Washtenaw County American Inn of Court seeks members

The deadline to join the second season of the Washtenaw County American Inn of Court is Aug. 31.

Inn membership is open to all Washtenaw County Bar Association members and is sponsored by the WCBA, the Washtenaw Judiciary and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Ann Arbor Campus.

The Inn is a continuing legal education program with an emphasis on ethics, civility, professionalism and skills development.

Washtenaw's Inn is one of more than 350 chapters of the American Inns of Court. There are six other chapters in Michigan, including two in Detroit, one in Oakland County, two in Ingham County and one in Kent County.

Through peer programming and open group discussion, members keep abreast of changes to the law, best practice techniques, settlement strategy options, technology advancements and best practice management. Common throughout is the collective recognition of the importance of practicing law with civility, ethics and professionalism.

Inn members are given placement on a team of colleagues who range in years of practice experience. Each team will include at least one judge; two lawyers with 15 years or more experience (masters); two lawyers with 5 to 15 years experience (barristers); two lawyers with 1 to 5 years experience (associates), and two law students.

Each team is responsible to plan and present one 40-minute program to the Inn membership during the Inn season (October to May). Each 40-minute program is followed by 20 minutes of open discussion among Inn members of the evening's topic. Excellent programs aside, this is often the most valuable part of the evening.

The Inn meets on the second Tuesday of the month from 6 to 7 p.m. Programs are preceded at 5:30 p.m. by a 30 minute Meet & Greet as Inn members arrive at the program location. Programs are typically held in the courtroom of one of the judges heading up the presenting team. Programs may also be held at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Team members meet one another at a mixer held at the start of the season. Topic assignments are made known at that time. Each team works together as their program date nears to create a program about their assigned topic. Programs might include vignettes, panel discussions, guest speakers or any combination of such. Teams also prepare and distribute any written materials that assist in the evening's learning. At the end of the season a celebratory reception is held.

Costs are kept to a minimum by design and the cost of participating is extremely reasonable. Masters and Barristers participate at the rate of $100. Associates pay $75 and law students are free. Dues support a $75 per person annual fee that must be paid to the American Inns of Court organization. The remainder assists in the provision of light refreshments at each program.

For information on joining, contact Kyeena Slater at the WCBA.

Published: Mon, Aug 13, 2012