Learn about ongoing and upcoming events. Discover opportunities to link into the West Michigan legal network.

Ongoing Events


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 at the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building. 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.

Next event, 22 August, 2019 at 12:00pm. Read more: Luncheon Series: Social Security Law


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.


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.


Bankruptcy Seminars

The Bankruptcy Section of the Western District sponsors an annual seminar. For details concerning this year’s seminar, please visit the Bankruptcy Section webpage.

Next event, 26 July, 2019 at 8:00am. Read more: 2019 Summer Seminar

Upcoming Events


2019 Federal Bar Association Annual Meeting

08 October, 2019
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The Ballroom at McKay Tower
146 Monroe Center St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States

Please save the date for the 2019 Federal Bar Association Annual Meeting, Tuesday, October 8th at the Ballroom at McKay Tower. This year, we are honored that Judge Raymond M. Kethledge, of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, has agreed to speak at our luncheon gathering. We hope you can join […]