From stores to laws: Tax lawyer pursues his career dream

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News
 
The son of immigrants, Lawrence Kajy grew up helping at his family’s small stores in the Detroit area – but always dreamed of becoming an attorney. With the support of his family, and with his younger brother stepping into Kajy’s role in the business, he has finally achieved that dream.
 
“Without my family, I would not be where I am today,” says Kajy, a tax lawyer with Ayar Law Group in Southfield. “Law school was a full time job for three years – and I was unable to work due to the workload. I relied on my family for support – without them, I would probably have dropped out of school to work and pay my bills. My dad and brother worked hard in order to provide for me, and I thank them for all my accomplishments to date.”

After earning his undergrad degree in psychology from Wayne State University, Kajy earned his J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law last year. 

“I wanted to make a difference and help people in need and saw law as an opportunity to do just that,” he says.

During his first summer in law school, Kajy took Federal Income Taxation – and was instantly hooked. 

“For the first time during my law school career, something actually made sense,” he says. “I was always a numbers guy growing up and this area of the law allows me to combine
numbers and math with my true passion, the law.”

As director of academic affairs for the Arab and Chaldean Law Student Association, he was in charge of providing study outlines for newly enrolled students. 

“I knew the difficulties a new law student faces, and it gave me the chance to help them get through the frightening first year of law school,” he says.

A member of the Moot Court board of advocates, he coached the board’s Veterans Law team. 

“Coaching is vital to assure your team is prepared before a major competition,” he says. “Who wouldn’t enjoy being a bad-mannered judge to your fellow classmates for a few weeks?”

He also contributed an article on Michigan’s No-fault Act for the Detroit Mercy Law Review.

 “I truly believe it’s a subject that needs recognition, especially in Michigan,” he says. “I learned how to become a better legal writer and researcher, which has helped me excel in the legal world.”

Kajy interned with the Public Defender’s Office at the 36th District Court in Detroit. 

“Giving good quality representation to indigent clients was a great feeling, and the joy it brought to my life was astounding,” he says. 

One client, unable to pay his bond, was facing jail time. Kajy was able to adjourn the case multiple times to buy his client time to find the necessary funds. 

“I even gave him my cell phone, something most Public Defenders wouldn’t do, to call anyone he knew who would be able to give him cash,” he says. “When his girlfriend called, I told her where her boyfriend was and which courtroom to bring the funds. He was later released.” 

Kajy also worked in the law school’s Veterans Law Clinic. 

“I enjoyed making a difference in veterans’ lives by increasing their disability ratings and, in turn, increasing the amount of money they receive every month from the Department of Veterans Affairs,” he says. “Veterans fought for our freedom at one point or another, and I enjoyed fighting for them in front of the Board of Veterans Appeals.”

In one case a veteran was granted in-service compensation for a left heel injury, but denied compensation for lower back and left foot injuries. Kajy appealed the denial to the Board of Veterans Appeals, requesting a formal hearing to take place in front of the magistrate judge at the Board – and was successful in winning a reversal of the initial denial of compensation.

A Detroit native who grew up in West Bloomfield where he still resides, Kajy appreciated Detroit Mercy Law’s downtown location, and hanging out in the downtown area with fellow classmates between classes. 

“And coming from a very religious family, I attended mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, which is connected to the school and open throughout the day,” he says.

Kajy’s leisure pursuits include exercising at the gym, eating out with friends and family, cooking, attending sport events, and ATV riding at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes on Michigan’s west coast or riding the trails in Houghton Lake.

He is always willing to give free advice to anyone in need in need of legal help. 

“Even if the issue is non-tax related, I’ll guide the individual in the direction he or she needs to go,” he says. “I also take two to three pro bono tax cases each year, which gives me an opportunity to give back to the community.”

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