Academy of Municipal Attorneys
Components of the AMA
MAMA recognizes that participation in the AMA involves both an educational component and a practice component to achieve the purposes of the program. The educational component seeks to train and educate the applicant in not only the basic elements of municipal law, but also to encourage academic and scholarly excellence in municipal law. The practice component seeks to recognize the implementation of the academic component by applying the academic program to effective and competent legal practice. In addition, membership in the AMA seeks to encourage opportunities for dialogue, friendship, and fellowship with social opportunities to promote the Academy.
Applicants seeking admission to the AMA must have the following minimum requirements in order to enroll in the program:
- The applicant must be at least a five year member, and must continuously remain a member in good standing with the State Bar of Michigan during the application process.
- The applicant must have at least five years experience in representing Michigan municipal entities in a significant capacity, including but not limited to attending and advising at public meetings, providing legal opinions to public bodies, representing municipalities in land use cases, personal injury cases, civil rights cases, labor matters, property taxation matters, municipal finance, election law or other administrative matters or prosecuting on behalf of a municipality, or other areas, as approved by the AMA Committee. The applicant must also be a continuing member of MAMA or the Public Corporations Section of the State Bar of Michigan during the application process.
- The applicant must submit at least two letters of recommendation that detail the applicant’s qualifications, as set forth above. The letters of recommendation must be from persons that are not in the same office or firm as the applicant, who have knowledge of the applicant’s abilities and professional accomplishments, or in the alternative, from elected or appointed municipal officials that have worked closely with the applicant and can attest to his or her qualifications for membership in the AMA.
Each applicant must pay a $100 non-refundable fee at the time the application is submitted.
In addition to the educational requirements, an applicant must also show evidence of scholarly achievement by completing one of the following within the four year completion period:
- Acting as a presenter or moderator in at least two (2) seminars or webinars of MAMA, PCLS, IMLA or MML, or another seminar approved of in advance by the AMA Committee.
- Writing and publishing two scholarly articles of municipal interest in recognized municipal or legal publications, including but not limited to MAMA Legal Briefs, SBM Journal, SBM Section publications, ABA Journal, County Bar Journal, or any other publication approved of in advance by the AMA Committee.
- Presenting a municipal topic or moderating at one MAMA, PCLS, IMLA or MML seminar or workshop and writing a publishing one scholarly article in a recognized municipal or legal publication, as set forth above.
Upon application and acceptance into the AMA program, an applicant must complete three of the following six educational requirements within four years after the date of the application (unless a one year extension is approved by the AMA committee.)
- The Municipal Law and Practice Institute by MAMA
- The Annual Advanced Institute by MAMA
- The PCLS Annual Winter Seminar
- The Annual Joint MAMA/PCLS Summer Seminar
- The MAMA Fall Educational Conference (pre-MML conference)
- The MAMA Local Government Academy (previously ABC’s of Local Gov’t.)
Although the applicant can take the same course (A-F) more than one time over the three year period, no more than two of any of the above courses (A-F) shall count towards the required educational component. Commencing March, 2015, an applicant shall be granted retroactive credit (1:1) for each course taken in A-F (above) since the beginning of MAMA record keeping (1993).
In addition to the above educational requirements, the applicant must also complete during the same four year period at least 25 additional hours of instruction in municipal law and receive CLE credit or certification, based on one CLE per hour of instruction. The elective educational component must cover one of the following areas: trial practice and procedure, contract drafting, real property and zoning, governmental immunity, labor law, condemnation, ordinance enforcement, insurance, personnel, taxation, municipal finance, election law, constitutional law, bankruptcy, environment, accounting, budgeting, municipal investing, economic development or other municipal law related course offerings, including:
- Additional Required Courses (above) or other MAMA or PCLS courses
- IMLA (International Municipal Lawyers Association) Annual Conference
- The IMLA Annual Mid-Year Seminar
- ICLE courses in any area of municipal law, as set forth above
- Michigan State Police Training Council courses for municipal prosecution
- Prosecutors Association of Michigan courses for municipal prosecution
- Other IMLA Courses or Webinars
- Courses or webinars presented by the ABA Section of State and Local Law
- Other courses approved of in advance by the AMA Committee
The AMA Committee will formally recognize the graduates of the AMA at the MAMA/PCLS Joint Conference/ Summer Seminar, which is held in June of each year, with a certificate and also with membership in the AMA. The designation of AMA graduate is effective for five years, as long as the graduate continues to satisfy all conditions of eligibility. During this five year period, the applicant can continue to submit verification of any continuing education in municipal law to MML, since verification of attendance must be submitted within 90 days of the course offering. After a period of five years, each AMA graduate can submit a renewal application, where the applicant demonstrates that the graduate still meets all eligibility requirements for AMA membership, as set forth in Section II. This includes remaining in good standing with the State Bar of Michigan. In addition, each renewal applicant must demonstrate that he or she has completed at least 50 hours of continuing education since the time of graduation from the AMA, as set forth in Paragraph IV under either the Required Courses or the Elective Courses.
Click here for a printable brochure and application.