MAACS Accepting Applications to join the Appellate Assigned Counsel Roster

Applications Due August 1, 2016

The Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS) is accepting applications to join the assigned counsel roster. Applications must be submitted by August 1, 2016. This is a competitive process and MAACS encourages applications from conscientious appellate lawyers with diverse experiences and backgrounds, and those who are committed to representing indigent clients and contributing to the reform of Michigan’s indigent defense system.

Promising applicants may be invited to join the roster after attending an orientation and training this fall. The 2016 orientation session will be held on Thursday, September 29 at the SADO offices in Detroit. There will be two identical training sessions this fall. One on Friday, September 30 at WMU-Cooley in Auburn Hills and one on Friday, October 7 at WMU-Cooley in Lansing.

In exceptional cases, qualifying applicants may be invited to join the roster immediately, as there is an urgent need for court-appointed counsel to represent “juvenile lifers” who must be resentenced under Montgomery v Louisiana, 136 S Ct 718 (2016), and MCL 769.25a. 


Now is an exciting time to join the roster.  Since its merger with the State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) in 2014, MAACS has implemented a number of important reforms, including:

  • A Regional Pilot Project, which has consolidated assignment lists by region to promote greater administrative efficiency and the adoption of standardized attorney fees of $75 per hour in most cases.  Given the overwhelming support of this pilot among roster attorneys and circuit courts alike, MAACS anticipates widespread expansion within one year. MAACS is planning to continue and expand this project.
  • The Appellate Investigation Project, which relies on federal grant funding to provide roster attorneys with investigative services and litigation support in assigned appellate cases statewide. 
  • A subsidized legal research package, which includes a comprehensive Westlaw subscription and complete web access to SADO/CDRC resources.  Valued at over $3,000, this package is available to roster attorneys for $250 per year.  
  • Improved access to resources and training, including frequent targeted seminars and the annual Appellate Writing Workshop, an intense three-day training focusing on client-centered writing and appellate advocacy. This year's Appellate Writing Workshop will be held on October 27-29, 2016 in Detroit.

Further information on these and other MAACS operations can be found here.


View the application to join the roster.