Dues have been waived for up to four years for SBM members engaged in full-time active duty in the United States Armed Forces. The waiver, recommended by the State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly, is intended to relieve the burden on lawyers whose professional careers have been disrupted by deployments into active military duty.
The American Bar Association has called for all bar associations to consider dues exemptions for military members. Michigan is among the first states to implement such an exemption. The waiver takes effect Oct. 1, 2008—the same date that dues are payable by SBM members.
Greg Ulrich, a member of the State Bar Board of Commissioners and sponsor of the resolution before the Representative Assembly, hailed the recent Michigan Supreme Court order regarding the waiver.
"The waiver recognizes sacrifices by Michigan lawyers serving in the military, Ulrich said. "They are drawn away from their families and daily lives by their commitment to protect us all."
Ulrich also noted other measures voluntarily undertaken by the legal community to respond to the needs of soldiers and veterans, especially the disabled, such as the University of Detroit Mercy Law School Veterans Law Clinic and Thomas M. Cooley Law School's Service to Soldiers program.