Committees exist to meet the specific needs of the Association. Standing Committees are designed to help with the Bar's everyday functions and their purposes are outlined in Article V of the Bylaws of the Association. Special committees may be created as directed by the Board of Trustees. Association members are appointed to serve on Committees by the President.

Interested attorneys can volunteer for committee service by contacting the Grand Rapids Bar Association at (616) 454-5550. To complete and print a committee preference form, please click here


The Awards Committee administers the GRBA Key Awards. This includes publicizing awards offered by the GRBA, Seeking nominations for and recommending recipients of the Liberty Bell, Worsfold, and President’s Award. Identify members to nominate for State Bar of Michigan Awards and other statewide awards that may be applicable. This committee reviews suggestions for new awards, develops criteria and guidelines, and makes recommendations to the GRBA Board of Trustees.


Offers minority law students an opportunity to participate in summer clerkship programs with Grand Rapids law firms and other legal employers.

Community Interaction 

Works to increase the legal profession’s understanding of the needs in the community by encouraging GRBA member involvement in civic and community projects. Plans programs of general interest to give GRBA members a better understanding of the community. Provides assistance to specific community projects upon request.

Court Liaison

Serves as a liaison to the court as needed. Also serves to provide a process through which judges and attorneys can resolve complaints about each other on a confidential basis. Committee members act as intermediaries between two parties. Organizes the annual Bench/Bar Conference.

Diversity (suspended due to the work of the MPDC)

Identifies, plans, and implements short and long term goals for enhancing the diversity of the Grand Rapids legal community. Works in a variety of sub-committees to achieve the goals of the GRBA Diversity Strategic Plan developed by the committee; these goals include increased representation of people of color among GRBA members, assist women attorneys to succeed and advance in their careers, and increase the representation of people of color as non-attorney personnel in GRBA member firms and organizations 


Reviews and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees prior to adoption of the proposed and mid-year budgets. Reviews and makes recommendations for capital expenditures for the Association. Also makes an annual recommendation regarding member dues.

First Year Attorney

The First Year Attorney Committee oversees all aspects of the GRBA Newly Admitted attorney members with a goal of enhancing retention and the success of first year attorneys. This committee is responsible for outreach to new Kent County attorneys to encourage bar engagement, and assist these attorneys as they transition into the practice of law in Grand Rapids. Other committee tasks will include providing information, resources, support programs, tools and other benefits unique to new and young lawyers.


Evaluates and recommends funding requests for “special purpose” projects which further the cause of justice in the community. Reviews the trust investment strategy and makes recommendations regarding same to the Board of Trustees. Works to build Foundation membership. Works to provide funds for the Legal Assistance Center. Works on other projects that may be designated by the trustees.

Judicial Review (appointed positions)

Evaluates candidates for election in contested races to the judicial offices in the Circuit, District, and Probate Courts of Kent County, including incumbent candidates running for reelection, and informs the public of its evaluations. May also evaluate Michigan Court of Appeals candidates.

Jury Representation

Works to increase minority juror representation on Kent County juries including community education projects.

Law Day

Plans and implements annual Law Day observance activities. Activities may include essay contest in schools, luncheons, and seminars in conjunction with CLE, all designed to increase the knowledge of the law.

Lawyer Referral and Information Service 

Recommends programs and policies for the LRIS. Examines opportunities through which the LRIS can better serve members and the community through enhanced services and programs. Assists in developing marketing, communication strategies and recruitment of panel members. 

Law School Liaison 

The Law School Liaison Committee oversees all aspects of the GRBA law student membership. Responsible for providing outreach to the law schools around the state with a goal of expanding and adding value to student membership in the bar. The liaisons are available to work with faculty and student groups to serve as guest speakers, to organize and participate in brown bag lunches and career panels, and to work with schools’ law societies to increase membership and plan events. It conducts mock interviews and a mentoring program with law students.


Evaluates and promotes GRBA services and programs to address member needs. Reviews membership categories and privileges, dues structure, and fees for services. Makes recommendations to the trustees regarding same. Reviews programs ad activities in light of dues and fees and makes recommendations. Works to enhance membership retention and benefits and encourages new memberships. (Recruitment, Retention and Communications are all subcommittees of the Membership Committee.)


Inventories and prioritizes needed skill sets for GRBA to implement its strategic plan and redefine goals, roles, and responsibilities as needed. Rewrites job descriptions and plans for obtaining needed skills through training, redeployment and creation of new or alternative positions.

Pro Bono

Works in partnership with the Legal Aid of Western Michigan Pro Bono offices to plan and implement the delivery of pro bono legal services and volunteer programs, including fund solicitation and recruitment of attorneys to accept cases. Also presents training for pro bono volunteers.

More information about the Pro Bono Program.

Social Interaction

Plans, promotes, and executes social events for members, including quarterly “lunch & learn” programs as well as other special projects.

Inventories and prioritizes needed skill sets for GRBA to implement its strategic plan and redefine goals, roles, and responsibilities as needed. Rewrites job descriptions and plans for obtaining needed skills through training, redeployment and creation of new or alternative positions.