Monday Profile: Leigh Hansmann


Leigh Hansmann is a 2009 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law, and practices at Oade, Stroud & Kleiman, P.C. in East Lansing.

She was born in Lansing, while her father finished veterinary school at MSU. She grew up splitting time between Howell and Traverse City,  before spending seven years earning her undergraduate and law degrees from Michigan State.

Hansmann has remained in the Lansing area ever since, concentrating primarily on civil litigation, business, and real estate matters.

Her husband (also an MSU graduate), manages construction safety for the University’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams Project while completing his PhD.  The two welcomed their daughter, June, in 2015.

In her spare time, Hansmann enjoys guest judging and coaching for the appellate moot court teams at MSU College of Law.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News

Residence: Lansing.

What is your most treasured material possession? My journals and drawings from childhood, and photographs of my daughter.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Consider what you actually want to do with the law degree, and if it’s something other than actually practicing law, reconsider the cost and benefit. A law degree isn’t the “all purpose” degree some people believe it to be.

Favorite local hangouts: Sansu Sushi, Schulers Books.

Favorite websites:,,

Favorite app: Tango or Skype, so my daughter can see her grandparents regularly.

Favorite music: 90s alternative.

What is your happiest childhood memory? Playing on East Bay in Traverse City with my siblings, and collecting Petoskey stones.

What would surprise people about your job? That “loving to argue” does not mean one should consider the legal profession (if I hear one more person say that about their child…) The reality is that being practical and reasonable gets much more done.

What has been your favorite year so far? 2015, when my daughter was born.

How do you define success?
Having the confidence and ability to do the things you enjoy doing, and being able to look at life as an adventure rather than a series of obligations.

Who is on your guest list for the ideal dinner party?
The Justices of the Supreme Court, L.M. Montgomery, J.K. Rowling, my parents, and my husband.

Why did you become a lawyer? I wanted a career that uses both logic and creativity, involves writing, helps people, and continually presents new challenges.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?
Anthony Kennedy—although it would have to be the right day.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? Sable Falls/Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the Sleeping Bear Dunes.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?
It’s a tie between time travel and teleportation.  Teleportation would be so convenient.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
Keep enjoying every moment;  you’ll look fondly on this later.

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? Any time I achieve an objective on the basis of something well-written or well-argued (or when something I wrote is quoted or referenced by other lawyers or judges).

What do you do to relax? Read fiction.

What word do you overuse?

What is one thing you would like to learn to do? Dance gracefully. But I think I’m a lost cause.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I love speed/thrill activities (fast boats, rollercoasters, etc) and I’ve been skydiving.

What is the best advice you ever received?
Never accept that something has to be done a certain way simply because it’s been done that way before.

If you can help it, where will you never return?
Taking the bar exam.

What do you drive? A Ford Fusion.

What would you drive if money were no object? 
  Something reliable with heated seats. Beyond that, I’m not much of a car person.

Favorite place to spend money: 
Traveling on vacations, and at the bookstore.