Dues Notice Will Be E-mailed This Year
Dear Section Leaders:
I would like to draw your attention to a change that will occur in a couple of weeks regarding how State Bar of Michigan dues notices are sent to members, and a member advisory e-blast that will be going out to members tomorrow explaining this change.
Starting this year, the State Bar of Michigan will e-mail notice of the annual disclosure form and access to the dues invoice to members, rather than sending these documents to members via postal mail. In a couple of weeks, all SBM members will receive an e-mail from the State Bar inviting them to log in to the member area of www.michbar.org to complete the annual disclosures online and pay dues with a credit card or debit card. If members prefer to not pay online, they can print an annual disclosure statement and complete it, print a dues invoice and submit both documents with a check to the State Bar’s lockbox. If members have a problem logging in to the member area of www.michbar.org, we will include a phone number for members to call for help, and then State Bar staff will e-mail an annual disclosure statement and invoice to them. We will also be sending several reminder e-mails to remind members to complete this process prior to November 30, after which a $50 late fee will be assessed, as it has been for years.
The State Bar will mail a paper annual disclosure statement and dues invoice to all active and inactive members (approximately 1,400) who do not have an e-mail address on file, and will also send a paper invoice to members whose email is returned. A series of e-mail reminders will be sent to members who have not paid throughout the dues process. Because this is a transition year, we will send some form of paper notice to members who have not paid later in the dues process.
This change is the first phase of a two-year automation of the annual disclosure and dues process. In fiscal year 2018 the State Bar will implement a process to allow all annual mandatory disclosure and contact information changes to be made online (with additional payment options), regardless of whether dues are paid online or by mailing a check.
The State Bar Board of Commissioners voted on this change at its July meeting because it will devote bar dues to valuable member programs and services rather than to the cost of paper and postage required for annual disclosure statements and dues invoices. Transmitting the annual disclosure form and dues invoices to members electronically rather than by postal mail should save the State Bar an estimated $20,000 annually, phased in from fiscal year 2017 through 2019, facilitating a more convenient and accountable dues process. The e-blast about this change that will be sent to all SBM members tomorrow is attached to this message.
We welcome your help in communicating this change and helping members in your section adapt to this change.
Janet Welch, Executive Director
State Bar of Michigan