Frame of mind: Importance of family matters drives attorney's career


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News
Family law attorney Jacquelyn (“Jackie”) Dupler always knew she wanted a career where she could help people.

“Being a lawyer enables me to do so,” she says. “I chose to go to law school specifically to practice family law because family is the most important thing to me.”    

An attorney with the Sinas Dramis Law Firm’s Family Law Division in Lansing, Dupler works closely with division leader Bernie Finn to represent clients who need an attorney during their divorce, child support, spousal support, child custody, property division, or other family law matters.

“I love that, when you work in family law, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on an entire family, and not just one person,” she says.   

Dupler also helps families by taking part in the firm’s annual bike helmet giveaway, “Lids for Kids,” in Lansing, Grand Rapids and Traverse City.

“I’m so lucky to be a part of a law firm dedicated to helping people and to giving back to the community,” she says. “I’m proud to say that, in 2016, we gave away — and properly fitted — more than 1,300 bicycle helmets to kids across Michigan.”   

Dupler started her career path by earning her undergrad degree in International Studies and Political Science from Michigan State University.

“I’m bi-racial – my dad is Caucasian and my mom is Japanese, and they raised my sisters and me to embrace both our cultures,” she says. “Just before high school, my dad’s work transferred us to Yokohama, Japan, where I had the opportunity to attend an international school for four years. These experiences instilled in me a love of different cultures and travel.”   

She stayed in Spartan territory to earn her law degree from MSU Law.

“I had amazing professors, including several who emphasized the real-world application of the law — in fact, I can still hear some of their most memorable quotes ringing in my ears,” she says.     

While in law school, she clerked for a family law judge at the Ingham County Circuit Court Family Law Division.

“I was very fortunate to have this opportunity,” she says. “I learned so much about how courts make decisions, what courts expect attorneys to include in their arguments, as well as how valuable it may be to consider settling your case.”   

After serving on the board of the Ingham County Bar Association – Young Lawyers Section last year, Dupler recently succeeded Katie Tucker, a Sinas Dramis personal injury attorney, as the section’s new president. The YLS routinely holds a Paper Chase 5-km fund-raiser, Horn of Plenty annual food and clothing drive, various seminars and educational events, and other activities, including outings to Lansing Lugnuts games.   

“YLS hosted an event at Haven House in East Lansing this past spring, where we made dinner for approximately 20 residents,” Dupler says. “It was really fun coming together to help our community.”

A member of the Michigan Association for Justice, State Bar of Michigan, National Association of Career Women and Tri-County Family Law Association, and an ex officio member of the Ingham County Bar Foundation, Dupler also is a member of the WLAM mid-Michigan Chapter, and served on the board last year.

“WLAM annually awards the Stell Scholarship to a local law student, which is inspiring and rewarding to be a part of,” she says.     

A native of Lake Forest in southern California, Dupler moved to Michigan at the age of 8 and to Japan when she was 13 years old. She and her husband, Adam, currently make their home in Brighton with their cats Hannah and Buffy.

“Adam is my best friend and my biggest supporter,” she says. “We met in the dorms at MSU and are big Spartan fans. I love that we’re able to still be a part of the MSU community and attend MSU sports. We also enjoy going on walks, especially to the farmers’ market. Not only do we get inspired by the fresh produce, but then we make delicious food!”    

A huge sports fan, especially of Spartan football and the Denver Broncos, Dupler recently became a fitness instructor at Pure Barre in Okemos.

“I love working out and helping others meet their fitness goals,” she says.