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Membership Spotlight: Bruce Blackwell

OCBA wouldn’t be what it is today without you, our members. That’s why we’ve decided to give our members the attention they deserve. In order to do this we created a spotlight project showcasing you and all you’ve accomplished.

To kickoff this project we spoke with past President Bruce Blackwell. Many of you know him and rightfully so, with a list of accomplishments and awards making an impact is in his nature.

Our intern Kimberly had a virtual sit-down with Blackwell to discuss his successful career and his involvement with OCBA over the years. Here’s what he had to say.

Level of involvement with OCBA:

– Blackwell’s involvement has graced numerous committees and has held various positions over the years. He served on the Executive Council, led the corporate and business law committee and was the Orange County Bar President from 1987-1988. In which he noted over one half of his committee chairs were women, they also managed to convince the court to allow lawyers to have court access cards and averaged 400 to 500 lawyers in attendance at luncheons because of notable bar speakers.

Reasons for joining OCBA:

– After his decision to leave the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, sparked by a desire for a better work-life balance, Blackwell joined past Orange County Bar Presidents Fred Peed and David King at their firm Peed & King. This career move took him from being in one of the biggest corporate legal departments in the country. This jump also sparked his almost immediate involvement with OCBA, taking over the corporate and business law committee. After making his mark with a widely successful seminar on securities law, his involvement with OCBA would only increase from there. Unknown to him at the time would be just how much of an impact he would make on this organization.

Best memory from OCBA:

– Blackwell recalls working with Eloise Fox, past Executive Director, and depicts her as a tour de force.

Making the most of being a member:

– Making the most of being a member starts with volunteering for the worst job and doing it incredibly. Also, getting out there and joining a committee. Additionally, Blackwell suggests regardless of the nature of your practice do pro bono work. The backbone of this kind of work is the ability to help people and pro bono work allows you to do just that.

Career advice, from a prominent OCBA member:

  • “Unlike what they tell you in the Army, volunteer”; Blackwell goes on to mention, ask for the hardest job and then do a good job. This advice when implemented will give you self-confidence and help you gain significant respect within the organized bar. And lastly, being engaged and make a difference. As a lawyer you have the ability to bend history by changing peoples lives, take that opportunity and help people who can’t afford your services.

How you want to be remembered:

– Blackwell would like his fellow members to describe him as being highly competent, while always operating within the Rules.

How you think they would describe you:

– With a humble confidence, Blackwell states, “most people would say he was a damn good lawyer and you could always trust anything he had to say”.

 

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