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Member of the Month
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The MACOMB BAR Member of the Month program recognizes members for their passion for the profession of law and highlights achievements and milestones.

 

Suzanne Kalka
Kalka Law Firm, P.C.

Michigan State University College of Law,  J.D.,  2000
Madonna University, B.S. summa cum laude, Paralegal Studies, 1995

 

Why did you choose the profession of law? What sparked your passion?
I decided I wanted to be a lawyer at the age of 14 and began preparations for it at that time.  I had a very unhappy childhood; had no control of my home-life or surroundings.  I was bullied relentlessly; hated school and did not make friends easily.  My parents were divorced and as part of the divorce we were forced to move to a trailer park and a new school.   At 14, it was the final devastating circumstance.  I decided to become a lawyer because I never wanted to ever go through any of that again.  

Nothing stood in my way as I saw it was my only opportunity to break the cycle of a miserable life, full of depression and anxiety.  The profession was my way of gaining control, protecting myself and giving me a future.  Law also gave me an opportunity to turn all my negative energy into something positive to help others.  I have found that I a very strong sense of protecting others and empathy for what they have gone through.  The journey definitely wasn’t easy, but failure was not, nor has it ever been an option.  

Today, I would consider myself a successful litigator and trial attorney.  Having practiced on my own since 2013 on both the plaintiff and defense side of this very competitive field, I have developed very good sense of what both sides need to successfully litigate a case.  I get incredible satisfaction working hard for my clients.  My practice focuses largely on No-Fault Law for the catastrophically injured.  I am proud how our small firm provides solid personal attention to every client we represent.  

Why did you join the Macomb Bar?

I love Macomb County.  I live here, work here and practice here.  I am also raising my family here and plan to stay here.  My kids go to Macomb County Schools.  So, it was a natural decision to join the MCBA.   I am also on the Executive Board of Michigan Association for Justice, and was recently elected to the Fraser City Council, so it has been important to continue to facilitate my network associations in multiple venues.    

What is the most challenging aspect of being a lawyer and how do you handle it?
Stress of litigation and deadlines.  However, the practice is definitely changing with the development of new technology, which is a tremendous leap in the right direction.  Electronic filings have significantly diminished expenses and stress.  A good home life and work balance is a must for any lawyer who actively practices and litigates cases.  We go on a few vacations each year to places we love to rest, reset and recharge.    

Any advice to law school students, young lawyers?

Work smarter, not harder.  Do not cut corners, take copious notes, and learn as much as you can. Stay organized, follow through and practice your litigation skills in the mirror.  Write lots of motions, argue them and take lots of deps, as experience in this professional is priceless.  And, above all else, no matter what, never burn bridges and always keep pushing yourself.  I promise it does get easier.  Never give up on your dreams or your convictions and always be ethical and fair.  For women, the profession has changed quite a bit in a positive way.  Stay strong; keep fighting the good fight and if you think someone is keeping you down or holding you back from your true potential or it’s not a good fit, just move on.  Join groups supported by women for additional support.  You have what it takes, if you believe in yourself.

Can you tell us an interesting fact about yourself that others may not know?

My family always comes first and we love to travel.  My husband and I have also been married 15 years this month.  We like going to Vegas, when we can get away.  While I may be practicing law with incredible passion changing peoples’ lives; running 1/7 of a City, that I love (getting its forward progress back on track); I am also busy creating a healthy, loving and safe childhood for my kids (something I did not have).  We have a travel hockey player and a travel volleyball player, so we are always on the go.  We actually have three vehicles because we put so many miles on them.  A good work-life balance is the key to any success story because tomorrow is never promised.

 



Nominations for Member of the Month may be submitted by members and non-members.  Nomination letters can be emailed to RTroy@MacombBar.org or hard copy to 40 N. Main, Ste 435, Mt. Clemens, MI  48043 or by using the online form at  www.MacombBar.org



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