Building blocks: Attorney enjoys commercial real estate law

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

An associate attorney in the Real Estate Group at Bodman PLC, Alexandra Dieck finds real estate, and especially real estate development, exciting.

“The results of the legal work are tangible—you can literally see the fruits of your efforts as buildings and communities develop,” she says. “Being involved in the real estate market also provides a good sense of what is happening economically in the area. We see first-hand where the growth is occurring.”

Dieck, who works in the firm’s Ann Arbor office, wanted a career with the opportunity to have a positive impact on the world.

“The law is a common thread that defines and connects people and the legal system is central to solving many current national and global challenges,” she says. “My career has helped me to be more informed about current events, and my legal training has also taught me to work through problems with logic and efficiency.”

Encouraged by her father—according to his daughter, possibly the world’s biggest Michigan fan—to become a University of Michigan student, Dieck earned her undergraduate degree in women’s studies and political science from the U-M.

She stayed in Ann Arbor to earn her J.D. from U-M Law, where she particularly appreciated her fellow students and professors—and Dominick’s, a local Italian eatery and favorite haunt of law students.

“I went to school with such a talented and smart group of people. It is pretty cool to engage with people from all over the country and world on really complicated and tough subjects—especially over drinks at Dominick’s,” she says.
As associate editor of the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law, she helped select articles for each issue.

“Usually these would be a small view into an area of the law I knew nothing about, and some of them challenged my beliefs about certain subjects,” she says. “Also, it was a chance to shape the narrative on what is discussed in the academic setting, shifting the focus to topics in which I have great interest, especially gender, race, and social issues.”

Her interest led her to join the Women Law Students Association that she would later spearhead as president; and she also volunteered with the Family Law Project.

The Civil and Criminal Litigation Clinic was her first experience working directly with people who needed help with legal issues.

“It was personally rewarding, and I learned how to maintain good working relationships and communicate effectively with clients,” she says. “It was also good to get a taste of what it’s like to have an unpredictable schedule and work towards a deadline.”

During law school, Dieck worked as a law clerk in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona, Civil Division; and as a summer law clerk with Bodman.

A native of Milford in Oakland County, Dieck now makes her home in Ann Arbor with her partner, Steve Wilson, and “a poorly behaved and spoiled German Shepherd named Sammy,” who accompanies her on runs along the Huron River. Other leisure pursuits include yoga, travel, and watching TV shows—“good and bad.” She enjoys life in Ann Arbor.

“The city is vibrant and there are many opportunities to learn new things and interact with people from different cultures and professional backgrounds,” she says. “There are also many opportunities to build a legal practice here because of the diverse and growing economy in Washtenaw County.”

Dieck recently was named to the board of Friends in Deed, a Washtenaw County organization that endeavors to help disadvantaged families and individuals in Southeast Michigan by “filling in the cracks” left by federal and state programs. The organization has developed such programs as parenting workshops, an appliance repair program, furniture acquisition programs, and assistance with utility payments.

“Since joining Bodman and planting roots in Ann Arbor, I wanted to commit more time to organizations and people focused on building our local community and providing services for individuals being left behind in terms of public services and resources,” she explains. “A friend introduced me to Friends in Deed. The opportunity to serve on the board has been tremendously rewarding. I see first-hand how our focused efforts have helped the individuals and families we serve directly, which strengthens our community as a whole.”


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