'Sinking his teeth into the law'-- Attorney originally planned on dental career

By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News

Chad Perrine, the newest associate on the block at Marcoux Allen in Jackson, didn't start out with a legal career in mind.

"From day one of college I was going to be a pediatric dentist," he says. "I never even considered a legal career. I took all the prerequisites needed to get into dental school, and planned to get some type of a business degree to help me manage my dental practice."

After studying business administration and pre-dentistry/pre-medicine at Albion College, he earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Michigan State University.

He applied to dental school and got on the alternate list at the University of Michigan. When no spots opened up that year, he applied again the following year - and once more made the alternate list.

About this time, he started working as a law clerk for his father-in-law, Bill Navarre, an attorney for 40 years in Brooklyn, with a general practice that consisted primarily of civil litigation, estate planning, real estate, and business law.

"I was drawn to his ability to analyze and think through issues, and then articulate his thoughts to his clients. I also saw the practice of law as a respected career that offered one an opportunity to genuinely help people," Perrine says.

"Looking back, I really wished I had considered law sooner - I certainly wouldn't have spent all those late nights attempting to learn biochemistry and physiology."

Perrine worked full time for his father-in-law and took classes at Cooley Law School in Lansing. Clearly law was his calling; he graduated cum laude, earned an honors scholarship, and made the Dean's List and Honor Roll.

In Brooklyn, he was exposed to many interesting cases including the sale of a multi-million dollar hotel franchise which involved the negotiation and drafting of purchase agreements, transfer of business leases, and the transfer of liquor license and lottery license through the State of Michigan Liquor Control Commission and Lottery Bureau.

Upon graduating and passing the bar exam, he teamed with his father-in-law and the firm became Navarre and Perrine P.C., serving individuals and businesses in all areas including real estate, probate and estate administration, estate planning, and civil litigation.

Perrine serves many individuals and businesses including a local community bank where he helps with collections and foreclosures and provides opinions and guidance on other areas including loan modification, debt collection, and various real estate issues.

While working in Brooklyn, Perrine became involved in several organizations, Brooklyn Kiwanis, Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce, Jackson Area Estate Planning Council, American Bar Association, and the Jackson County Bar Association where he serves as treasurer.

He is also a trustee for the Brooklyn Community Chest, a nonprofit organization established by a number of Brooklyn business people back in the 1940s that offers a one-time assistance to residents in the boundaries of the Columbia School District.

"We get many referrals through 211 and requests for assistance with rent, electric bills, prescription costs, medical bills, and more," he says. "All of the trustees are very thoughtful and generous, and I enjoy serving with them."

When Navarre recently retired, Perrine made the move to Marcoux Allen in Jackson. The change - after 7 years in Brooklyn, as a law clerk and then as an attorney - has been exciting.

"We were the only full-time law practice in town, and so people knew us as the lawyers in Brooklyn," he says. "I developed many solid relationships with clients and business owners and look forward to continuing those relationships."

Perrine noted that he will continue to meet with clients in Brooklyn by appointment. "I am grateful for my time in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn/Irish Hills Area is very eclectic and always has many activities going on. The local chamber of commerce works hard to promote the area businesses and it was fun to be a part of the Brooklyn community."

On the other hand, being the only lawyer in Brooklyn meant not having other attorneys around to practice or socialize with.

"As a law clerk and then as a young attorney I saw the value in having a mentor to help guide me and talk with me about various issues. I was very blessed to have my father-in-law willingly involve me in his cases as a law clerk and then willingly offer all the help he could in my own cases when I became an attorney.

"But on a personal side, I wanted him to be able reap the benefits of his 46 years in practice and enjoy a retirement."

Moving to Marcoux has been a fun transition.

"Having been on my own for my short career, and having freedom to come and go as I pleased, I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of joining a bigger firm and having more of a structured schedule. I found everyone to be very easy-going and although I've only been with the firm for a couple of weeks, all the attorneys have made me feel welcome.

"They have all made themselves available to answer questions and talk about issues, review documents, and offer advice. They've made me feel like a member of their team, and I'm driven to contribute and take pride in my work just as they do," he says.

"There is a sense of camaraderie here. I can tell the attorneys enjoy practicing with one another, and I am honored that they have invited me to join them."

"Also, being in a bigger firm gives me many more resources in terms of legal research and networking capabilities than I ever had on my own. I feel I can serve my clients better."

Perrine also enjoys that his new office is only 5 minutes from his house. Perrine and his family - wife Angie and children Chad Jr., Olivia, and Macalister - live near Cascades Park in Jackson.

Perrine coaches his older son's basketball and baseball teams and enjoys staying active. He likes riding bikes with his family, running, and playing basketball.

He's also an avid golfer and was on the Jerry's Pub League at Hill's Heart of the Lakes golf course in Brooklyn for a couple of years; this year he is looking forward to playing in the Grande Duffers league at the Grande.

He likes all different sports.

"I'm a huge Spartan fan and try to attend as many basketball and football games as I can. I also enjoy going to Detroit Tiger games and other professional sporting events."

Perrine and his wife also enjoy going to concerts.

"One of my favorite places is the Ark in Ann Arbor. It's a great small venue that puts you close to the music, and you get to hear a lot of great musicians before they get widely known."

Perrine is happy with where his career has taken him.

"I was frustrated with the dental school process, but in retrospect, I am thankful for where God has led me and am excited about my opportunity with Marcoux Allen."

Published: Mon, Jun 13, 2011

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