Michigan Supreme Court and State Bar of Michigan swear in law school graduates who have passed the bar


Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack and State Bar of Michigan President Dennis Barnes joined forces May 15 to swear in certified bar passers via a virtual ceremony conducted over Zoom and livestreamed on YouTube.   (File photos)

The Michigan Supreme Court and the State Bar of Michigan joined forces last Friday to swear in 128 certified bar passers via a virtual mass swearing-in ceremony. The candidates were presented by Dennis Barnes, president of the State Bar and officially sworn in by Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack. Conducted over Zoom and livestreamed on YouTube, the ceremony was the first ever “virtual” mass swearing in for new attorneys in Michigan.

“Being sworn in to the bar is a milestone that attorneys and their families remember for a lifetime,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack. “We might not be able to be together in person, but we are together in spirit in supporting these talented and hard-working new attorneys-to-be who are ready to serve.”

Participants cannot be referred to as attorney, counsel, or lawyer until they fill out the paperwork and pay their dues to become members of the State Bar. “Please know that we consider you the most resilient group of bar passers ever to be sworn in, and remember, tough times don’t last, but tough people do,” said Barnes. The practice of law can be a tough business, but this experience will no doubt prepare you for future challenges. It is during times like these that lawyers help provide clarity, security, and a path forward for the rest of society.”

The special event kicked off with the official swearing in of former District Judge Thomas P. Boyd as the new State Court Administrator, a position required in Article VI, Section 3 of the Michigan Constitution. 

“During this crisis, Tom has been working nonstop to keep Michigan’s judiciary running while protecting the health of the public and court staff,” said Chief Justice McCormack. “Tom’s experience leading so many important reforms in the judiciary and his commitment and his ability to lead and inspire others to do so too has been a big bright light for all of us as we meet the challenge of COVID-19 and return courts to full capacity.”

Participants were invited to a series of virtual receptions with local bar associations statewide earlier in the day.


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