Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Historic Oath: Attorneys Admitted in Online Ceremony

The Ohio Supreme Court held its first-ever remote bar admissions ceremony, swearing in the state’s newest lawyers virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The unprecedented Court event paid tribute to the 124 applicants who passed the February bar exam.

“This ceremony qualifies as extraordinary, not because of the technical expertise required to hold this event across the internet. It is extraordinary because of what each of you has accomplished as a student of the law,” said Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who spoke to all the honorees from the main courtroom at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center.

The event still displayed the hallmarks of a traditional celebration. There were words of wisdom from decorated speakers, such as Ohio State Bar Association president Eleana Drakatos, Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law dean Charles H. Rose III, and Justice Michael Donnelly.

“Never be afraid throughout your legal career to raise your voice and question the way things are done,” Justice Donnelly said during his remarks, which were made from Cleveland.

The most unique portion of the proceedings was when the prospective lawyers were sworn into the profession. Along with repeating the oath of office after Chief Justice O’Connor, each participant had to click “yes” to a standardized question of acceptance of the oath within the video conference platform.

“It really meant a lot that they still cared enough to put something together, and tried to do as much as they could so that we wouldn’t miss out,” said Jessica Camargo, a new attorney who lives in Lorain County.

For Camargo, the occasion was even more special because she experienced it with loved ones. She passed the bar exam on her second try after an unsuccessful attempt in 2018. Right before she took the test two years ago, both of her parents were diagnosed with cancer. Since then, her mother’s prognosis has become terminal.

“One of the things I wanted most was for my mom to see [me take the oath],” Camargo said.

As a mother of three, she’s also mindful of how her achievement can potentially mold her children, who saw their mother fulfill her potential after years of hard work.

“To set that example, and make a better life for them, that’s of course one of the best parts,” Camargo said.