Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Women Taking the Helm at Oklahoma Bar Association

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Women Taking the Helm at Oklahoma Bar Association

Article excerpt

Call it the Year of the Woman.

In addition to the election of Oklahoma's first female governor, the 107-year-old Oklahoma Bar Association will, for the first time in its history, have women in its top three offices.

On Friday, Eufaula attorney Deborah Reheard became the OBA's president, while Oklahoma City attorney Cathy Christensen was sworn in as president-elect. Retired Judge Reta Strubhar of Piedmont was named vice president.

The moment wasn't lost on state Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger.

"We have women lined up like jets on a runway to take off," Kauger said during the swearing-in ceremony at the state Capitol. "This is a historic moment."

Reheard said the fact that women have netted the OBA's top three spots is the culmination of years of hard work.

"What I always like to think is that we've risen to the top not just because we're women, but because we're good lawyers and we're good leaders and we've got great things planned for the next three years," she said.

Reheard, a solo practitioner since 1991, was admitted to the OBA in 1987. She said she would push to increase legal services for veterans during her tenure as president.

"We're going to be phasing in different phases of legal assistance and advice to our servicemen and women and our veterans," she said. "We've been preparing for the deployment of National Guard members to Afghanistan. We meet with them, we try to answer any questions they have and if we can't answer their questions we try to get them hooked up with the right attorney to answer their questions more in depth and represent them if need be."

A thank-you for veterans, Reheard said, just wasn't enough.

Along with increasing services for veterans, Reheard encouraged members of the bar to help restore the image of attorneys and the legal profession.

"Many times, if you look, you'll see attorneys working on school boards or on the service organizations. There are the ones out there promoting problem solving, doing the things that our communities need. …

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