State Bar of Michigan - State Bar Programs and Membership Services

State Bar Programs and Membership Services

The State Bar provides a wide variety of programs and member services benefiting both the public interest and the members of the Bar. Among them:

  • Conducting the Bar's Character and Fitness investigations to ensure members admitted to the Bar meet appropriate professional standards.
  • Investigating and prosecuting parties involved in the unauthorized practice of law (UPL), which helps ensure legal services to the public are provided only by those members of the Bar who are in good standing.
  • Providing ethics counseling and advising lawyers and judges about the propriety of their conduct with respect to the Code of Professional Conduct and Code of Judicial Conduct.
  • Providing the Practice Management Resource Center, a broad-based information clearinghouse and referral source for Michigan lawyers for all services and goods necessary to successfully manage a legal practice. Resources include a website, telephone hotline, lending library, technology training and demonstration room, and on-site assessments and evaluations.
  • Reviewing and evaluating new laws and court rules for their impact on the administration of justice and on the profession through State Bar Committees, Sections, Board of Commissioners, and Representative Assembly.
  • Advocating public policy positions and seeking legislative support for those positions, as permitted by AO 2004-01 (Keller).
  • Publishing the Bar Journal 11 times a year and an Annual Directory issue.
  • Publishing the e-Journal, which updates the legal profession daily on changes to laws and summarizes cases to help attorneys stay up to date with the law as it emerges from the courts.
  • Publishing the SBM Newsletter, a daily e-mail summary of law-related news articles, editorials, and columns carried in major local, state, and national media.
  • Operating a Public Policy Resource Center to increase awareness of public policy issues of particular interest to lawyers.
  • Maintaining an Internet site that serves as both a research tool and a source of information regarding the organization.
  • Administering the Client Protection Fund that provides for reimbursements to members of the general public who have been victimized by the few lawyers who have misappropriated funds entrusted to them.
  • Operating a lawyer referral service that provides referrals to the general public.
  • Administering the Bar's justice initiatives programs, which include promoting the effective delivery of high quality legal services to all Michigan residents, especially those with lower incomes; raising both public and professional awareness of the fair delivery of justice in our state and promoting equal application of law for all citizens; and administering the Bar's Access to Justice development fundraising campaign, which supports private giving to non-profit civil legal aid programs in Michigan. Pledge Form
  • Operating the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program that provides confidential personal counseling services to the Bar's members.
  • Providing member affinity programs that offer discounted services to members including credit cards, insurance, rental cars, and other business and personal services.
  • Providing annual Bar membership identification cards to members and when requested, Certificates of Good Standing.
  • Providing a member orientation for the newest members of the Bar.
  • Providing members the opportunity to actively participate, network, and share information in Bar member interest groups (Sections) and Bar Committees, including providing administrative support to these groups.
  • Providing Bar organizations with a "print on demand" service for newsletter preparation.
  • Holding an annual meeting and conference and an annual membership training for members, which provides for networking and educational updates (partially offset with fees).
  • Conducting the Upper Michigan Legal Institute, which provides educational opportunities for Northern Michigan lawyers.
  • Providing Casemaker, an online tool for attorneys to search for case law and related references.
  • Providing members and Bar organizations with meeting rooms and related meeting services at the State Bar headquarters.

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