One of the proudest days of my life was Nov. 9, 1976, when I was sworn in as a new lawyer and officially became a member of the State Bar of Michigan.

 It was an exciting time and within a very few days I decided to also join the local Genesee County Bar Association (GCBA).

 For those who don’t know, membership in the State Bar is mandatory for all lawyers while membership in the GCBA is voluntary.

 Why did I join? The simple answer is that I wanted to be a part of an organization that could help me get started as a new attorney and have the opportunity to meet attorneys who certainly knew much more about how the practice of law worked in real life terms.

 I have been a member ever since and have benefited greatly in a number of ways.

 The GCBA has grown immensely since 1976 in both numbers and services and has a website, which contains information for not only the membership but also the public.

 I won’t detail it all here, but today I want to talk about one of the services that the GCBA offers to the public called the Lawyer Referral Service.

 It started in 1977 and is for those who don’t have an attorney, need legal advice and/or representation, and is comprised of a panel of lawyers who have various legal specialties. When you call the service, you’re asked questions about your legal matter and then referred to a lawyer who has expertise in that area of the law.

 There is a $30 charge payable to the GCBA Lawyer Referral Service for a one half hour consultation. This fee helps defray the costs of running the program.

 At the end of the appointment, you decide if your legal questions have been sufficiently answered or if you want to retain the lawyer.

 All of the panel attorneys have a deep commitment to the law.

 I could go on about Lawyer Referral but I won’t. Suffice it to say that the website has much more information. The phone number is (810) 232-6012.

 I could not be prouder to be a member of the GCBA.

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