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Lackawanna Bar Association

About The Lackawanna Bar Association

In 1869, three years after Scranton had become a city, the first meeting of the lawyers of the Mayor’s Court met to apply to Legislature for a Special Act incorporating a library. The 1874 Act was passed and an organization known as the "Lackawanna Law and Library Association" was formed. The intentions of this organization was not to form a bar association but to form an organization solely for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a law library. This was however, the first step toward the creation of a bar in which a common need compelled a united action.

The By-Laws of the Lackawanna Law and Library Association were framed primarily to secure funds with which to purchase books. The use of books was exclusive to members only, and those who could not afford membership were denied use. The association did little for the social activities of its members, and the infrequent banquets that were held to promote fellowship, ceased. The organization did not prosper financially or otherwise, many members refused to join it and some of those who did, failed to pay their dues.

In July of 1918 a plan to reorganize and form an association separate than that of the Library Association was proposed. The charter was amended and a new association was named "The Lackawanna Bar Association". Every member of the bar was taken into the association, and the annual dues fixed at five dollars. The board of directors was increased from seven to twenty-three members. An entirely new set of by-laws, providing for monthly meetings, an executive committee, and other standing committees covering the activities of a real bar association, was prepared and put into operation. This change brought a sustained interest in the organization, the Courthouse was improved, the library was given a proper place, and later the ownership of the legal publication of the Lackawanna Jurist, was secured.

Today the Lackawanna Bar Association has over 700 members. It continues to assist its members as well as the community by providing educational and community related services. It continues to recognize the efforts of its forefathers and maintain the honor and dignity of the profession of law.

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