Thursday Profile: Nancy A. Wonch

 Professor Nancy Wonch left her civil litigation practice in 2002 to teach Personal and Professional Responsibility at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing.

Wonch is past president of the Women Lawyers Association of Mid-Michigan, the Ingham County Bar Association, and Legal Aid of Central Michigan. She served six years as a Michigan Supreme Court appointee to the Attorney Discipline Board, and seven years as a member of the State Bar of Michigan Subcommittees on Professional and Judicial Ethics. She is a hearing panelist for the Attorney Discipline Board, and has been a tort mediation panelist in Ingham and Eaton counties for 29 years as well as an Ingham County civil and domestic relations mediator.  
Wonch has received many awards over the years, and is active in the community. Since 1994, she has volunteered with public schools and colleges to teach more than 2,000 students of all ages mediation and negotiation skills.
By Jo Mathis
Legal News
Currently reading …“The Luminaries” by Eleanor Catton and “The Brothers” by Stephen Kinzer.
What is your most treasured material possession? Ordinarily, my grandmother’s china.  At this very moment, my 2014 Chevy Cruze because it has heated seats.
What advice do you have for someone considering law school? Have long-term goals.  Know why you are doing this. Make sure it’s for you and not someone else’s idea of what’s best for you. To help decide long term goals think about what you want your legacy to be. How you want to be remembered. If you want people to remember you as a helper, a problem solver, a leader, a confidant, a trusted advisor, and most of all, a healer then a law degree can make that dream come true. 
Favorite local hangouts:  None local. Favorite place to hang out of all time:  Sky Bar in Bangkok, Thailand.
Your proudest moment as a lawyer?  Every time a client introduced me to a friend or family member as a lawyer who could be trusted with their problems. Also when I won big verdicts.
What is your happiest childhood memory?  Summers on Elk Lake.
What do you wish someone would invent?  A machine that automatically scoops up horse manure and deposits it in a compost pile, then spreads it over a pasture and plows it under.  This is because I am that machine on Friday mornings for the horses at the Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center.
What’s the most awe-inspiring place you have visited?  The Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
What’s your greatest achievement?  A 40-year marriage to a wonderful husband, and two great sons.
If you could have one super power, what would it be?  Math.
Favorite joke:  When the US Congress reports for work.
Must-see TV:  “House of Cards.”
What’s your biggest regret?  Not joining the Peace Corps when I had a chance.
What word do you overuse? “Okay.”
What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?  Play the piano in a really cool jazzy, bluesy way.
Can’t-live-without technology:  My Kindle.
Favorite law-related movie:   “Win Win.”
What’s the best advice you ever received?  Try to be the best lawyer you can be.  Not a great lawyer, but a good lawyer.
What do you drive?  A 2014 Chevy Cruze – color: Red-hot.
What would you drive if money were no object?  The same thing.
Favorite place to spend money: Other countries.
What is your motto?  “Always find out where the other person is coming from.”
Where would you like to be when you're 90?  Kauai, on the beach, watching whales.

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