Duly Noted

Scam targeting Michigan attorneys has been reported

A scammer claiming to have been referred “by the Bar Referral Services” has contacted at least one Michigan attorney recently. This is a scam and is not affiliated with the State Bar of Michigan’s Lawyer Referral Service (LRS).

The State Bar of Michigan directly notifies attorneys participating in the Lawyer Referral Service about potential client matches, and attorneys have to be LRS panel members before they would receive a referral.

Attorneys should treat emails from anyone claiming to have been referred by the State Bar as suspicious.

Michigan State Police recommend that attorneys who have been targeted in a scam contact the Michigan Cyber Command Center at MC3@michigan.gov.

Any attorney who has been targeted in a scam  other Michigan attorneys should know about should email hello@michbar.org after alerting authorities.


Attorneys support Access To Justice campaign 

The Access to Justice Campaign saw a 32% increase in donations from the legal community in 2019, with $1.2 million raised; a full list of donors was published in the October Michigan Bar Journal and the 2019 ATJ Campaign Annual Report.

Legal aid programs are working tirelessly, as the need for free civil legal help exponentially increases amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Threatened evictions, increased domestic violence, and widespread unemployment issues are only a few examples of the scenarios faced by those living in poverty.

In 2019, over 1.9 million people were eligible for civil legal aid in Michigan, meaning they live below 125% of the federal poverty level ($32,750 for a family of four). It is expected that this year, the number of people who have qualified for legal aid has increased. The demand for civil legal aid far outweighs the available resources.

In late summer, the ATJ Campaign hosted a virtual ‘Thank You’ event, with speeches from Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, Justice Brian Zahra, Bradley Gayton, Michigan State Bar Foundation Board President Edward Pappas and State Bar of Michigan President Dennis Barnes.

For more information, visit www.atjfund.org and  www.michbar.org/alawyerhelps/home.


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