cbareport_May13 - page 4

president’s brief
answer to those questions is largely
colored by my personal journey of the
past year.
“From those to whom much is given,
much is expected.” So teaches the Par-
able of the Faithful Servant. As one
theologian explains, the parable “empha-
sizes that privilege brings responsibility
and that responsibility entails account-
ability.” As attorneys, we are very
privileged and it is our responsibility
to look out, not only for our clients and
those in the community who are in need,
but also for members of our profession
who are experiencing difficulties.
The news is replete with stories of the
burgeoning number of new attorneys
who graduate law school with crushing
debt and little or no prospect of finding
a traditional job in the legal profes-
sion. Meanwhile, off of the front page,
in firms in our own fair city, mid-career
attorneys are losing their jobs, and senior
lawyers, if they are not being compelled
to retire, are practicing significantly
longer, thereby foreclosing opportunities
for mid-career attorneys to transition
into firm leadership roles. And, all the
while, many of our colleagues continue
to struggle with substance abuse, depres-
sion and other issues.
ast year, three days after I was
sworn in as your president
elect, I found myself in a situ-
ation that I never imagined would befall
me—unemployed. When I woke up the
morning after having been RIF’d with
suddenly nowhere to go and nothing to
do­—no office to rush to, no clients to
contact and no fires to put
out–I wondered, for the
first time since I checked
the “pre-law” box on my
Miami University registra-
tion forms, what I would do
with the rest of my profes-
sional life. It was a daunting
feeling. And Monday mornings were the
Please forgive me if you found that to
be a bit too personal. But my purpose in
sharing those rather wrenching feelings,
for better or worse, was to grab your at-
tention. Have I succeeded?
I am so very honored and proud to be
your 122nd president of the Cincinnati
Bar Association. I follow such august
figures as Alphonso Taft (1872), John
Weld Peck (1932-33), a slew of men whose
names grace Cincinnati law firms (in-
cluding the three with which I have been
associated), and some pretty amazing
women–Bea Larsen, Doloris Learmonth
and Julie Stautberg, to name a few. Those
are very large shoes to fill.
Over the past year, as I have been
preparing to embark on my bar presi-
dent journey, I’ve been repeatedly asked,
“What will the theme of your year be?
What do you want to accomplish?” The
By Jean Geoppinger McCoy
I will be challenging you, over the
next year, to ask yourself, “What can I do
to serve our profession?” And to answer
the call to serve. Mentor or, better yet,
sponsor a new or upcoming attorney.
Answer the telephone when your col-
league who has lost his/her job calls to
ask for your guidance. Reach out to
the senior attorney who,
once your mentor, is now
transitioning from active
practice to a “second
I will also be chal-
lenging you to get actively
involved in the CBA. If
you are a new lawyer, join the YLS. Are
you a struggling to live life in a balanced
manner amid the pressure and stress of
the practice of law? The Health & Well
Being Committee is for you! Interested
in serving in the non-profit arena? The
Non-Profit Law Committee can help
you find your niche. Solo practitioner
overwhelmed with the details of running
a firm? Come and see what the Solo/
Small Firm Practitioners have to offer.
Volunteer your time to coach a Mock
Trial team of aspiring lawyers. There is
something for everyone at the CBA!
It is an honor and a privilege to be
your CBA president. I look forward to
working with you, our members, to serve
the profession this year.
Geoppinger McCoy is the 2013-2014 president of the
Cincinnati Bar Association.
“From those to whom
much is given,
much is expected.”
I will be challenging you,
over the next year, to ask yourself,
“What can I do to serve our profession?”
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