Representative Assembly to Consider License Fee Change

March 29, 2021

At its April 24 meeting, the State Bar of Michigan’s Representative Assembly will consider recommending to the Michigan Supreme Court an increase to the SBM portion of the licensing fee set by the Court. The RA has exclusive authority on behalf of the State Bar to recommend such a change. The proposed increase of $80 would take effect with the bar year beginning October 1, 2022.

Michigan's current attorney license fee, which is below the national average, has not increased in 18 years. Through careful financial management SBM has managed to extend this fee cycle into the longest in its modern history. Now, however, the current fee cycle has reached its natural conclusion.

Recognizing the extreme financial stress that COVID-19 has placed on many attorneys, SBM has undertaken extraordinary measures to extend its operations under the current license fee for yet another bar year. Without an increase, however, SBM will not be able to sustain its current level of service to the public and members, both of which are crucial to fulfilling the goals of the State Bar’s strategic plan.

“It is only because of SBM’s careful financial management that we did not reach this inevitability years ago,” RA Chair Chelsea Rebeck said. “When the current license fee was set in 2003, today’s 1Ls were in kindergarten. No one expected it to last as long as it has.”

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