Monday Profile: Nancy Slezak

Nancy Slezak grew up in the downriver area, the third of four daughters. After graduating from high school, she moved to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan and has been here ever since.

Slezak enjoyed 35 years as a teacher in the Ann Arbor Public Schools before retiring in 2010. Toward the end of her teaching career, she served as a Washtenaw County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and loved it. Her husband had passed away and her children were grown, so Slezak felt it was a good time to take the LSAT. She received a scholarship to the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and was able to teach during the week and attend law school on the weekends. While a law student, she completed externships with the Washtenaw County Public Defender's Office and the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office- Special Victims Unit.

After she graduated and passed the bar, Slezak began working at the Law Office of Thomas O. Moors in Ypsilanti Township.

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Residence: Ann Arbor.

What would surprise people about your job? Teaching and lawyering are very similar professions. I do my best to keep my clients informed about all their possible options.

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? When a client called and thanked me for helping her at a really difficult time in her life.

What do you do to relax? Read, bake, walk, and go to 'Paint and Pour' event. It's fun and relaxing to paint and socialize at the same time.

What are your goals for 2015? 1: Learn American Sign Language. 2: Learn to ride a motorcycle. 3: Do my best to be grateful at all times and in all circumstances.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Get lots of practical legal experience first to be sure that a career as a lawyer is a good fit for you.

Favorite local hangouts: Sidetrack and the Eyrie, both in Ypsilanti's Depot Town.

Favorite movie: "The Shawshank Redemption." (Favorite quote from the movie: "Get busy living or get busy dying.")

What has been your favorite year so far? I have several: 1979, when my daughter, Sarah, was born; 1984, when my son, John, was born; 2006, when my son-in-law, Chris, joined our family; and 2013, when I passed the bar and began practicing law.

What is your most typical mood? Usually upbeat and curious.

What's the most awe-inspiring place you've ever been? Ireland. The countryside is gorgeous and the people are incredibly friendly.

What did you do last weekend? Wrapped presents, baked, took a ride to see the Wayne County Light Fest, and binge-watched Season 4 of Sons of Anarchy- I LOVE Netflix!

How would you describe your home? I just sold my home of 33 years and moved into an apartment that I hope is comfortable, warm, and welcoming.

What word do you overuse? "Cool."

What is something most people don't know about you? I saw The Beatles perform when I was 11 years old, I was an EMT before I went to law school, and I have gone skydiving, fulfilling a lifelong dream.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? My mom, my dad, and Viktor Frankl.

What is the best advice you ever received? This advice comes from the Dalai Lama: Love everyone. Feed everyone. Tell the truth. See everyone as God. Don't worry about figuring it out.

If you can help it, where will you never return? Any place where a bar exam is being given.

Favorite place to spend money: Local stores, Home Goods and At Home.

Favorite quotations: "In the depths of winter I finally realized that I have within me an invincible summer." (Albert Camus) "Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats." (Voltaire) "We don't stop playing because we get old. We get old because we stop playing." (George Bernard Shaw)

Published: Mon, Dec 29, 2014