About the Section
The Master Lawyers Section, launched at the State Bar’s 2010 Annual Meeting, is comprised of active, inactive, and emeritus SBM members in good standing who have reached age 60 or completed 30 years of practice as members of the Bar. Membership is automatic and free of charge for those who qualify. Active, inactive, and emeritus SBM members of good standing who have reached age 50 or have completed 20 years of membership in the Bar may join the section for $25 annually.
Working through its various committees, the Section promotes its members’ interests by planning and carrying out programs, publications, and activities of interest to its members; coordinating programs with local, affiliate, and national bar associations; protecting the public by providing resources on the ethical and practical issues related to transitioning from the practice of law; serving as a resource for attorneys as they plan their retirement; and expanding opportunities for its members to contribute to the community.
Chair of the Master Lawyers Section is Mary Ellen Crusoe Byrne. Other officers include Chair-Elect James H. Loree, Secretary Richard F. Fellrath, and Treasurer Miles Gerberding.
Here is a brief description of each Master Lawyers Section committee and what it does:
Service to Master Lawyers Committee
- Responsible for developing and producing programs of interest to members of the Section, including educational programs in seminar or conference style, public service programs, career change programs, and talent utilization programs.
- Works on programming for the Section's annual meeting and any other seminar and event geared specifically for members of the section, as well as producing the Section's electronic newsletter, "The Mentor."
- Promotes mentoring of younger lawyers by Section members.
Protection of the Public Committee
- Responsible for developing, producing, and promoting materials and programs to assist attorneys in planning for and adjusting to changes in their professional status.
- Charged with proposing and encouraging adoption of rules and procedures that encourage lawyers to identify successors to their law practice and provide for the care and preservation of client records.
Community Contribution Committee
- Identifies and follows through on appropriate opportunities for members of the Section to contribute to their communities, partnering with other Sections and Committees where a mutual interest exists.
- Community contribution can take forms as diverse as civic educational programs—such as Law Day and Constitution Day—and participation in Ask-a-Lawyer or pro bono legal clinics.
Contact the section at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Seeks to encourage new members to join the Section and promotes the benefits of Section membership. Active, inactive, and emeritus members of the State Bar of Michigan who have been licensed to practice law and have been in good standing for at least 20 years, or are at least age 50 may become Section members by paying Section dues in the amount of $25.00.
Master Lawyer Pro Bono Opportunities
Read Inspiring Stories of Pro Bono and Community Service from the "A Lawyer Helps" Story Bank