State Bar of Michigan
The State Bar of Michigan (SBM) is a regulatory bar association that all attorneys licensed in Michigan must join, as it is also in charge of licensing these attorneys. It was established by the Michigan Supreme Court in 1935 to license and regulate the lawyers that wished to practice law in the state of Michigan. Therefore, the State Bar of Michigan is the governing body that administers the licensing exam for lawyers and determines whether or not to grant a license to all attorneys that apply to be licensed in the state.
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One of the many roles of the State Bar of Michigan is to regulate the practice of law in Michigan. To that end, the State Bar of Michigan is in charge of creating and enforcing regulatory rules that all attorneys practicing law in Michigan must follow. One of the ways that the State Bar of Michigan involves its members in the creation of new regulations is by allowing them to participate in the representative assembly, which allows for assembly members to have a direct say in the creation of new regulations and policies for the State Bar of Michigan.
Though the majority of the State Bar of Michigan’s members live in Lower Michigan, which is the main occupied part of Michigan, although there are also a number of members that live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Since the State Bar of Michigan requires its members to take continuing legal education classes in order to remain in good standing, the shortage of facilities offering continuing legal education courses in the Upper Peninsula presented a problem when this requirement was first instituted. However, the State Bar of Michigan has dealt with this problem by creating the Upper Michigan Legal Institute, which is an annual event that offers a number of continuing legal education courses on Mackinac Island. This event allows for lawyers in northern Michigan that cannot afford to take the time to travel to more southern parts in the state just for the purposes of attending continuing legal education classes to fulfill that requirement in a more convenient location.
In addition to regulating licensed attorneys and determining whether or not to grant licenses to lawyers, the State Bar of Michigan actively encourages its members to volunteer both in their capacities as lawyers and as citizens of their respective communities. The State Bar of Michigan provides opportunities for attorneys to give back through its “A Lawyer Helps” program. There are three parts to the program: pro bono legal services, financial donations, and community outreach. For attorneys interested in doing pro bono work, the State Bar of Michigan coordinates training courses and connects lawyers with pro bono organizations. Lawyers that would rather donate money through A Lawyer Helps can donate to the State Bar of Michigan’s Access to Justice Campaign. Regarding the third area of the A Lawyer Helps program, community outreach, the SBM provides several suggestions on how to go about volunteering one’s time to community projects.
Contact the State Bar of Michigan:
306 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933-2012
Phone: (517) 346-6300
Toll Free: (800) 968-1442
Fax: (517) 482-6248