CONTACT: Ken Brown – (800) 282-6556, (614) 487-4426 or
cell phone: (614) 746-2457
Columbus, Ohio (June 17,
2013) – William K. Weisenberg, assistant
executive director for public affairs, government relations, and diversity
initiatives for the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA), has been selected as the
recipient of the 2013 National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) Bolton Award,
the 2013 American Bar Association (ABA) Grassroots Advocacy Award, and the 2013
Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE) Founders’ Award.
Bolton Award, NABE’s highest accolade, is presented each year to a member who
exhibits professionalism, character and integrity and who has demonstrated
significant contributions to the organized bar and legal profession. Weisenberg will receive the NABE
Bolton Award at the NABE Annual Meeting in San Francisco on August 9. The award
will be presented at a joint luncheon of the National Conference of Bar
Presidents, the National Conference of Bar Foundations and NABE held in
conjunction with the annual meeting of the ABA. NABE is an independent,
voluntary association established to serve the management staff of bar
associations and law-related organizations.
The ABA Grassroots Advocacy Award was presented to Weisenberg in April in Washington, D.C.,
at a Capitol Hill reception as part of ABA Day, that association’s annual
effort to connect policymakers with constituents in the legal profession. The
award recognizes Weisenberg’s advocacy on behalf of the justice system
and the legal profession in Ohio and the nation’s capital.
The OCLRE Founders’ Award will be presented to Weisenberg
during the 2013 OCLRE Law and Citizenship Conference on September 23. The OCLRE Founders’ Award recognizes individuals or
organizations that have made significant contributions to the ideals and growth
of law-related education. Like the OCLRE founders, for whom this award is
named, recipients are visionaries who have devoted their time and talent to
develop and support programs that engage students in learning about and value
the rule of law, democracy and, most importantly, the importance of civic
responsibility. Past recipients have included volunteers, educators,
attorneys and a former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio—all of whom
have been staunch supporters and advocates of civics and law-related education.
Weisenberg was selected for the OCLRE award in recognition of
his longstanding commitment to the purpose of OCLRE, for his significant
support in connecting OCLRE with the
Ohio General Assembly, and for his collaborative efforts with the Supreme Court
of Ohio and the Ohio Attorney General‘s Office to secure adequate funding and
expand programmatic opportunities.
“Bill Weisenberg, who we affectionately
refer to as the Dean of the Ohio Statehouse, is indeed a national treasure,”
said OSBA President Judge Patrick F. Fischer. “We here in Ohio know well of his
skills, his accomplishments and his contributions. It is only fitting that we
share him with the rest of the nation in recognizing the great American that he
from New York, where he received his undergraduate degree from Syracuse
University and his law degree from New York Law School, Weisenberg started his
career in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare before his
eventual shift to advocacy on law-related issues. Before his work with the
OSBA, Weisenberg served as chief legal counsel for the Ohio House Judiciary
Described as “one of the most recognized and respected
leaders of the legal profession working with the Ohio legislature,” Weisenberg
has been repeatedly lauded for his professionalism, integrity, leadership and
vision. His “outstanding service and dedication” to the legal profession has
earned him the respect and admiration of colleagues throughout the country and
in his adopted home state. The speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives,
supporting the nomination of Weisenberg for the Bolton Award, said that
Weisenberg’s character has helped the OSBA cement its great reputation as an
“honest broker” with the Ohio Statehouse.
Over the past three decades, Weisenberg has served NABE in
many ways including as a member of several committees and task forces, as
Governmental Relations Section Chair (1985-1986), and as the NABE delegate to
the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates (2006-2013). His work as
the NABE delegate was credited as being “incredibly diligent in representing
NABE’s interests at the national level.”
Weisenberg also has served the ABA on multiple committees
and task forces. He was commended for his “unsurpassed vision and leadership”
during his work as chair of the Standing Committee on Judicial Independence
(2008-2011). Weisenberg has received many accolades for his service to the
legal community, including the Ohio Bar Medal (2011), the OSBA’s highest honor.
”It is an honor to have served with lawyers, judges,
legislators and members of the public in supporting access to justice and
promoting a better understanding of our justice system,” Weisenberg said. “When
we unite in order to provide justice for all, we are strong and we are mighty.
To be part of such a coalition has truly been a privilege.”
Weisenberg has long promoted the role of lawyers in finding
solutions to local and national public policy questions and has advocated on
issues ranging from the rule of law to the independence of the judiciary.
“For more than three decades, Bill has brought national
attention to issues Ohio cares about, including access to court and legal
services,” ABA President Laurel G. Bellows
said. “His efforts continue to benefit the legal profession and the justice
system across the country.”
Weisenberg resides in Westerville
with his wife Kathy. They have two grown children, Lisa Arnett (Brian) and
Leslie Weisenberg, and one grandchild, Will Arnett.
State Bar Association, founded in 1880, is a
voluntary association representing approximately 25,000 members of the bench
and bar of Ohio, as well as nearly 4,000 legal assistants and law students.
Through its activities and the activities of its related organizations, the
OSBA serves both its members and the public by promoting the highest standards
in the practice of law and the administration of justice.