Celebrate the incredible career and contributions of Linda K. Rexer by donating to the Linda K. Rexer Fund of the Access to Justice Endowment Fund. Contributions will benefit the endowment and generate income into the future to support Michigan's nonprofit civil legal aid organizations.
Linda Rexer has worked tirelessly to increase access to justice for the poor. Under her leadership as executive director of the Michigan State Bar Foundation for nearly 30 years, the organization administered more than $190 million in grants, primarily in support of legal services to the poor. Rexer collaborated with Michigan legal leaders to establish Interest on lawyer trust accounts, which the Michigan Supreme Court approved in 1990. Ever since, Rexer has earnestly and persistently persuaded Michigan financial institutions to participate in IOLTA and work to increase IOLTA income to support legal aid grants. At the end of 2015, state IOLTA funds totaled more than $27.5 million.
In 1994, Rexer established the MSBF as the organization to oversee distribution of the portion of Michigan court filing fees designated for civil legal aid. By the end of 2015, these fees totaled nearly $136 million. In 1997, Rexer was instrumental in creating the Access to Justice Fund, through which Michigan lawyers can make voluntary financial contributions to support civil legal aid. At the end of 2015, ATJF contributions totaled more than $14 million. Rexer has assumed many volunteer leadership roles within Michigan. She was a founding member of the SBM Access to Justice Task Force and co-chairs the Committee on Justice Initiatives; she was a founding member of the Michigan State Planning Body, an independent group focused on civil and criminal legal aid for the poor; she was appointed by Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly to co-chair the Michigan Solutions on Self-Help Task Force; she co-chaired the Access to Justice Committee of the SBM Judicial Crossroads Task Force; and she co-chaired the Access and Affordability Committee for the SBM 21st Century Practice Task Force. She has also taken up many volunteer leadership positions on a national level.
Rexer will retire at the end of 2016. She has received other State Bar awards, including the Michael Franck Award for contributions to the profession. This fall she received the State Bar’s highest award, the Roberts P. Hudson Award, honoring a legacy overflowing with long-lasting improvements to access to justice for all in Michigan.