Monday Profile: Susan Chalgian

Susan L. Chalgian of Chalgian & Tripp Law Offices, PLLC is a native of East Lansing and a recent admission to the Michigan bar.

She received her undergraduate degree from DePaul University in Chicago and her Juris Doctorate from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

She currently practices in the areas of elder law and estate and special needs planning.

Chalgian is a member of the Probate and Estate Planning Section and Elder Law and Disability Rights Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

East Lansing.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Don’t be intimidated by the stress and pressure; these come with the territory, and law school is there to help prepare you. Instead, have fun! There are so many areas of law to explore and you only end up practicing in a small fraction.

Favorite local hangouts: Woody’s on Trowbridge, Tasty Twist, City Limits East.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
My entire extended family stayed with my aunt and uncle in Maine for a week when I was about 10. The coastline there is rocky and my cousins and I had a lot of fun exploring the tide pools.

Why did you become a lawyer? I loved to read biographies growing up and my favorites were those of Supreme Court justices. I was inspired by the idea of being fair and impartial when confronted with differing perspectives.

What would surprise people about your job?
There is a general perception of lawyers talking fast and being manipulative with their language, but I think people would be surprised by how much listening my job entails.

What do you wish someone would invent? On a blistery Michigan winter day, I find myself dreaming of a way to transport myself without going outside.

What has been your favorite year so far?
Honestly, each year seems to get better.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? The president of the United States—just to see what it’s like.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been?
For beauty, nothing beats Up North Michigan. For my love of history, the Egyptian Giza Pyramids made me feel a part of something much bigger.

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer?
As a new lawyer, I feel really great just being able to answer my clients’ questions and then explain the answer so that they understand. Especially when it took a lot for me to understand it myself.

What do you do to relax? I live close to some trails, so I walk my dog there almost every day after work. I love to go bowling. I love spending time with my two amazing nieces, ages 4 and 18 months. I sleep eight hours a night.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do?
I quit piano lessons in high school and I have always wanted to pick it back up.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m renovating my 1950s home. It is slow progress, but I am having fun and eventually it will be all the more cozy.

What is the best advice you ever received?
If it feels good, do it. I take it as trust yourself and the person you are to make the right decision.

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