Bar Admissions

Admission to the Bar – Your “Swearing In” Ceremony

Items You Need To Get Sworn In:

· The original letter from the Michigan Board of Law Examiners that is addressed to the Courts of Record of Michigan. Copies of the original letter shall not be accepted.

· $25.00 filing fee

· A Michigan licensed attorney who is in good standing and who would be willing to attend the ceremony as your sponsor. You will need your sponsor’s P-number.

For a Ceremony Presided Over By An Ingham County Circuit Court Judge:

For a Ceremony Presided Over By An Ingham County Circuit or Probate Court Judge:

1. Contact the Judicial Assistant of one of the Judges to request a ceremony be scheduled. The main phone number is (517) 483-6500.

2. On the back of the Board of Law Examiners letter, please write in the following pieces of information:
     a.  Your name as you would like it to appear on an Order of Admission.
     b.  Date and time of your swearing-in ceremony.
     c.  Name of the Judge who is scheduled to preside over your ceremony.
     d.  The name and P-number of your sponsor.
     e.  A contact phone number so that you may be contacted if there are any concerns.

3. File the letter with the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office and pay the filing fee. We have two offices to serve you:

Veterans Memorial Courthouse
313 W. Kalamazoo Street,1st Floor
Lansing, Michigan 48933
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Mason Historical Courthouse
315 South Jefferson, 3rd Floor
Mason, Michigan 48854
Hours: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. & 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

4. You can also mail in the letter and filing fee. The mailing address is Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Attention: Chief Deputy Court Clerk, Post Office Box 40771, Lansing, Michigan 48901.

5. After your swearing-in ceremony, you will be provided a Certificate of Admission and a certified copy of the Order of Admission. The Circuit Court Clerk’s Office will send a certified copy of your Order of Admission to the State Bar of Michigan and the Clerk of the Michigan Supreme Court.

6. After your ceremony, you would want to apply for membership with the State Bar of Michigan.

Questions and Answers:

Question: Can I be sworn in by a Judge who is not a member of the Ingham County Circuit Court bench?
Answer: Yes, however before the ceremony, the Judge must seek an assignment order from the State Court Administrative Office, which would allow him or her to act as an Ingham County Circuit Court Judge. Follow Steps (1)-(4) above. The Circuit Court Clerk’s Office will prepare the Order of Admission and the Certificate of Admission to be picked up by either the new admittee or their sponsor. After the ceremony, the original Order of Admission must be filed with the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. After filing, the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office will send certified copies of the order to the State Bar of Michigan and the Clerk of the Michigan Supreme Court.

Please note that a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court has authority to preside over a swearing-in ceremony, so no special assignment is necessary. Contact the Clerk of the Supreme Court for more information at (517) 373-0120.

Question: Will the State Bar of Michigan process my application for membership without first receiving a certified copy of my order of admission? 
Answer: No.

Question: The State Bar of Michigan has informed me that they never received a certified copy of my order of admission. What should I do? 
Answer: Call (517) 483-6504. Arrangements will be made to ensure that a certified copy is sent to the State Bar.

Question: Can I purchase a copy of my Order of Admission? 
Answer: Yes. Call (517) 483-6500 extension 6816 to make arrangements.

Question: Are there group swearing-in ceremonies that I could participate in instead of a solo ceremony?
Answer: Yes, after the Winter and Summer bar exam results are published (typically May and November of each year), group ceremonies are held. Please see below for details.

The Ingham County Bar Association (ICBA) in conjunction with Western Michigan University Cooley Law School organizes group ceremonies, which are open to anyone interested in being sworn-in in Ingham County. Call the ICBA about upcoming ceremonies at (517) 627-3938.

The Michigan State University College of Law organizes group ceremonies for MSU College of Law alumni. Call MSU College of Law’s Office of Career Services regarding upcoming ceremonies at (517) 432-6830.

Question: What is the court rule that governs admission to the State Bar? 
Answer: See Rule 15 of the Rules Concerning the State Bar of Michigan.