Get to Know Dawn Prokopec

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By Jo Mathis
Legal News

Dawn Prokopec is a partner at Haas/Prokopec Family Law Firm in Grosse Pointe Farms. Assisting clients in the metropolitan Detroit area and throughout the state, Prokopec focuses her practice on all areas of family law including divorce, child custody, parenting time, support, alimony, step-parent adoptions, and various other family law matters.

Prokopec attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn and received a bachelor of arts in political science with distinction in 2000. She then attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law on a Jerome P. Cavanagh Scholarship and was awarded her juris doctor in 2004. While in law school, she served as an executive editor of the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review, was an active member of the Women’s Law Caucus, and was honored as a member of the Justice Frank Murphy Honor Society.

Prokopec has written several articles for “Bar Briefs,” the monthly magazine of the Macomb County Bar Association, and other publications on topics including the termination of parental rights, child support, change of domicile, and governmental immunity. She is a member of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and the co-chair of the Family Law Committee of the Macomb County Bar Association. She is also a past president of the Macomb County Bar Foundation and the Macomb County Bar Association. 

The Macomb County resident holds a 10.0 “Superb” peer-review rating through Avvo, and has been selected to Super Lawyers in the practice area of family law since 2011.

How are you handling things during this coronavirus shutdown? That would depend on the moment you asked me. This shutdown has brought many ups and downs, but I have tried my best to stay positive and to focus on what I can control.

Overall, our firm was set up to operate virtually long before this shutdown, which has made the transition to working from home rather than our physical office much easier. With family law, there is no shutdown on the issues that parents and spouses are facing, so we continue to work albeit in a much different manner than before the shutdown.

I have two school-aged children, so that adds a little extra challenge and a few sibling wars, but we are managing and enjoying our time together. In addition to doing their virtual schoolwork, my kids are learning to do things around the house they would not otherwise have the time to do. Taking a break from sports and extracurriculars has given us the time to make new recipes together and to teach them other home skills. We also started a checkbook system with the “Bank of Mom and Dad” where they are managing and balancing their finances earned from doing chores.

Then there are the days where we are just trying to make it through the day. So those days it might be a peanut butter and jelly for dinner kind of night. Being a parent through this shutdown has given me an understanding of the questions so many of our clients have as well as the fears and concerns, and I hope that allows me to be a voice of reason for them during this shutdown. While the simple response is “follow your order,” it is not always that easy. There are many questions we just do not have the answers to right now, but we are figuring things out as we go.

 What do you wish someone would invent?  The cure for COVID-19, of course!

 What is your proudest moment as a lawyer?  I once argued a motion that hinged on a creative argument very early on in my career. Weeks later, an attorney that happened to have been sitting in the courtroom during my argument came up to me to let me know that he ordered the transcript of the hearing so that he could make the same argument in his cases. It was a great feeling and that moment still sticks with me!

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?  The best compliments are always the messages from clients thanking me for my help and letting me know that I made them feel better during this process. I have one client who emails me on the date of his judgment every year to let me know how well he and his son are doing.

When you look back into the past, what do you miss most?  Well, in the not-so-distant past, I miss human interaction.

What is your most treasured material possession? I have a button from my grandparents’ couch that they had when I was a little girl. It is pea green and rust orange. Looking at that little button brings back so many great memories!

What were you doing in your last selfie? Well, I was probably smiling, but given my corona-appearance these days, I have not taken a selfie in weeks. After scrolling through my camera roll, my last selfie was in Toronto, Ontario, on March 6. I was on the 54th floor of the Toronto Dominion Centre, with a group of friends attending the Rachel Hollis Rise Conference. I am so thankful for that dose of positivity and empowerment right before all of this!

What is the best advice you ever received? My mentor once told me that “everyone is entitled to a little personality” and that has always stuck with me, especially in family law. More recently, I have played and replayed an Instagram video by Trent Shelton about “what ifs.”  It really boils down to how you choose to look at the situation: With worry or with hope and positivity. 

What question do you most often ask yourself?  Where is my phone?

What is something most people don’t know about you? I love to cook! I love to try new things and make new recipes. I think that I am pretty good at it as well. I am also a reality TV junkie.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been to? Sedona, Arizona. The beauty of the landscape there is breathtaking. It is truly a magical place. I cannot wait to go back.

What’s something you changed your mind about recently? From now on, when I am deciding whether or not to take the trip, I am going to take the trip!

 


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