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April 2019

2019 SBM Election Information
The State Bar Election Notice for the 2019 elections, including nominating petitions, can be found in the March Michigan Bar Journal, beginning on page 54. Petitions found in the Bar Journal may be used to submit your name for one of the leadership roles at the State Bar of Michigan or Judicial Tenure Commission. Nominating petitions must be submitted no later than April 30, 2019.

Michigan lawyers are advised that the following elections will be held in June 2019:

  • A statewide election for a non-judicial member of the Judicial Tenure Commission
  • Elections for the members of the Representative Assembly in 39 judicial circuits
  • Elections for members of the Board of Commissioners in five commissioner districts
  • Elections for members of the Young Lawyers Section Executive Council in three districts

Electronic ballots will be distributed no later than June 1, 2019, and lawyers without an email address on file will receive a ballot in the mail. Ballots must be received postmarked or completed online no later than June 15, 2019.

If you have questions, contact Marge Bossenbery, or Carrie Sharlow,

Modest Means Program Needs Panel Members
The State Bar of Michigan Modest Means program faces a critical shortage of attorney panel members for family law referrals, particularly in divorce and child custody matters. Since the inception of the program one year ago, more than 600 modest means applications have been received and approved. The program, which operates through the SBM Lawyer Referral Service, is aimed at bridging the access to justice gap for the “missing middle”—people who don’t qualify for legal aid but cannot afford the market rate for legal services. Those in households with income less than 250% of the federal poverty level are eligible for services in the program. For those clients with incomes under 200% of the poverty level, your legal services will count toward the State Bar’s Voluntary Pro Bono Standard, and all panel members are exempted from the usual 10% remittance fee to the Lawyer Referral Service. Practice areas are limited to domestic/family law and Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but other practice areas will be added soon. More information on becoming a Modest Means panel member.

2019 April Resource Directory Now Available
The 2019 essential Resource Directory is now available. The direcory includes:

  • Comprehensive contact information for courts (information not readily available in one place)
  • Michigan state government contact information
  • Local government contact information
  • Lawyer associations contact information
  • Classified legal services advertising marketplace

If you opted to receive the printed Michigan Bar Journal April issue, you will receive a portable print version by mail. A digital version of the Resource Directory is also available online. You can order extra print copies of the 2019 Resource Directory here.

On Balance Podcast: The 2019 Law School Experience
On Balance Podcast from the State Bar of MichiganThe latest episode of the State Bar of Michigan’s On Balance podcast focuses on how legal education has evolved and the unique challenges today’s law students face. In this episode, hosts JoAnn Hathaway and Tish Vincent talk to Victoria Vuletich about what the law school experience is like for the current generation of students. They discuss a broad scope of current law school issues including restructuring trends in the legal profession, technology advancements, shifting student learning styles, and increased support of student mental health.

On Balance, on the Legal Talk Network, delivers useful and entertaining ideas on managing life as a lawyer. To subscribe to On Balance in iTunes, follow two easy steps: 1. Using your mobile device, click on this link, or enter this link in your browser: 2. Click the purple "Subscribe" button that shows up right under the name of the podcast. To access On Balance in Google Play, follow these three steps: 1. Using your mobile device, click this link, or enter this link in your browser: 2. Click the subscribe button (located just beneath the On Balance logo). 3. Click the subscribe button that appears in the pop-up.

Mark Your Calendar: October 1, 2019
Save this date: the new State Bar fiscal year begins October 1, 2019. At that point, you should be prepared to renew your license to continue practicing law for the 2019-2020 Bar year. In mid-September you will receive an email from the State Bar of Michigan inviting you to log into the member area, complete your annual disclosures, and pay your license fee online. You will also have an option to mail a check to the State Bar’s lockbox.

We will send you several reminder emails to complete the annual disclosure statement and invoice well in advance of the November 30 deadline, after which a $50 late fee will be assessed. Now is the time to update your member profile with a valid email address so that you will receive all important notices by email.


Tips & Tools for a Successful Practice—Register Now
Date: Tuesday, May 7, 2019; 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Cost: $100 (attorneys licensed to practice less than five years, including law students and unlicensed graduates); $125 (attorneys licensed to practice five years or more)
Location: State Bar of Michigan, 306 Townsend St, Lansing
Register: online or by mail form before May 3

This semi-annual seminar features presentations on how to maintain mutually beneficial client relationships, draft effective fee agreements, manage lawyer trust accounts, analyze ethical issues, and use innovative techniques and technology for effective law office management.

Upper Michigan Legal Institute—Register Now
June 14–15, 2019 • Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

You won't want to miss this opportunity to get the latest developments in case law, invaluable technology, and practice management tips, all while enjoying the ambiance of the historic Grand Hotel on beautiful Mackinac Island. Register now.

Sessions this year will provide updates on criminal, marijuana, real property, business, tax, and family law; the art and science of persuasion; evidence double jeopardy and key evidentiary rules; durable power of attorney and estate planning; and zoning and land use.

Lawyer Trust Accounts Seminar—Register Now
Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2019; 1:15–4:45 p.m.
Cost: $50 for lawyers; $25 for non-lawyers, law students, & unlicensed graduates
Location: State Bar of Michigan, 306 Townsend St, Lansing
Register: online or mail form before June 21

This half-day ethics seminar will feature presentations on how to manage lawyer trust accounts, including how to effectively use forms, checklists, and other recordkeeping resources, and is also an excellent way to learn how to comply with Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15 and 1.15A.

Benefits & Discounts

 Wear Your SBM Love on Your Sleeve
Have a new Michigan attorney in your family? Or maybe you just want to wear your love of Michigan's bar on your sleeve? The State Bar of Michigan has a wide assortment of SBM labeled items for purchase such as travel mugs, t-shirts, polo shirts, micro-fleece coats, and much more.

To order your SBM gear, simply complete the paper form and mail it in with payment. If you have any questions about the products, contact Tracy Sproul in Member Services at (888) SBM-ForU or by email to

One Phone. Separate Personal and Business Phone Lines.
By porting your business number to Ruby Receptionists, you can use your mobile phone to return client calls and text messages without having to share your personal phone number with them. By having Ruby Receptionists host your business number, you can make calls and text from your business number on your personal phone through the Ruby app, allowing you to set reasonable boundaries between your personal and private life. The app also allows you to turn your Ruby service on and off with a single tap. As a member of the Michigan bar, you save 6% on Ruby’s monthly plans. For more information, visit Call Ruby.

Clio Launches Client Relationship Management Software
Clio has now launched Clio Grow, a new legal client relationship management (CRM) and client intake software that transforms the way you can engage with clients. Using the new CRM, you can create custom intake forms, e-signatures, and document automation to easily retain new clients. You can streamline data entry and follow-up emails to enable you to focus on what you do best. Advanced data reporting tools will allow you to identify your firm’s most valuable clients, helping you devote resources where they matter most. And, because you are a member of the Michigan bar, you get a 10% lifetime discount on Clio products. Find out more.

ABA Book Discounts

Shop. Save. Earn.
Save 15% on ABA books. The discount applies to all regularly priced book purchases at the ABA web store. Simply use the special discount code MICHBAR at checkout. To start saving 15% on your ABA book purchases visit Shop ABA or call (800) 285-2221 and use the special discount code MICHBAR.

Dress for Success
Save 15% on Brooks Brothers clothing by enrolling for a corporate membership card. Enroll online and enter your Organization ID# 86201 and your Pin Code# 91972. Or, enroll by telephone by calling corporate incentive services toll-free at (866) 515-4747, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Have your Organization ID and Pin Code available when you call.

Free e-Publications
The State Bar offers five electronic publications delivered to your email inbox at no cost.

e-Journal provides daily summaries of opinions released from the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Subscribe

NewsLinks provides a daily summary of law-related news articles, editorials, and columns carried in major local, state, and national media. Subscribe

Receive Practice Management updates sent directly to your inbox with tips and tools from the Practice Management Resource Center. Subscribe

Public Policy Update is a weekly journal highlighting public policy issues of interest to the profession. Subscribe

April Bar Journal—Resource Directory
Read the April Bar Journal
Digital Version
(ideal for tablets, smartphones, and e-readers)

Online Version (PDFs)

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