Sunday, July 10, 2011
Become More Involved in the Bar
12:36 pm edt
A key motivation for
developing this blog was to encourage members to consider becoming more involved in bar association activities. In
addition to State Bar service, opportunities exist at the local bar, special purpose bar, and/or national levels such as the ABA.
Bar association service offers numerous benefits
• Breaking the isolation commonly associated with a busy law practice, whether you work as
a solo practitioner or in a large organization. Bar association activities allow you to develop and expand your personal
network of professional contacts, referral sources, and friends.
• Continuing legal education opportunities.
State Bar sections offer their members useful, relevant, and timely information through e-blasts, newsletters,
seminars, meetings, and list-servs.
• Joining others to serve the public in meaningful ways. Bar associations
offer numerous public service programs.
• Helping improve our profession.
For busy lawyers, meetings
are often conducted by conference call, which minimizes time away from the office, client service, or personal commitments.
Thank you for visiting my blog.
My name is Julie Fershtman, and I was the 77th president of the 42,000-member
State Bar of Michigan from
September 2011 through September 2012. A member of the State Bar for over 26 years, I practice with the
law firm Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC, in its Farmington Hills office, where I'm a Shareholder.
My areas of practice include commercial litigation, insurance defense and coverage, sporting and recreational liability,
agribusiness law and liability, and equine law. As a lawyer, I especially enjoy trial work; I've tried cases before
juries in 4 states (Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Connecticut) and have been admitted as pro hac vice counsel
on cases in 12 jurisdictions nationwide. Business will continue during my State Bar presidency, with assistance
of lawyers in my firm and the cooperation of fellow counsel and judges.
Aside from my law practice, I
also enjoy speaking and lecturing on liability, insurance, and risk management at seminars, conventions, CLE programs,
and conferences across the country, including the Insurance Skills Center. In 2011 I spoke on a panel at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto; I also spoke as a panelist on ABA webinars in 2011 and 2012. I also love writing. I've written 2 books and have contributed to or co-authored 4 ABA books, most recently in 2009 and 2011,
as well as 5 law journal articles for the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section. My writings include about
200 articles on legal subjects.
I grew up in the Detroit area and graduated from Emory College in 1983 and Emory Law
School in 1986. On a personal level, my father (the late Sidney Fershtman) was a Michigan lawyer, and my husband is
a lawyer. Although work, family, and bar activities leave little time for hobbies, my favorite hobby is horses.
With an empty horse barn on our property in the Detroit suburbs, chances are good that I'll be riding horses some time after
my service as State Bar President concludes.