Cole Portis has become the 141st President of The Alabama State Bar. The Beasley Allen lawyer heads up the 17,900-member organization. Cole has served on multiple committees and task forces within the Alabama State Bar including the Finance and Audit Committee, Client Security Fund Committee and various others. He has also served on the Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners for the 15th judicial circuit since 2007. Cole had this to say:
I am blessed to have the opportunity to lead our state bar, which has been entrusted with the obligation to serve our profession, seek improvements in our judicial system and serve the public.
During his term Cole will be committed to a new era of engagement with lawyers to ensure that they have resources available to help them in their practice. He also has pledged the Bar’s commitment to standing alongside our courts to ensure that the rule of law is enforced, and that the Bar is dedicated to serving the public through pro bono work, charitable stewardship and involvement in everyday affairs that impact the communities where we practice law.
Cole plans to accomplish these goals under the theme “Love Your Neighbor,” which goes two ways – loving other lawyers in the legal community and service to the larger community throughout the state. Within the Bar, programs to serve lawyers will address health and wellness – mind, body and spirit; as well as the development of a “Lawyer University” to help lawyers build a successful practice, including tracks to mentor them in technology, business and the law.
Public outreach efforts will include a continued focus on access to justice, particularly providing legal services for the poor and indigent who would not otherwise be able to afford a lawyer through the state and local Volunteer Lawyers Program; a foster care awareness program; and a drive to encourage lawyers to participate in public service in the political realm through running for public office.
Cole received his J.D. from The University of Alabama School of Law in 1990 and joined our firm in 1991. He now serves as head of the firm’s Personal Injury/Products Liability Section. Cole – in his practice – represents people and families who are injured or killed by defective products.
Cole is a board member of the Alabama Law Foundation, where he is also a fellow, and a member of the Atticus Finch Society. He supports the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation through its Pioneers of Justice Society and is a Montgomery County Bar Association volunteer lawyer. He is past president of the Alabama State Bar Young Lawyers’ Section. Cole was recognized as a finalist for Public Justice’s 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year. He is also an AV-rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell.
Above all, Cole is a husband and a father to nine children. He and his wife Joy have four daughters and five sons. Cole and Joy are strong advocates for adoption with six of their nine children having been adopted. They also serve as foster parents and have fostered more than 30 children in the last four years. Cole and Joy are the founders of Love 100 Ministry, which assists Alabama families with adoption costs.
Cole has been an active member of Morningview Baptist Church for more than 40 years and previously served as lay elder and as chair of the deacons. In addition, he teaches a Sunday school class as a way to invest in the lives of young adults. Cole is past president of the Jimmy Hitchcock Memorial Award, a prestigious award honoring Christian student athletes in Montgomery. He serves on the Board of Directors of Trinity Presbyterian School and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and is a YMCA basketball coach.
I am confident that Cole will be an outstanding president of the Alabama State Bar. He is a tireless worker with a vision for greatness. May God bless Cole as he undertakes a most important journey.
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