Local attorneys elected to Representative Assembly

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Two local attorneys have been elected as members of the Representative Assembly of the State Bar of Michigan to represent Washtenaw County.

Joan Vestrand, associate dean of the Ann Arbor campus of Cooley Law School, and Chad Engelhardt of Moran, Raimi, Goethel & Karnani in Ann Arbor are now among the 142 members on the assembly.

The assembly is the final policy-making body of the state bar. In 1972, the State Bar Board of Commissioners requested the Supreme Court create a "representative assembly" to increase the number of members of the State Bar who actively participate in bar policy-making. The Representative Assembly is structured to reflect the lawyer population from the state's judicial districts.

Vestrand has served on the assembly as a constituent of Oakland County and was contacted by a current member with regard to two openings in Washtenaw County. She agreed to serve again, and suggested Engelhardt for the other opening.

"Chad was one of my first students at the Auburn Hills campus and we have remained in close contact," she said. "He was a standout at Cooley and quickly became a standout in practice. He is very involved in bar service and I knew he would be an excellent choice to represent Washtenaw County on the assembly."

Engelhardt said he was honored to accept.

"Cooley students are some of the finest legal practitioners in the state, and I think it's important for Cooley-trained lawyers to seek leadership positions in the bar," she said.

Engelhardt said he regularly speaks to law students and new lawyers on the importance of being active member of the legal community.

"Especially in our adversarial justice system, it is important for lawyers to work side-by-side with members of the profession from a wide range of backgrounds," he said. "It helps maintain civility and perspective."

Published: Thu, Apr 26, 2012