In the Community

Members of the Cincinnati Bar Association are committed to serving Greater Cincinnati not just through their professional role as attorneys, but also through volunteer service in the community. The CBA sponsors a variety of programs that help to serve our community. From sponsoring a major mentoring/tutoring initiative that is helping at-risk youth in our city, to operating a lawyer referral service that helps citizens find an attorney in a specific practice area, these programs are making a difference in our community.


Lawyer Referral Service (LRS)

The CBA has operated its Lawyer Referral Service since 1943. The LRS maintains a panel of more than 325 attorneys and makes referrals to the public in most areas of the law. There is no fee for using the service and the referred attorney will not charge more than $30 for the first half hour of consultation. The LRS number is (513) 381-8359.


Mentoring Program

The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) has partnered with the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (CYC) with the hope of improving the lives of a select group of high school students in Cincinnati's public schools. For more information on mentoring opportunities, please contact the CYC at (513) 475-4959.


Mock Trial

The Cincinnati Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Section, in association with the Ohio Center for Law Related Education have presented the Annual High School Mock Trial Competition for over 30 years.  This competition is made possible by a generous grant from the Cincinnati Bar Foundation and the willingness of CBA members to serve as team legal advisors and judges for our District Competition.  For more information contact Jamie Shiverdecker at (513) 699-4013 or


Notary Public

The CBA typically administers notary public examinations on the first Wednesday of every month for residents of Hamilton County interested in becoming a notary public. Exams are administered by a notary chair with the assistance of the CBA notary administrator. The short essay exams are graded by volunteer attorneys who are members of the Judges Committee on Notaries Public. The CBA also processes notary applications for attorneys whose commissions are lifetime once their applications have been completely processed. From time to time, notary seminars are offered to the public at a nominal fee compared to outside agencies. Volunteer attorneys serve as speakers for the seminar and discuss a wide range of notary topics.


Now You're 18

To equip high school students in Greater Cincinnati with knowledge of their legal responsibilities and rights once they turn 18 years of age, the Cincinnati Bar Association supports the Ohio Bar Assocation's effort with the Now You're 18 guidebook. It explains laws regarding driving, drinking, contracts, credit, voting, consumer protection, marriage and divorce, employment and discrimination. It also covers procedures when criminal charges are made, military service requirements applying to the draft, and selection and duties of jurors. Access this valuable information anytime.


Partners in the Community (PIC)

Launched by the CBA's Lawyer Referral Service, this program is geared toward educating high school students, especially seniors, on issues relating to turning 18. Topics addressed include DUI, drug charges, alcohol consumption, date rape, student loan application, credit cards, consumer credit, credit reports, leases and more. LRS panel attorneys conduct the program in a group or assembly format.


Run For Kids 5K Race

The CBA's Young Lawyers Section organizes an annual “Run For Kids,” a 5K run and fitness walk which benefits ProKids, a local organization that advocates on behalf of abused and neglected children in the legal system. The race has proven highly successful in past years and the event continues to grow.

Speakers Bureau

The Speakers Bureau, sponsored by the Professionalism Committee of the Cincinnati Bar Association, offers attorneys who are willing to speak on a variety of topics, including domestic relations, bankruptcy, estate planning, fire and emergency law, consumer sales practices, technology and many others.   Speakers are available for community events and organizations, including schools, nursing homes, social service organizations and rotary clubs.


Summer Work Experience in Law (SWEL)

SWEL is an eight week diversity pipeline program leading to the legal profession. SWEL began in 1986 as a pilot program sponsored by the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati-Cincinnati Bar Association Round Table. SWEL works primarily with area African American high school and college students who have a serious interest in law. Applications are accepted from January through March, students interview during Spring Break and the summer program begins in June and continues through mid August. SWEL offers legal internships and weekly academic classes to support students in their goal to secure admission to law school and gain first hand experience about career options within the legal profession. For more information about the program visit the SWEL website at or contact Beverly Hardy, Executive Director at


Tutoring Program

The CBA has partnered with the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (CYC) to provide tutors to students at area schools. Attorneys have the opportunity to volunteer as their schedule permits. For more information, please contact LaDonna Wallace Smith at (513) 699-1392 or


Volunteer Lawyers Project

Through the Volunteer Lawyers Project, private attorneys help clients with adoption, divorce, visitation, housing, consumer debt, probate matters, wills and representation in lawsuits. This program, established in 1982 by the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Bar Association, provides critical legal services to the community through the support of many private lawyers and corporate law offices. Our community depends on these volunteers who donate their time to help Legal Aid clients.

You and the Legal System
The Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) works in conjunction with the Hamilton County Law Library to offer this free program to the public. We offer one-hour legal seminars once a month at the Hamilton County Law Library located on the sixth floor of the Hamilton County Courthouse. During this time, a qualified attorney will speak on a specific topic and open the floor for questions from attendees.
For a list of topics and dates, visit In order to sign up to attend, please contact the Law Library at (513) 946-5300.


Other Community Service Projects

The CBA's Young Lawyers Section plans a series of community service activities each year. Programs have included serving meals at an Over-the-Rhine soup kitchen, spring mulching at Boys Hope/Girls Hope, organizing a legal community blood drive through Hoxworth Blood Center and providing volunteers during WCET-Channel 48's annual Action Auction public television fund-raiser.

For more information on community service projects of the Cincinnati Bar Association, please contact us at (513) 381-8213.


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