Get to Know Amy N. Morrissey

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Attorney Amy N. Morrissey is a Michigan native, raised in the metro Detroit area. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan and law school at the Detroit College of Law.

She has lived and practiced law in Ann Arbor for the past couple of decades. Her husband, Jerry, is also a Michigan native whom Morrissey met while studying in Ann Arbor. The couple has two children: Matthew, entering his third year at U of M, and Maria, a junior at Skyline High School.

By Teresa Killeen
Washtenaw County Bar Association

What jobs did you have before you became an attorney? I worked some restaurant jobs to help pay for college. My last two years of college, I was a part-time office assistant (errand runner) for my current law partner, Susan Westerman, and her law firm - Stein, Moran & Westerman at that time. I met a lot of great people through that opportunity, and the experience inspired me to go to law school. During and after law school, I worked for Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services, where I learned many helpful lawyering skills. A few years out of law school, I ran into Susan while attending an ICLE seminar at which she was presenting. I became her associate and am now her law partner.

What area of the law do you like the best? Our firm focuses on trust and estate planning and administration. I enjoy this work because I have built many relationships with my clients and their families over the years. It is rewarding to guide clients through their life events.

What is the biggest challenge facing you as an attorney? Managing expectations surrounding emails is the biggest challenge from many perspectives – time, confidentiality, record retention, and delivery of meaningful advice through a medium intended for quick exchanges of low-importance information.

Any words of wisdom for new lawyers? You need to have good communication skills, whether in working with clients, other attorneys, or managing people who work for you. It is also important to know that often there are many solutions to a legal problem and you are simply laying out the possibilities for your clients. The best course of action from your perspective may not be what the client wants. You need to really listen to what is important to them to provide the best advice.

What is your favorite book? I have really enjoyed reading The Living Great Lakes by Jerry Dennis. It is a fascinating exploration of the history and ecology of the Great Lakes while the author recounts his journey across the Great Lakes on a schooner. Anyone who likes spending time on our Great Lakes will appreciate this book.

What are some favorite places you have visited? My parents introduced me to sailing when I was 10. I love being on the water, and introduced my husband to this hobby. Among our favorite places are the Canadian shore and the North Channel of Lake Huron, including Tobermory, Killarney, Manitoulin Island, and certain places only reached by boat. The cedars grow right out of the rocks and the white quartzite of the La Cloche Mountains are beautiful to admire.

What are your favorite local hangouts? I love the food and atmosphere of Sava’s. Wolverine Brewing Co. has great pork dishes and a good lager. I enjoy picking up lunch at Asian Legend. In these unusual times, I have been doing a lot of hanging outside, socially distanced, on my neighbor’s patio, biking along the B2B trail, or walking in town.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Spend time with family and friends. I truly enjoy sailing and being on the water. I enjoy projects in which I can help others; I love finding new recipes; and I enjoy a good book or an occasional Sudoku keeps my brain in check.

Why do you choose to be a member of the WCBA? It is great to feel connected with the local legal community, and the WCBA provides great resources for this, from the Res Ipsa and online resources to promoting Section work. I have been a member of the WCBA Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Law Section since I started practicing in Washtenaw County. I really value the educational opportunities and the connections with other members.

Reprinted with permission from the Washtenaw County Bar Association’s newsletter, Res Ipsa Loquitur.


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