Monday Profile: Molly Schikora

Molly Schikora grew up in the Texas towns of Pittsburg and Tyler, before her family moved to Grosse Ile in 1972. After graduating from Grosse Ile High School, she earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan followed by her J.D. in 1992 at the Detroit College of Law.

She interned for the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office, writing appeals under Senior Assistant Dave King's supervision, and after law school, worked in private practice for a few months.

Newly elected Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie invited her back to the Prosecutor's Office in early 1993, where she worked for five years, mostly in Juvenile Court. She became a Juvenile Court referee in 1998, and worked in that capacity for 16 years before she became probate register under Judge Julia Owdziej and Judge Darlene O'Brien.

Schikora has a 15-year-old daughter, Audrey, and a partner of many years named Jerry.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News

Residence: Northville.

Favorite material possession: Probably something I inherited from my grandparents.

Advice to would-be lawyers: Have you given serious consideration to med school? Notwithstanding, prepare for the LSAT as rigorously as possible and attend the best ranked law school you can.

Favorite websites: eBay and Amazon.

Favorite app: My favorite app (other than when I play Words with Friends with Judge Owdziej) is's app. I love to listen to books while I drive. I'm currently enjoying the series "Game of Thrones" is based on.

Favorite music: As anyone who knows me or has seen my office can attest, I am a huge Beatles and Paul McCartney fan.

What would surprise people about your job? I spend an appreciable amount of time reading death certificates. Each one is the barest summary of a person's life.

Favorite year: 1999. My daughter was born that year.

Most common mood: I vacillate between reserve and utter silliness.

Who would you invite to a dinner party? I may not be great at identifying a good mix of people. Perhaps I'd prefer a one-on-one with, among others, Paul McCartney (he can stay late), George Harrison, Bill Murray, David Sedaris, Theresa Caputo, the cast of "True Blood," the cast of "Modern Family," people I love in real life, etc.

Why did you become a lawyer? I became a lawyer for the vocational education. I remain a lawyer because I have been privileged to do work throughout my career that has felt critically important.

Most awe-inspiring place you've visited? Paris. The view of Notre Dame from across the Left Bank at night.

What super power would you choose? I would like to fly, unless talking with dead people is a super power.

Proudest moment as a lawyer: One or two times during my career I have felt that I brought some extra tenacity to a situation that resulted in justice being served. I have felt proudest of the work I've done with kids. When I know they know I truly care about them, I'm happy.

How did you earn your first dollar? I earned my first dollar selling rocks in my neighborhood. I found some tiny quartz pebbles in my neighbor's driveway, which I sold to her and to others on my street.

Favorite joke: Unfortunately, the punchline of my favorite joke includes a little dog named Porky. Not for public consumption.

What do you do to relax? I play on my iPad and watch seriously bad television with my dogs and my human family.

Describe your home: My home has too many pets, all of which I begged my daughter to let me have. She reminds me of that periodically.

Any regrets? I have many regrets, which I turn over in my mind a fair amount. Regardless, my choices have culminated in situating me here, in work I'm honored to do and surrounded by people I love and people I like a lot. It's tough to think about what I might change without affecting what I love about my present.

What is something people don't know about you? I eat way too much junk food.

Best advice: A long time ago, early in my legal career, Marilyn Eisenbraun told me not to refer to a person as "Mr." or "Ms." (outside of court). That was not intuitive to me, but I did as she advised. I discovered that it is empowering to use first names.

Where do you like to spend money? eBay.

Where will you never return? I would like to never return to a place where I'm too intimidated to make a ruckus about something that's important to me.

What do you drive? I drive an older Volvo. My heart says it would like me to drive a new Audi. My conscience tells me to buy American. I like the Chevy Volt and some of the sportier Cadillacs.

What is your motto? It is more an aspiration than my motto, but I love that idea of doing justice, loving kindness and employing humility.

What do you want carved on your headstone? "Beloved."