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Columbus lawyer models career after leaders in the African-American legal community

CONTACT:  Kenneth A. Brown, OSBA, 800-282-6556 or 614-487-4426

Columbus, OHIO (Nov. 10, 2009) – Ever since Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) member Anthony M. Sharett was invited to a John Mercer Langston Bar Association (JMLBA) meeting fresh out of law school, he has been hooked. Sharett joined JMLBA for the sense of community and the opportunity to network with successful legal practitioners from the African-American community. Fast-forward seven years, and he is now the president of the association named for the first African-American admitted to the Ohio bar.

“The JMLBA is fortunate to have passionate, active members who understand the importance of having a thriving African-American bar association in Central Ohio.” Sharett said. “Our members’ engagement in the legal community to promote equity and professionalism and mentoring of law students and young attorneys is what excites me about leading this great organization.”

Sharett feels there are topics and issues that are unique to the JMLBA’s demographics. The ability to share experiences and discuss these important matters only improves member attorneys’ chances of being successful practitioners, and also provides them with an opportunity to mentor those who are growing within the profession and community. As president, Sharett will be working with an advisory board of seasoned practitioners who will meet to help the executive board set an organizational agenda. Sharett also wants to establish a committee to determine additional benefits for JMLBA members.

In addition to his role in the JMLBA, Sharett is the founder and chair of the Free Legal Clinic hosted by the First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio. The clinic operates on the first Tuesday of every month and has saved people from wrongful eviction, counseled clients regarding debt collection and foreclosure, and retrieved money for clients wrongly collected due to identity theft. Commenting on the clinic’s success Sharett said, “The clinic has provided a valuable service to those in need and the volunteers have benefited from the appreciation that our clients have shown us due to the representation.”

Sharett has been a member of the OSBA for seven years. He is a former member of the Young Lawyers Section, a current member of the Administrative Law Committee, and a member of Ohio State Bar Foundation’s 2010 Fellows class. He also has participated in OSBA-sponsored dialogues concerning racial justice.

Sharett serves on the Board of Governors for the Columbus Bar Association, the Executive Committee and Board Member of the Columbus Early Learning Centers and as vice-chair of FIRSTLINK. He also serves on the African-American Advisory Council for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio and is a member of the United Way of Central Ohio’s Income Impact Council. Sharett is an attorney at the Columbus law firm of Bricker & Eckler, as is his wife, Hope. They live in Reynoldsburg with their four-year-old daughter, Ava.

The Ohio 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.

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