Appellate Assigned Counsel Roster Attorneys

The Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel System (MAACS) is accepting applications to join the assigned counsel roster. Applications should be submitted by August 31, 2018. This is a competitive process and we encourage 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 orientation session will be held on Thursday, October 18 at the State Appellate Defender Office (SADO) offices in Detroit. There will be two identical training sessions: one on Friday, October 19 at WMU-Cooley in Auburn Hills and one on Friday, October 26 at WMU-Cooley in Lansing.

It’s an exciting time to join the roster. Since its merger with SADO in 2014, MAACS has implemented a number of important reforms, including:

  • A new Regional Assignment System, which consolidates assignment lists by region to promote administrative efficiency. Participating circuit courts have adopted standardized attorney fees of $75 per hour in the most serious cases. As of June 1, 2018, 37 of Michigan’s 57 circuit courts participate in the Regional Assignment System (learn more about MAACS fees).
  • An innovative Appellate Investigation Project, which relies on federal grant funding and has provided roster attorneys with investigative services and litigation support in many 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 currently available to roster attorneys for $250 per year.
  • Access to resources and training, including case rounds, frequent targeted seminars, and the annual Appellate Writing Workshop, an intense three-day training focusing on client-centered writing and appellate advocacy.

Further information about MAACS including the application to join the roster can be found in MAACS Resources on If you have additional questions, please contact Kathy Swedlow at or 517.334.1207.