Giving back to the community is a large part of being a BAMSL member.
Among the many community service activities members engage in on a regular basis are Motion for Kids, an annual holiday party for over 3,000 children whose families have been impacted by the justice system; Read Across America, each year on Dr. Seuss’ birthday where attorneys go into the St. Louis public schools to read to first graders.
We also produce the annual High School Mock Trial Competition to engage high school students statewide in how the justice system works. The program allows them to participate in mock trials as they learn the ins and outs of litigation and court procedures. It’s a dramatic, close-to-real life civics lesson!
The BAMSL Speakers Bureau is a unique way our lawyers bring their legal knowledge and perspectives to any group – neighborhood associations, school classrooms, clubs, businesses, and other civic organizations. Volunteer members agree to participate in this community outreach program.
BAMSL also operates the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) which serves the general public by referring them to lawyers who can help them with their legal needs. While the referral service is provided at no charge, the lawyers referred do charge regular fees.
Along those same lines, BAMSL Young Lawyers Division members staff the Call-A-Lawyer action line at KTVI-TV Fox 2 to answer a wide variety of legal questions from television viewers on the third Tuesday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The results of these activities, and others, contribute to a better informed populace about the role of lawyers and judges in our justice system and in their daily lives. It reveals, too, that lawyers are people who enter this profession to help others solve problems in a fair, impartial and civil manner.
So, in a nutshell, what the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis offers its members filters through to benefit the general public in the form of a more professional, knowledgeable and sensitive bench and bar.
The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) serves the legal profession throughout the greater St. Louis region, but benefits non-lawyers in many ways too.
Most of BAMSL’s 6,000 members practice law in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, the Missouri counties of Jefferson and St. Charles, or the Illinois counties of Madison and St. Clair, though some BAMSL members a located in other states and countries as well. While most are lawyers and judges, others are law students, paralegals or legal support professionals. The Association brings many lawyers together as one to maintain high standards, encourage professional and personal growth, build cooperation, and foster mutual respect.
One of the core benefits of belonging to BAMSL is its continuing legal education curriculum and setting a high standard of professionalism and ethics for members. But, the Association also involves itself by developing and contributing to community service programs, and encouraging pro bono legal services. Many of these activities are spearheaded by the Saint Louis Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of BAMSL.
In addition BAMSL offers social events whose purpose is to encourage networking, camaraderie, and recognition of legal achievements by members. Through these efforts, members gain a greater sense of their common role in the legal profession, and how that promotes access to justice and the rule of law for everyone.
The Association, established in 1874, today is comprised of 13 Sections and dozens of Committees that concentrate on specific practice areas and aspects of service to the profession and the community. This is how we help members hone their special legal interests and react to the needs of the community.
The Bar Center is located in downtown St. Louis at 555 Washington Avenue, Suite 100 (at the corner of Washington and 6th Street). The Bar Center offers a large classroom, meeting
and conference rooms, and guest offices, which are available to members to use for consultations, depositions, mediations and other uses on a complimentary basis. The staff of 12 plans and provides over 300 events per year, operates the LRIS and a job placement service, coordinates several signature events such as Law Day, Pro Bono Day, and salutes to local legal giants for their role in promoting easier access to justice. The Association publishes the quarterly St. Louis Bar Journal, the monthly St. Louis Lawyer, a weekly e-Newsletter, and the Association’s websites, www.bamsl.org and www.stlouisbarfoundation.org.
Above: a BAMSL lawyer reads to a first grade class on Read Across America Day.
Media inquiries about the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis should be directed to Chuck Ramsay, Communications Director, at (314) 421-4134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.