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Michigan Pro Bono Legal Information, Resources and Assistance

The Pro Bono Initiative (PBI) of the State Bar of Michigan is responsible for encouraging and coordinating the delivery of pro bono legal services. The PBI also helps the State Bar of Michigan play a constructive leadership role in promoting policies and mechanisms to support lawyers in their effort to fulfill their ethical responsibility to assist in the provision of civil legal services to the poor.

Michigan Pro Bono Summary: The State bar of Michigan provides legal assistance or dispute resolution assistance to those who are eligible for free legal services. All Michigan communities are also served by dispute resolution centers that may be helpful in certain disputes.

The services include:

  • Legal Aid Programs and Services- Programs throughout the state assisting individuals and families who have incomes near the federal "poverty" levels with various civil legal needs.
  • Legal Services for Senior Citizens- Agencies that assist clients who are over the age of 60 who may be eligible for free legal services. These agencies provide assistance in civil law issues that target persons aged 60 and older.
  • Non-Profit and Community-based Advocacy Programs- Each program has an intake or screening process for callers in order to determine if the program will be able to help.
  • Law School Clinics- Michigan’s six law schools each offer clinical programs as part of their curriculum. Law school clinics offer counsel or instruction in a particular field of law and provide low-income persons with an opportunity to obtain legal representation. Under Michigan Court Rules, law students may provide direct representation to clients while under the supervision of experienced attorneys.
  • Dispute Resolution Centers/Mediation and Community Dispute Resolution Programs

Michigan Pro Bono Contacts:

Greg Conyers
Director of Justice Initiatives
(517) 346-6358

Pro Bono Awards:

John W. Cummiskey Award- This award is named after the late Grand Rapids attorney to recognize a member of the Bar who has made outstanding pro bono contributions.

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