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November 18, 2021 Vol. 47, No. 2

Leadership Chat: A time of transition, transformation at the State Bar of Michigan

Eric T. Cooperstein, Dana M. Warnez, and Janet K. Welch

Eric T. Cooperstein, Dana M. Warnez, and Janet K. Welch

Welcome to the latest installment of Leadership Chat, in which we spend a few minutes with a pair of leaders at a particular state, local, or special-focus bar. For this issue, Eric T. Cooperstein spoke with Dana M. Warnez and Janet K. Welch from the State Bar of Michigan

Cooperstein is a past member of the ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services, a past president of the Hennepin County (Minn.) Bar Association, a frequent faculty member at the ABA Bar Leadership Institute, and a small-firm lawyer whose practice is focused on legal ethics. Warnez is president of the State Bar of Michigan, where Janet Welch is executive director.

Warnez is president and managing partner at Schoenherr, Cahill & Warnez PC, in Macomb County, Mich., where she focuses mainly on probate and estate planning.  Prior to working at the state bar, first as general counsel and then as executive director, Welch worked within the Michigan House of Representatives and the State Senate. She is also a former member of the ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services.

Welch will retire in December 2021, about a quarter into Warnez’s presidential term. This is a big transition, but both Welch and Warnez are also focused on transformation in other ways: helping lawyers navigate what may be a permanent shift toward increased use of technology for court proceedings, and helping lawyers shift their own perceptions of what wellness means and how to ask for and give assistance when needed. In keeping with this issue’s main article on collaboration and partnership, Warnez and Welch are especially excited to have adopted the SOLACE (Support of All Lawyers—All Concern Encouraged) Program that was started by the Louisiana State Bar Association, and to partner on it with local and affinity bars in Michigan.

Listen in—and get ready for another Leadership Chat, featuring a different bar leadership team, in a future issue of Bar Leader.

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