Public Member Volunteer Opportunity Descriptions
The following volunteer positions are available to members of the public located in Oregon. Appointments are made in the fall and most terms begin January 1 of the following year.
Board of Governors (one statewide vacancy)
The Board of Governors (BOG) is charged with the executive functions of the state Bar and directs its power to the advancement of the science of jurisprudence and the improvement of the administration of justice. It has the authority to adopt, alter, amend and repeal bylaws and to adopt new bylaws containing provisions for regulation and management of the affairs of the state Bar not inconsistent with law. The BOG meets 5 times each year and holds an additional 5 committee meetings each year. On average members spend 25 hours on board related activities each month. The BOG consists of 19 members, 15 lawyers and 4 public members. Terms are 4-years and public members must be residents of this state and cannot be an active or inactive member of the Oregon State Bar. Some travel expenses for members of the board are reimbursed.
Disciplinary Board (several statewide vacancies)
The Disciplinary Board (DB) is a component of the disciplinary process. After formal charges have been filed against a lawyer, 2 lawyer members and one public member of the DB will be selected to serve as the trial panel for the case. The trial panel evaluates the evidence presented by the bar and the accused lawyer and decides whether the accused lawyer has violated the Rules of Professional Conduct and, if so, the appropriate sanctions to be imposed. Hearings are usually conducted Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and can last anywhere from 1 to 3 days. Travel may be required for some hearings. Mileage, meals and lodging can be reimbursed for panel members. Appointed members serve a 3 year term.
Fee Arbitration and Mediation (several statewide vacancies)
Works to resolve disputes regarding attorneys’ fees. Volunteer panels, including two lawyer members and one public member, listen to both sides and then make a decision. Each matter can take one-half to an entire day. Terms are generally three years and members may be reappointed. There is a greater need for volunteers from Eugene and Eastern and Southern Oregon.
House of Delegates (two statewide vacancies)
The House of Delegates (HOD) is a governance forum for the OSB and consists of one public member from each in-state region and more than 200 lawyer members from in and outside the state. The HOD debates and decides matters of bar policy during the one annual meeting held during the year. Terms are for three years and some travel expenses for attendance at the annual meeting are reimbursed.
State Professional Responsibility Board (one statewide vacancy)
The State Professional Responsibility Board (SPRB) is a 10 member board, composed of 8 resident attorneys and 2 members of the public. The board acts as the grand jury in the discipline system, making probable cause decisions on complaints. The board meets monthly on either Friday or Saturday for several hours and the workload is substantial. SPRB members serve 4-year terms. Reimbursement for mileage, meals, and lodging is available for SPRB members.
Committees assist the Board of Governors in its oversight and policy-making responsibilities by pursuing the assignments described below. Appointments are made by the Board of Governors in November and terms begin on January 1 of the following year. Unless otherwise noted, committee members serve three-year terms and expenses are not reimbursed for travel.
Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
Members of the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (ACDI) score applications for the Public Honors, Clerkship Stipend, Scholarship, and Bar Exam Grant programs. This committee of 20 volunteer attorneys, one OSB liaison and two public members is a critical part of the Diversity and Inclusion Department. The Committee also provides vision, advises the D&I staff, and is a strong program advocate.
Client Security Fund
Investigate and recommend acceptance or rejection of claims for reimbursement of lawyer theft or misappropriation of client money. Meets on Saturdays, every other month, 9:30 a.m. at various locations, and consists of 13 members, 12 lawyers and 1 public member.
Legal Services (two statewide vacancies)
The Legal Services program is responsible for reviewing and reporting to the Board of Governors on filing fee funds. The committee meets three to four times a year at various times and locations, and consists of 9 members, 7 lawyers and 2 public member.
Minimum Continuing Legal Education (one statewide vacancy)
Provides input, analysis and evaluation of the program that accredits education programs for Oregon attorneys. Meets at the Oregon State Bar four times a year on a Friday at noon, and consists of 9 members, 8 lawyers and 1 public member.
Professionalism Commission (one statewide vacancy)
Promotes educational opportunities for lawyers, judges and the public. It also promotes professionalism and designs and develops creative approaches to the promotion of professionalism and equality. Meets quarterly on a Fridayat 2:00 p.m. at the Oregon State Bar, and consists of 21 members, 5 judges and lawyers, 1 public member, and several ex-officio members of the legal community.
Public Service Advisory
Provides volunteer opportunities to increase understanding and respect of the justice system by adult Oregonians. Meets quarterly on Saturday, at 10:00 a.m. at the Oregon State Bar, and consists of 13 members, 12 lawyers and 1 public member.
Quality of Life
Educate lawyers and firms about the benefits of balancing personal life and career obligations. Meets the 2nd Thursday at noon every month at the Stoll Berne in Portland, and consists of 14 members, 13 lawyers and 1 public member.
State Lawyers Assistance
Investigate and resolve complaints about lawyers whose conduct impairs their ability to practice law. Meets on the 4th Thursday every month, 4:00 p.m. at the Oregon State Bar, and consists of 15 members, 13 lawyers and 2 public members. Terms are for four years.
Unlawful Practice of Law
Review and evaluate complaints concerning individuals who are not licensed or otherwise permitted to practice law in Oregon. Members are assigned individual complaints to investigate and recommend action in accord with the Committee’s authority. The Committee reviews member reports and makes recommendations to the Board of Governors whether to seek injunctive relief against violators. Meets 2nd Friday of each month, 3:00 p.m. at the Oregon State Bar, and consists of 16 members, 14 lawyers and 2 public members. Terms are for four years.