Term: 2015 – 2023
Richard Bernstein was the first blind justice elected to the Michigan Supreme Court by voters in 2015. Richard is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan and earned his law degree from the Northwestern University School of Law. Prior to his election to the Court, Justice Bernstein was elected by voters statewide to fulfill an eight-year term on the Board of Governors at Wayne State University, serving as Chair for two years in 2009 and 2010. He also has served as an adjunct professor in the political science department at the University of Michigan. Throughout his career, Justice Bernstein has been known as a tireless advocate for disability rights as an attorney leading the public service division for The Sam Bernstein Law Firm in Farmington Hills. Justice Bernstein has received numerous awards, such as the “Michiganian of the Year” award from the Detroit News and was recognized by CNN for keeping government honest. Michigan Lawyers Weekly named Justice Bernstein a 2009 Leader in the Law, and the University of Michigan presented him with the James T. Neubacher Award in 2011 for his unwavering commitment to equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities. Also in 2011, L. Brooks Patterson, Michigan’s Oakland County Executive, selected Justice Bernstein as one of the region’s Elite 40 Under 40. In 2013, Justice Bernstein was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.