Duly Noted

State Bar of Michigan Executive Director Janet Welch honored as one of Fastcase 50

Fastcase, “the leading next-generation legal research service that puts a comprehensive national law library and powerful searching, sorting, and data visualization tools at your fingertips,” has honored State Bar of Michigan Executive Director Janet Welch as one of its Fastcase 50.

The Fastcase 50 honors the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders. Lawyer or nonlawyer, techie or nontechie, anyone is eligible.

Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions.

“Every part of the legal market is changing right now – from law school through every part of the practice,” said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. “That change can be daunting or discouraging to many people. And that’s one reason that our team enjoys celebrating the accomplishments of the Fastcase 50. These... people... inspire us by their intelligence, creativity, and leadership. We hope they inspire others as well, especially during a time of great change for the profession.”

About Welch, Fastcase said the following on its website:

“A self-professed legal futures and collaboration enthusiast, State Bar of Michigan Executive Director Janet Welch has written extensively about legal tech online and made preparing lawyers for the future of law one of the Bar’s top priorities. Under Janet’s leadership, the State Bar of Michigan released a wealth of recommendations on legal innovation titled “21st Century Law in Michigan – The Future is Now”. The massive undertaking not only gives lawyers in the state a roadmap for how their practices will develop, it also provides templates for other bar associations to use in order to develop their own guidelines.”

Welch, who joined the State Bar of Michigan in December 2000 as general counsel, is the first woman to head the more than 39,000-member statewide organization. A Michigan native, she is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Albion College and the University of Michigan Law School. She is also a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government State and Local Senior Executive Program at Harvard University and was a Fulbright Scholar in comparative literature at the University of Zagreb in the former Yugoslavia.

Before coming to SBM, Welch served as Michigan Supreme Court counsel for four years. She has had an extensive career in state government that started as a legislative analyst for the Michigan House of Repre-
sentatives. In 1980, she was chosen to create a nonpartisan legislative analysis office for the Michigan Senate, and served as its director for five years before attending law school.

To learn more, visit https://www.fastcase.com/about/

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