FBA Events

Education

The Western District offers continuing legal education on topics of interest to lawyers practicing in Federal Court. Our flagship program, the Hillman Advocacy Program, is offered annually during the month of January at the Western District Courthouse in Grand Rapids. The Bankruptcy section of the Western District also sponsors an annual seminar. Shorter programs are also offered throughout the year during the lunch hour. Members of the Western District receive emails announcing the programs. For upcoming seminars and other programs, check the calendar  portion of this site.


Bankruptcy Seminars

Bench Bar Conference

Hillman Advocacy Program

Luncheon Series

 

Bankruptcy Seminars


The Bankruptcy Section of the Western District sponsors an annual seminar. For details concerning this year's seminar, please go to our conference registration page.

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Bench Bar Conference

Held every three years, the Western District of Michigan Bench-Bar Conference offers an opportunity for judges and lawyers to interact and exchange ideas on improving the administration of justice throughout Michigan. 

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Hillman Advocacy Program

The Hillman Advocacy Program is an annual three-day seminar that has provided high-quality, professional courtroom training to hundreds of trial lawyers.

Formerly known as the Trial Skills Program, this learn-by-doing seminar is patterned after well-known techniques developed by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) in Boulder, Colorado. It gives 62 new attorneys a unique opportunity to develop courtroom skills under the guidance of some of Western Michigan’s top trial lawyers – all of whom volunteer their time. We keep the number of participants low to maintain a 3-to-1 student to teacher ratio.

Some years ago the Chief Justice of the United States called for improvement in the courtroom skills of trial lawyers. Responding to this challenge, Judge Hillman was determined that such criticism should not be directed to the trial practice in the Western District of Michigan. He enlisted the aid of his fellow jurists and several leading trial lawyers to form an instructional workshop where attorneys could learn by doing.

Luncheon Series

The Western District FBA plans and sponsors a series of presentations on issues of interest to the local bar. The sessions run from noon to approximately 1:30 P.M. and are held in the jury assembly room on the 2nd floor of the Federal Court building at 110 Michigan Street NW in Grand Rapids. The program is free, but advanced registration and a fee of $10.00 is required if you would like a lunch to be ordered for you.

Our luncheon topics have included a Supreme Court Year In Review presentation by John Bursch, former Michigan Solicitor General, and Don Davis, former United States Attorney for the Western District of Michigan; a panel presentation on prisoner civil rights litigation, and a primer on effective advocacy by 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton.

Click on the calendar section of this site for information regarding upcoming presentations.

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