After more than one hundred years from the founding of the Dauphin County Bar Association on June 18, 1898, more than 1400 attorney members enjoy the benefits of a vigorous leadership producing multitude of programs designed to meet the needs of the members, the court and the citizenry.
Legal education seminars are offered to keep members abreast of current developments in all areas of the law through "Lunch and Learn" sessions conducted at least twice a month and information programs sponsored by the five substantive law sections and many of the twenty-two action committees of the Association. Members also have the opportunity to join with other professionals, such as physicians of the Dauphin County Medical Society, for social and educational meetings to explore subjects of mutual interest.
The Young Lawyers Section sponsors educational,social and sports activities designed to orient its members to the practice of law with their colleagues. The summer volleyball tournament alone attracts over 500 participants.
The Association's dinner meetings, summer picnic, annual dinner dance honoring the outgoing president, and various other events provide numerous social opportunities for its members. Members have the benefit of a monthly newsletter and the Dauphin County Reporter, which has been reporting Common Pleas Court decisions and legal notices for the county since its first volume was published over 100 years ago. Other periodicals assist the members in keeping current on Association and legal developments.
The Association also provides a Lawyer Referral Program as a service to the members and the public. This program allows prospective clients an opportunity to have legal questions answered by the staff and, when appropriate, to be referred to an attorney for representation. The Association also provides speakers to local community and school groups on a variety of legal topics. The "Ask-a-lawyer" Booth is a very popular Law Week event in which attorneys are available to discuss legal problems with the public. Peoples' Law School has also become an annual event at which the Court and Bar provide an introduction to the judicial system and respond to questions and issues of local concern.
The Dauphin County Bar Association has long been a statewide leader in providing pro bono legal services to those in the community who would otherwise be denied access to the local justice system. Each member is asked to commit to this effort, in addition to contributing a portion of their Association dues to MidPenn Legal Services. The success of this program has been outstanding.
This myriad of activities would amaze those few who subscribed to the Association's organizing Charter over a century ago. The Association is proud to celebrate more than one hundred years of achievements on behalf of its membership, consistent with the purposes expressed in its By-Laws:
"... to advance the science of jurisprudence, to promote the administration of justice, to encourage a thorough legal education, to promote continuing legal education, to uphold the honor and dignity of the Bar, to encourage the fulfillment of the obligations of the profession among its members, to the courts and to society, to promote programs to provide effective, affordable legal services to all segments of society, to cultivate cordial intercourse among the members of this Association and to perpetuate the history of the profession and the memory of its members ...."
The Association is led by a diverse Board of Directors with representation from all segments of the bar, and is committed to extending this legacy of excellence into the 21st Century.