77th State Bar president says ‘I do’

Following her swearing-in today by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr., Julie I. Fershtman took the podium at the State Bar of Michigan annual meeting Dearborn as 77th SBM president.

And, following the expected thank-yous to family, friends and fellow bar members – Fershtman was ready to talk business.

As she told Michigan Lawyers Weekly for the Aug. 29 edition, she was going to form a committee that will broaden and improve the Practice Management Resource Center, where State Bar members can receive, as part of their annual dues, training and hands-on assistance with legal technology and management components.

Taking the next step Fershtman announced today that Rebecca Simkins, who has served as chair of SBM’s Law Practice Management & Legal Administrators Section, would head the group. And, today, the PMRC rolled out an overhauled website, with easier navigation and the “Practice EZ” theme to emphasize it.

She also announced that her SBM presidency blog, www.sbmpres2012.com, would be rolled out later today. In it, she’ll post what she’s doing and what’s she’s seeing happening across the state, with posted pictures from tours she’ll be going on across Michigan, when she meets with local bar associations.

Fershtman also remarked that things SBM members should expect throughout the year include:

• A crackdown following member complaints of various “unauthorized practice of law” sprouting up online, and educating the public on the risks of do-it-yourself legal functions, such as wills and trusts;

• A staff of the Member Services Committee that is now doubled, and primed to explore and expand member services and benefits;

• Exploring mentor programs, and determining not just what works, but also what’s best for membership.