COLUMBUS — Two Darke County residents were among the nearly 700 new lawyers sworn in during two special Ohio Supreme Court sessions held at the Ohio Theatre Nov. 16.
Joseph John Latas, of Greenville, and Laura Elizabeth Waymire, of Ansonia, took their turn to walk across the stage and be admitted to practice law in Ohio during the ceremonies.
These lawyers, who passed the July 2015 Ohio Bar Examination and satisfied all of the Supreme Court’s other requirements, received their certificates of admission.
“Understand that your law degree was an intelligent investment,” Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said during her keynote speech. “Whether you go on to practice law in the traditional sense, or use the skills and knowledge you have gained in law school in some as yet unknown way, you are now joining a noble profession. It is a profession with a storied past and an exciting future, and that future will be molded by you.”
Chief Justice O’Connor administered the oath of office and, during her keynote speech, told the new lawyers that their license to practice law is a means to help people. She also spoke about how the new attorneys should use technology to deliver quality legal services.
“Your future is wide open,” Chief Justice O’Connor said. “You’re digital natives in a better position than any generation before to take advantage of being tech savvy. Put those skills to good use and invent new ways to be accessible and an ethical practicing attorney.”
Ohio State Bar Association President John Holschuh Jr. also spoke at the ceremony and told the new lawyers to be advocates for their profession and to always maintain the highest standards.
“You’ll find when you get into the practice, there will be other lawyers who may not take the high road, who may not have the same integrity that you have,” Holschuh said. “And, you may be tempted to go to their level. Never ever do that. You always maintain the highest degree of integrity and your reputation.”
Of 1,045 applicants who sat for the exam, 779, or 75 percent, received passing scores and 691 walked the stage to receive their certificates during the ceremonies.
Following the program, the attorneys and their families visited the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center and were able to file their registration paperwork and learn about the Supreme Court’s mentoring program.