Janet Welch is the executive director of the State Bar of Michigan. In this role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the State Bar, implement policies set by the Board of Commissioners and the Representative Assembly, and directs the efforts of State Bar staff.
Ms. Welch, who joined the Bar in December 2000 as general counsel, is the first woman to head the more than 39,000-member statewide organization. A Michigan native, she is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Albion College and the University of Michigan Law School. She is also a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government State and Local Senior Executive Program at Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar in comparative literature at the University of Zagreb in the former Yugoslavia.
Before coming to the State Bar of Michigan in 2000, Ms. Welch served as Michigan Supreme Court counsel for four years. She has had an extensive career in state government that started as a legislative analyst for the Michigan House of Representatives. In 1980, she was chosen to create a nonpartisan legislative analysis office for the Michigan Senate, and served as its director for five years before attending law school.
After a clerkship with Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert P. Griffin, Ms. Welch accepted a position as executive analyst in the Office of the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, where her work included analysis of legislative issues affecting the judicial system. In that capacity, she served as reporter for the Commission on the Courts in the 21st Century, and as staff to the Michigan Justice Project. In 1998, the Council of State Governments named her a Toll Fellow for outstanding achievement and service to state government.