Westshore Law attorneys follow firm's tradition of caring

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Attorneys Lindsay Canan and Allison Lucas at the Westshore Law office in Spring Lake.
– Legal News photo by Cynthia Price


By Cynthia Price

 

Westshore Law attorney Lindsay N. Canan has had so many impressive female mentors that it is hard for her to know where to begin.

Among them, she counts her partner at Westshore, Allison R. Lucas, and the well-known Muskegon attorney Linda Kaare, who is still Of Counsel to the firm.

Canan and Lucas even argue over which of them was the rising star at WMU-Thomas M. Cooley Law School, which they attended together in the mid to late 2000s.

“When Lindsay and I were classmates, she was the smartest, brightest law student there,” Lucas says, smiling.

“That’s actually what Allison was,” says Canan, who received her B.A. from Hope College.

Lucas, who is from Alabama and attended the University of Alabama aor hef undergrad degree, was one of the co-founders of Westshore Law along with two other Muskegon lawyers who have since left. After Lucas took time off to care for her children (she has four), Linda Kaare joined the firm, and over time the two others left. 

Lucas was interested in returning to the workforce just about the time Kaare was considering retirement, and Canan joined Lucas in purchasing Westshore.

Prior to that, Canan had worked for Bos and Glazier in Grand Rapids, and she is unstinting in her praise for both Carole Bos and Bradley Glazier.

“Carole Bos was one of the original female trial litigators in Grand Rapids. To have her as a mentor was incredible, she’s just a powerhouse of an attorney. And as far as plaintiffs employment law, Brad is just top-notch, sought out for hie expertise,” Canan says. “They taught me how to be a lawyer, and gave me opportunities a newbie doesn’t always have.”

Still a litigator part of the time, she practiced employment law at Bos and Glazier and has also done some family law. Canan credits family law Elizabeth Bransdorfer of Mika Meyers as another “wonderful” mentor, but says that it was Nikki Canute of the same firm who got her involved with the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan.

Active as an officer in the Western Region chapter including serving as president, Canan became less intensively involved when she decided to come to the lakeshore. (She, Lucas and others are currently developing a small informal women lawyers group on the lakeshore.)

Canan’s decision to leave Bos and Glazier was difficult, but she says they were understanding. It was occasioned by her husband getting a job in law enforcement on the lakeshore. With two children, it was difficult commuting to Grand Rapids, so she took the opportunity to join Lucas in practicing elder law.

Westshore Law focuses on all aspects of elder law, including guardianships, conservatorships, wills and a variety of trusts and trust administration. “It was a really great experience learning elder law from Linda Kaare,” Canan says.

They also do some veterans law, but where Canan and Lucas excel is in long-term care planning.

Both also stand out because of the quality of their passion for elder law. The two regard helping senior citizens and other clients as not just a job but a true mission.

“Our goal is really to be community based. We’ll be doing seminars in the community, and outreach. We want to be able to help people in a lot of different ways,” says Canan.

Lucas’s father was a police officer, as is Canan’s husband, so the first event they plan is a December workshop where they will do free Powers of Attorney for law enforcement families.

The firm’s workload keeps increasing, and they will have an intern  starting this fall. Canan says, “She was one of my stand-out students in the elder law class I taught at Cooley.” Lucas has also taught there in the past, and was a speaker on the topic of veterans law at Canan’s most recent class.

Canan is a strong proponent of law students exploring the field of elder law. “It’s the feel-good area of the law. You feel like you really can help people and your clients are so appreciative of your services,” she says.