State Bar of Michigan
home member area contact us

public policy resource center

 print this page

for members
SBM general information

member directory

admissions, ethics, and

diversity & inclusion

justice initiatives

member services

practice management
   resource center

public policy resource

publications and

research and links

sections & committees

ethics for members
ethics developments
ethics opinions
TAON (trust accounts)

from the courts
opinion searching
virtual court

for the public
public resources
media resources

giving opportunities
a lawyer helps
access to justice


At the Bar

FOCUS: Voluntary State Bar Legislation
Senate Bill 743 (SB 743), calling for voluntary membership in the State Bar of Michigan, was introduced on January 23 by state Senator Arlan Meekhof. Read the full text of the bill on the Michigan Legislature website.

Some key elements of SB 743:

  • Change the membership of the State Bar of Michigan from mandatory to voluntary
  • No longer require that individuals pay a periodic fee for continued membership in the State Bar
  • Require that individuals who designate themselves "attorneys or counselors" be licensed to practice law in Michigan
  • Require that all individuals who practice law in the state do so in compliance with the requirements of the Michigan Supreme Court

Where is the State Bar on this issue?
The State Bar must wait 14 days until advocating a position before the Legislature under the provisions of Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order 2004-01, which restricts formal action on legislation until 14 days after notice has been posted on the State Bar website. This notice was posted on January 23 and states that the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners will meet at 10 a.m. on February 6 by teleconference to consider a position on SB 743.

"The State Bar of Michigan has demonstrated in its 79-year history that a mandatory bar association is a great, no-cost benefit to Michigan's taxpayers and the most cost-effective way to regulate the legal profession and protect the public," said SBM Executive Director Janet Welch. "Since the general topic of deregulating the practice of law in Michigan was raised last year, the overwhelming sentiment we have heard from our members, judges, many policymakers, and the public is pride in a state bar that has earned a national reputation for excellence in providing services to the legal profession and working to improve the justice system."

All members are encouraged to express their opinions to the State Bar of Michigan through the Member Comment form of the Public Policy Resource Center.

Look for further developments in the SBM Blog or the Public Policy Resource Center. As a reminder, the State Bar's NewsLinks provides a daily round-up of news of interest to lawyers, and our weekly Public Policy Newsletter (subscribe) describes ongoing public policy developments.

National Legal Aid & Defender Association
Evaluation of Trial-Level Indigent Defense Systems in Michigan

Administrative Order 2004-01 PDF limits and describes the issues on which the State Bar may take public policy positions, and the process for section and member involvement.

SBM Positions: Court Rules & Administrative Actions

SBM Positions: Legislation

Law School for Legislators
Learn More

Legislation Eligible to be Considered by the Board of Commissioners for Action

SBM Positions: More Public Policy

Submit an Amicus Request

Care to Comment?
Members may express their opinion to the State Bar on public policy issues, including legislation to be considered.

Sections & Committees

Report a Public Policy Position

Public Policy Handbook PDF

Public Policy Updates

Sign up here to receive the weekly public policy electronic journal.

See a sample (PDF) of the topic headings and summaries of information covered.

View past issues


In the Capitol

View all Bills of Interest to Lawyers

    Shortcut to key legislation:

Legislation Recently Signed into Public Acts

Searchable Positions Database
The database includes all positions taken by the State Bar and positions reported to the State Bar by its sections and committees. Users are able to search the database by legislative session, bill number, bill sponsor, State Bar positions, section positions, committee positions, or practice area.

In the Hall of Justice

Michigan Court Rules & Administrative Actions From the Michigan Supreme Court:

Rule amendments

Administrative orders

Proposed amendments

Other actions

Member Tools

Find Your Elected Officials

State Legislative Directory

Local Government Directory

Contact the Media

Links of Interest
Michigan Legislature

Supreme Court Rules PDF Concerning the State Bar of Michigan

Bylaws of the State Bar of Michigan

Internal Operating Procedure on Public Advocacy PDF

Meeting Dates for the Board of Commissioners and Representative Assembly



follow us
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on LinkedIn Follow Us on Twitter Follow the SBM Blog


©Copyright 2014

website links
Contact Us
Site Map
Website Privacy Statement PDF
Staff Links

SBM on the Mapcontact information
State Bar of Michigan
306 Townsend St
Lansing, MI 48933-2012
Phone: (517) 346-6300
Toll Free: (800) 968-1442
Fax: (517) 482-6248