Local attorney steps down as MSU?Law board chair

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Attorney Linda Orlans has served on Michigan State University College of Law’s board of trustees for 10 years, and she has led the board as chairwoman for three. She recently decided to step down from the position, and Donald Nystrom took over as chairman on Sept. 7.


“My time as chair has been both professionally rewarding and a genuine joy,” Orlans said. “I watched my alma mater change from a local law college to a Big 10 university, and I have seen thousands of faces of bright young lawyers walk across our stage at commencement each year. As much as we’ve grown, I still see vast potential ahead of us. New ideas and new leadership keep us creative and strong, so I am happy to pass the chair position on to Don.”

Orlans is founder and executive chair of Orlans Group, which is comprised of Orlans Associates PC, Orlans Moran PLLC, Atlantic Law Group LLC, eTitle Agency Inc., eAMC Agency, eVantage Services, and Towne Auction. Orlans Group develops creative solutions for real property transactions for sophisticated clients in 28 states and employs more than 500 professionals.

“I’ve only been here a few months, but I have already seen the impact Linda has on this institution,” said MSU Law Dean Larry Ponoroff. “She has donated generously to the law college in the form of her time, her skills, and her checkbook.” In 2011, Orlans made a $1 million donation via a charitable bequest to help kick off the law college’s Empower Extraordinary campaign.

“Linda provided invaluable leadership to our law college,” said Joan Howarth, recently retired dean of MSU Law. “She helped us better integrate with the broader MSU campus, and she has been one of our most passionate advocates for recruiting new students and engaging alumni. Moreover, time and time again she has shown by
example how lawyers can make a positive impact in their communities.”

Orlans demonstrates her strong commitment to philanthropy both through personal service and through her business practices. Her companies’ corporate values encourage financial and social responsibility, innovation, compassion and accountability. She is also especially passionate about helping underserved children through education, honoring America’s service members and women’s issues. In 2014 she established the Emerging Leaders for Women in Metro Detroit. Orlans was also instrumental in bringing HOPE (Home Ownership Preservation Enterprise) to Detroit. This organization helps homeowners who are unable to pay their mortgage to work out new terms so they can stay in their homes.

“Linda Orlans is a remarkable woman who has applied tremendous analytical ability, leadership vision and passion for the institution to her chairmanship of the College of Law and her support for the university. I’m very pleased she will remain on the college’s board,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon.

Orlans and Nystrom are both alumni of the law college. While Orlans graduated from Detroit College of Law, Nystrom graduated as a member of the first class to spend all three years in the current Law College building. He is president of Dynamic Aerospace and Defense, a wholly owned entity within Dynamic Industrial Group, which primarily invests in manufacturing entities serving the aerospace, defense, automotive, and rail industries.

“I’m humbled by the honor and I look forward to working closely with our new dean Lawrence Ponoroff, our board, and our faculty,” Nystrom said. “I am thankful for Linda’s years of service and well-aware that I have big, stylish shoes to fill.”

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