The DMBA Inn of Court (IOC) is designed to promote strong relationships between attorneys in different firms and practice areas, create more mentorship and training opportunities, and foster regular and constructive contacts between the bench and bar. Based on the English model of legal apprenticeship, the DMBA IOC involves monthly, team-led programs that address issues of law, ethics or practice.
The structure of the DMBA IOC is similar to other models. The Inn is divided into "Teams," each of which has a "Team Leader" who is a member of the State or Federal bench. Each Team also has several "Masters" who typically have more than 20 years of practice. A Team also includes "Barristers," with at least 5 years of practice, "Associates," who are newer members of the bar, and "Law Clerks," who are law students and non-attorney legal professionals.
The Team Leader and Masters provide strategic guidance, inspiration, coaching and practice pointers to the Barristers, Associates, and Law Clerks. All members of the Team work together to create and present a thought provoking and engaging program. Lectures and scripted presentations are discouraged. The most valuable aspects of the Inn come from the Teams' preparatory and social meetings, as well as the full Inn discussions and social interaction during and following the programs. All Teams are encouraged to get acquainted as a team early in the Inn season. The Inn season ends with a party in May.
All Inn members are expected to attend all programs and participate as engaged members, not merely observers, unless an absence is excused in advance. The DMBA IOC is part of the American Inns of Court.
The application deadline for the upcoming season was October 1, 2014. If you are interested but did not apply, please contact Mitzy Sharp Futro at the DMBA. The kickoff event is December 1, 2014 @ the Detroit Beer Company, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. The six monthly programs begin on January 20, 2015.
This year's theme is "Beyond the Courtroom", covering matters ranging from ex parte and social communications with the Courts, to business development ethics, to litigation risk analysis, budgets and plans, getting paid for your work, showing your work - legal writing, and telling your story - public speaking.
2014-2015 IOC Leadership
Inn President: Thomas McNeill
Inn Counselor: Hon. Patricia Perez Fresard
Inn Administrator: Mitzy Sharp Futro
Inn Directors at Large: Ben Jeffers, Elizabeth Jolliffe