I earned my law degree at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan in 1993. Within a year, I'd started my own practice with a unique approach: making house calls for local Michigan families who were looking for a will or trust. Now, nearly 20 years later, I'm still making house calls, still writing wills and trusts and administering trusts and estates.
Each year, I teach 15-20 seminars and community education classes to help Michigan residents understand why estate planning is so important. If you'd like to see what some people have said about my teaching style, take a look at the testimonials page on this website.
Sometimes people ask me why I chose this area of the law. There are several logical reasons and a few very personal ones. First off, I was very fortunate to get some great experience in the estate planning field as a young law student clerking at a very small but prestigious law firm then located in Detroit's Rennaissance Center.
Second, I have always enjoyed writing. Each family presents a new set of values to blend into a technical legal document that will express their wishes, meets their objectives and stands the test of time -- at least until they wish to change it!
While I'll save the personal reasons for a less public audience, let's just say I've seen my share of loss -- and with nearly 20 years experience, I've shared the losses and struggles of countless others. In counseling my clients, I use my experience and knowledge of the law to help lighten the legal burden placed upon those suffering or anticipating the loss of a loved one.
I grew up Downriver and went to high school in Southgate, where I played flute and piccolo for the marching band under long-time director James Skura. I must have shown some talent as a kid - at least enough to spend a few weeks one summer at the famed Interlochen Summer Arts Camp near Traverse City.
My husband and I enjoy camping and traveling together with our children. I'm a gardener, artist and photographer with a life-long love of horses. You'll find a few of my favorite photographs displayed throughout this website.
I'd like to give thanks to each of my clients - for your business, return business and generous referrals. Each of you, in some small way, has contributed to the many years of experience that has transformed my practice into what it is today. Working with you has provided me an education worth many times more than the law degree I received nearly 20 years ago!
Special thanks to my fellow Wayne law alum, loyal friend, colleague and creative muse, Ingrid M. Andrews, a nationally-recognized legal advisor to the equine industry and owner of Tannewald Trakehners, Interlochen, Michigan.
Finally, thank you to my supportive, understanding, dedicated and amazing husband - you will always be my hero - and to our 4 wonderful children. You mean more to me than you could ever know.
Every day is Earth Day.
I pledge to use sustainable resources in my law practice, to recycle, and to do my best to conserve energy.
I will forgo printed materials to use online legal resources, such as directories, statutes and court forms.
I will encourage telecommuting or email communications when appropriate.
Why house calls?
I had been practicing law less than a year. My office was then located in a beautiful old duplex on Ottawa Street, just across from the Capitol Building in Lansing.
Unfortunately, the historic building had no elevator, and not one, but TWO sets of stairs to climb before reaching my office from the street.
It wasn't long until I started to receive phone calls from my clients. "Parking is too difficult to find downtown, will you meet me somewhere?" "I'm sorry, but Mom isn't able to make it up the stairs at your office..." "My Dad is in the hospital, can you meet him at Sparrow?"
And so it began, born of necessity, my practice of making house calls, and then not long after my educational programs offered at sometimes unique but always client-friendly locations. It didn't take long for the American Bar Association to notice and mention me and fellow lawyer Dan Kraft, in an article entitled, "A Lot Like House Calls (Except for the Cows)." You have to have a sense of humor, right? You'll find the short article here if you really wish to read it.
And now, 20 years later, I wouldn't have done it any other way. House calls, exclusively.