Columbus Bar Association President’s Report | May


Rob Erney: Hi everybody, and welcome to my May 2021 podcast. Today, I have a very special guest, Charles Snyder, our incoming president for the Columbus Bar Association. Charles, how are you today? 

Charles Snyder: I’m doing fine, Rob, thanks for asking. It’s a pleasure to be here with you. Thank you for all that you’ve done this past year, and I look forward to starting my term.

Rob Erney: Charles, let me be the first to congratulate you on becoming the 131st President of the Columbus Bar Association.

Charles Snyder: Thank you. I’m excited about the opportunity.

Rob Erney: Tell us a little bit about your legal career.

Charles Snyder: Well, it’s been very diverse. Started off with a small firm on the west side, left there after a couple of years with one of the partners when we formed our own practice for another eight, nine years, then I went off by myself. Then in 1992, I joined 400 of my closest friends at Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease. So that’s quite a switch. I stayed there four years and then I was on the bench, eight years at the Municipal Court, and then another 14 or so at the Court of Common Pleas, and now I’m with the Attorney General’s Office.

Rob Erney: How has your time on the bench prepared you to become president of the Columbus Bar Association? 

Charles Snyder: It certainly gave me an opportunity to meet a lot of different people who are members of the bar association that would come to court every day, in both different courts, ’cause it’s truly a different bar that go to the different courts. But I also served five, four years as administrative judge at the Municipal Court, and three years as administrative judge at the Court of Common Pleas, and trying to manage that group of judges is no easy task, but it certainly has helped me, I think for my upcoming year.

Rob Erney: Charles, what are your goals for your year as president? 

Charles Snyder: Well, I think membership is the key. I think continuing membership… We’ve done a good job in the past, but I think you have to stay after it. I think when you read articles, membership in a lot of organizations’ lines, rotary, et cetera, is going down, it’s not going up. So we have to be constantly vigilant about maintaining our membership.

Rob Erney: How do you plan to accomplish your goals? 

Charles Snyder: Well, I think the first thing you do is you gotta prove you’re worth it. It’s not the member’s job to come to us, it’s our job to go to them and prove we’re worth it. When I first started the practice of law, and you and I are close to the same age, you probably remember it, you took the bar, you passed the bar, you joined the bar. That’s just what you did. There was no thought involved in that. I don’t think that’s the case anymore. I think you have to go out and encourage people to do that. And I think one of the ways we’ve already started under your leadership is we now have a full-time staff person dedicated to membership, and I think that will help tremendously.

Rob Erney: Charles, what would you say are the biggest challenges facing lawyers in our legal community today following this pandemic? 

Charles Snyder: Getting back to the practice, trying to adjust, just as they had to adjust to practicing from home without the contact with the clients and the courts. I think the challenge will be transitioning back to what we once thought was normal.

Rob Erney: Charles, what do you see as the biggest challenges facing the Columbus Bar Association today? 

Charles Snyder: I think one of the biggest challenges that the bar is going to have to face, and we’ve seen it these last year or two, the civil unrest, the police issues, as you’ve identified, some of the gender inequities at the bar, how does the bar address those issues and still maintain its mission for all of its members? That’s not gonna be easy.

Rob Erney: Charles, thank you so much for being with us today.

Charles Snyder: Rob, thanks for having me and thank you for your leadership this past year.

Rob Erney: I can share everyone that we’re in very good hands in June, 2021, when Charles Snyder becomes the new president of the Columbus Bar Association. I’m Rob Ernie, CBA President number 130. I’ll see you in June. Thanks.

Consider watching the video podcast for this President’s Report on The Columbus Bar Associations Website.