At its annual meeting July 12-15, Beasley Allen lawyer Cole Portis will conclude his service as the 141st President of the Alabama State Bar. Prior to becoming president last year, Cole served on multiple committees and task forces within the 17,900-member organization, 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 states:
I have been honored to represent all Alabama lawyers this year. We have emphasized the importance of lawyers to love their neighbors well by serving others. Lawyers in Alabama are gifted to serve. They serve their families, their clients and the public through the legal work they perform, and through their involvement in local communities.
Among Cole’s major platforms was a commitment to enhancing the Bar’s engagement with lawyers to ensure that they have resources available to help them in their practice. Cole developed Lawyer University, which provided educational information, seminars and hands-on training to help lawyers better understand how to use technology to enhance their practice, to develop foundational business principles for running their practice as a successful business, and to be on the forefront to identify emerging areas of law.
Cole also worked to bring the Bar into closer collaboration with the 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.
Public outreach efforts included 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 the Beasley Allen Law Firm in 1991. He is now the head of the firm’s Personal Injury & Products Liability Section. Cole represents people and families who are severely 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, the Montgomery County Bar Association and the Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association.
It’s important to know that above all, Cole is a husband and a father to nine children. He and his wife Joy have four daughters and five sons (soon to be six). Cole and Joy are strong advocates for adoption, having adopted six of their nine children. The couple also serve as foster parents. They have fostered more than 30 children in the last seven 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 in Montgomery 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.
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