Opinion Number: 2022-02 – Rule Number: 6.01, 6.03, 6.05, 6.06
Question: Attorney is considering retiring from the practice of law and is trying to determine if Attorney should change Attorney’s license to inactive status. Attorney would still like to represent family and friends with legal issues, and maybe engage in pro bono work. What license status should Attorney maintain?
Answer: Since Attorney still would like to represent family and friends with legal issues, and maybe engage in pro bono work, Attorney should maintain a full Category 1 license pursuant to Rule 6.01. If Attorney were to seek inactive status pursuant to Rule 6.03, Attorney would not be permitted to represent family and friends, or engage in pro bono work, or Attorney would be engaged in the unauthorized practice of law pursuant to Rule 6.05 unless Attorney first sought to return to active status pursuant to Rule 6.06. If Attorney is over the age of seventy-five years or has been licensed to practice for fifty years or more, Attorney may be exempt from paying either a Category 1 or inactive fee pursuant to Rule 6.01(d). If Attorney only wishes to engage in pro bono work upon retirement, Attorney should review Rule 6.01(o) to determine if Attorney would like to seek a waiver of the annual enrollment fee to solely provide pro bono legal services to an approved legal assistance organization. Attorney should also consider MCLE requirements pursuant to Rule 15.