Here for the Summer, Intern Lauren Sutter Joins the ELM Team

By Lauren Sutter, Legal Hotline Intern  

This is my first year working at Elder Law of Michigan, and I’m excited to be delving into the kind of work that I am doing as an intern. This is a new area of law for me, however, working with people is not, and I’m glad to be on familiar ground in that regard. 

I have lived in Michigan my entire life and I’m a very proud daughter of the Mitten State. I have known since I was very young what line of work I wanted to pursue, and, with the hardheaded single-mindedness of a child, I charged forward. For me, this path began around 1995 or 1996 with the TV show, J.A.G., which was about military lawyers. I remember sitting with my mom, sister, and large bowl of popcorn every Tuesday to watch this show and I decided that I wanted to do just what the characters were doing. The stories I watched about justice and the fight for it in the courtroom appealed to me. I very stubbornly clung to this little dream, despite teasing from aunts, uncles, and teachers.  

I insisted to every teacher I had that I was going to be a lawyer, in fact, I was going to be a prosecutor! I was very sure of this, even at six years old. I forged on like this all the way through elementary, middle, and high school, even taking my high school’s law class. I even went so far as reaching out to the then Ingham County Prosecutor and arranging for him to come and speak to our class. This little lecture started a tradition of Court-to-Classroom at my high school, a program that brings an active courtroom with a real judge, real attorneys, and real cases to the school for students to observe the judicial process.  

I graduated high school in 2012 and went on to Central Michigan University (CMU) for my undergraduate education. While at CMU, I studied a variety of subjects, from Anthropology to Music and Film to Business law. I started as a double major in English and Political Science, but by my sophomore year I switched to something more suited to my interests. I began studying Philosophy, specifically Ethics and Morality, and I deeply enjoyed this subject.  

During my time at CMU, I also studied at the University of Stirling in Stirling, Scotland, taking classes in the Psychology of Evil and Scotland and the Traditional Legal System. I returned to Michigan and graduated in 2015 with my Bachelor of Science in Philosophy.  I finished with a double minor in Legal Studies and Ethics, Values and Society, and a Professional Certification in Creative Writing specializing in Poetry. An odd array of qualifications, but ones I find helpful.  

I started law school at Michigan State University (MSU) in Fall 2016, and in my second year was accepted to the Geoffrey Feiger Trial Practice Institute, a program specializing in training and certifying students in litigation. Since I began law school, I have also worked as a Student Attorney with the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office. Over the course of a ten week internship, I represented (under the supervision of a licensed attorney) over 50 clients in court who were brought up on felony charges. During the school year, I also work for LexisNexis, a legal research platform, as a Lexis Associate, providing assistance and training on legal research and writing to students and staff at MSU Law.