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Oregon State Bar seeks non-lawyers for panels


The Oregon State Bar is seeking public (i.e., non-lawyer) members for its Board of Governors, and several other committees and boards.

“As a public member, I strive to provide a bridge to the larger community that informs the critical work of the state bar,” said Audrey Matsumonji. “The issues, the people, and the work of this committee are both fascinating and impactful.”

Past public members on OSB committees have included leaders from the education, management, financial, law enforcement, business and medical professions. Applicants often express a personal interest in a strong and vital statewide judicial system.

The OSB regulates the practice of law in Oregon, and provides numerous public services to enhance the state’s justice system, and to help the public understand and access the system.

Opportunities include one Board of Governors (BOG) position, as well as numerous other appointments to groups working on OSB governance and lawyer discipline.

Additionally, there are positions open on groups that work on issues such as increasing racial and ethnic minority participation in the legal profession, fee arbitration, professionalism in the legal community, work/life balance and legal services for the poor.

Application forms, due Thursday, July 3, and details about open positions are available at, or at (503) 431-6426, or (800) 452-8260, ext. 426. The OSB is committed to serving and valuing its diverse population and ensuring that bar groups reflect the diversity of the membership and the community. Questions can be emailed to

The BOG member would be appointed to a four-year term, beginning in January 2015. Most other committee terms are three years. Currently four public members serve on the 18-member BOG. The four public members have the same voting rights and duties as the lawyer members but do not serve as officers of the bar.

The Board of Governors has five regular meetings a year, on a Thursday and the following Friday morning. Nearly half of the meetings are in the Portland area and the remainder are held around the state. Additionally, board committees meet three to four weeks prior to board meetings. Special board or committee meetings are held as needed. Reimbursement is provided for travel. The time commitment for a BOG member can be considerable: estimated at 25 hours per month in board meetings and special events.

In addition to qualities such as integrity and high-level professional experience, public members on the BOG must meet criteria set forth in the Oregon Statutes: They shall be Oregon residents and shall not be active or inactive members of the Oregon State Bar.

No person charged with official duties under the executive and legislative departments of state government, including but not limited to elected officers of state government, may serve on the board of governors. Any person in the executive or legislative department of state government who is otherwise qualified may serve.

Application forms are due July 3. Forms and details about every open position can be obtained at or by calling (503) 431-6426 or 1-800-452-8260 ext. 426. Questions can be emailed to

The Oregon State Bar licenses and regulates Oregon’s lawyers, and administers the state’s system of lawyer discipline. Additionally, the bar offers numerous programs, including continuing legal education, to enhance the service and professionalism of its 14,000 lawyer members. Finally, it provides a variety of services to continuously improve the state’s justice system, and to help the public understand and access the system.

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