created and produced by the American College of Trial Lawyers (“ACTL”), features vignettes depicting professionalism problems that attorneys often face. A presentation is provided on a flash drive. Questions to facilitate a meaningful discussion about the professionalism issues depicted are included. The Commission is grateful that the ACTL has generously offered to share this educational resource with attorneys throughout Ohio. To borrow the DVD and teaching manual please contact the Commission.

Professionalism & Ethics Rules

Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct
Effective Feb. 1, 2007, every Ohio lawyer should be sure to familiarize him or herself with these rules.

Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct
Effective March 1, 2009, the revised Code of Judicial Conduct regulates the judicial and extrajudicial activities of judges.

Pro Bono

Statement Regarding the Provision of Pro Bono Legal Services by Ohio Lawyers
This statement, issued by the Supreme Court of Ohio Sept. 20, 2007, reminds lawyers of their professional obligation to undertake activities that promote the common good.  Ohio lawyers are strongly encouraged to participate in pro bono activities or to make financial contributions to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.

Save the Dream
A response to the mortgage foreclosure crisis designed to help Ohioans remain in their homes. Read a program summary and volunteer to assist.

CLE Guidelines

Professionalism Resources

News Releases

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