A Quick Look at Michigan Lawyers: 1855-1940s
I guess when you reach a certain age, you have to deal with lawyers. It’s almost inevitable, whether you want to or not. Divorce, bankruptcy, prosecution, making out a will…whatever. It WILL happen. I’ve had my share of attorney dealings.
Jokes about lawyers are plentiful…it’s a good guess to say that jabs at attorneys come second only to the ones about husbands and wives.
Nobody seems to know who Michigan’s first-ever lawyer was. In the earliest days, there were self-proclaimed attorneys, who did their 'shystering' without proper licensing. There were other unlicensed lawyers who practiced illegally but still did better for their clients than the legal, higher-priced ones!
Even though we can’t pinpoint Michigan’s first, we know that thousands have come and gone…and there’s just a smidgen of proof in that remark in the photo gallery below. It’s not extensive, but it shows some of the lawyers from over 100 years ago and a few of their offices. Many times their offices were over another business, like a drug store, hardware shop, or general store. These little offices could NOT have been comfortable: hot during summer with no air conditioning, cold in winter, cockroaches, cramped quarters…..all while dreaming about their own REAL office someday.
This article is NOT meant to be a history of Michigan attorneys, as no doubt you've already figured out. Nope, the above words are only there to preface the old photos below, showing some old Michigan attorneys, their ads, and their business locations.
Take a look and feel free to offer any more insight!
Michigan Lawyers, 1855-1940S
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