SBM Annual Meeting Set for Sept. 21-23 in Grand Rapids

Members of the legal community will gather Sept. 21-23 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids for the State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting and Solo and Small Firm Institute.

Among this year's highlights:

Members of the legal profession who have achieved the highest honors in the areas of leadership, professional integrity and pro bono and community service will be recognized at the Awards Banquet, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Award winners from the Michigan State Bar Foundation, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, and Michigan Association for Justice will also be recognized. SBM President Lori Buiteweg and President-Elect Lawrence Nolan will present the awards.

The Solo and Small Firm Institute will take place on Thursday, Sept. 22, and Friday, Sept. 23, and host a faculty of 18, including these national speakers:

  • Ann M. Guinn, G & P Associates
  • Barron K. Henley, Affinity Consulting Group LLC
  • Ari Kaplan, Ari Kaplan Advisors
  • Cynthia Sharp, The Sharper Lawyer
  • Janet K. Welch, State Bar of Michigan

Speakers will share their expertise about future trends in the legal services industry, serving more clients with greater efficiency, time management skills, getting great technology on a budget, delegation skills, technology tools for collaboration, better communication skills, purchasing liability insurance for a law firm, increasing a firm’s data security, building a culture of accountability at a firm, as well as updates in many areas of substantive law, including medical marijuana, family, real property, and criminal law.

On Thursday, Sept. 22, Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr. will swear in the 82nd president of the State Bar, Lawrence P. Nolan, and other officers. In addition, 37th District Court Judge John M. Chmura will swear in the 2016-2017 chair of the Representative Assembly, Fred K. Herrmann, and the Michael Franck and Unsung Hero awards will be presented at the assembly business meeting.

Also on Thursday, the Celebrating Diversity Reception will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Mojos Dueling Piano Bar in Grand Rapids. Hosted by the Justice Initiatives Committee, the reception will celebrate the diversity of the State Bar, and acknowledge the work accomplished over the past year in support of achieving greater diversity and inclusion in the legal profession in Michigan.

On Friday, the 50-Year Golden Celebration Luncheon will take place from noon to 2 p.m. This event honors lawyers for 50 years of membership in the State Bar of Michigan.

For more information on this year's Annual Meeting, visit