Inns of Court


The OCBA is proud to have one of only five charters in Michigan for an American Inns of Court chapter.

The concept of the American Inns of Court (the "Inn") is based upon the four English Inns of Court in London and their centuries-old tradition of senior lawyers and judges educating successive generations of advocates, with a focus on civility and professionalism. The Inn has gained a national and international reputation as an organization that bridges the gap between formal law school education and legal practice by offering career-long continuing education in the Common Law tradition.

The Inn is an association of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals from all practice levels and backgrounds who share a passion for professional excellence. Through monthly meetings, members are able to build and strengthen professional relationships; discuss fundamental concerns about professionalism and pressing legal issues of the day; share experiences and advice; exhort the utmost passion and dedication for the law; provide mentoring opportunities; and advance the highest levels of integrity, ethics and civility. 

The Inn is one of the very few legal organizations that involve the whole spectrum of the profession: from law students to supreme court justices; every level of federal and state judges, small firms to large firms; legal educators to law students. All have the opportunity to learn and grow without limit.

This uniquely non-partisan association encourages meaningful mentoring relationships. Inn members are divided into "pupillage teams," with each team consisting of members from every level of practice experience. Each pupillage team is tasked with presenting one educational program that year. Pupillage team members meet informally outside of the monthly Inn meetings to plan and rehearse their assigned programs. Students and less-experienced attorneys learn from the more-experienced attorneys and judges in an environment that fosters collegiality, mentoring, professionalism and informal discussion about the practice of law, principles and methods.

Academicians, specialized practitioners, and complementing generalists provide a mix of skill, theory, experience, and passion. This fluid, side-by-side approach allows seasoned judges and attorneys to help shape students and newer lawyers with practical guidance in serving the law and seeking justice.


Participation in the OCBA chapter of the American Inns of Court is limited. OCBA members interested in participating must submit a letter of interest and a current resume, and be appointed by the Chancellor. For more information about the Inn and to submit a letter and resume, contact Merri Lee Jones.

There is a nominal annual fee to be part of the OCBA Inns of Court chapter in addition to annual membership dues.

  • Attorneys in practice six or more years: $175
  • Attorneys in practice five or less years: $75
  • Law school students: FREE with an OCBA student membership



The OCBA's Inn of Court chapter has recently been recognized at the Bronze Level in the American Inns of Court's Acheiving Excellence Program. Each level recognizes an Inn's progress toward mastering effective practices in each of the five core competencies of Inn management: Administration, Communications, Program Development, Mentoring and Outreach Activities.