From classroom to courtroom: Attorney finds his niche in insurance litigation


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Theodore (Ted) Marshall originally planned to be a high school civics/history teacher—and after earning his undergrad degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Sciences from Michigan State University, taught for a year through the MSU student teaching program at Ferndale High School.

Although he enjoyed the classroom, Lady Justice had other plans for Marshall, now a member of the Insurance Defense Group at Willingham & Coté PC in East Lansing.

“My dad always had a fascination with law and philosophy and seemed to instill that interest in me from a young age,” Marshall says. “As early as middle school we would talk about topics like justice, politics, society, and history.” 

Following that original passion, Marshall headed to Wayne State University Law School, attracted by its location in the heart of the City of Detroit. 

While in law school, he served as co-president of the Wayne Law Student Chapter of the Federalist Society that sponsors debates, panels and speeches to encourage the exchange of ideas and expose students to differing viewpoints.    

“The other president and I re-booted the chapter after it had been dead for a period of time,”?he says. “We would bring speakers to campus to argue with our professors. I found more than half the time I didn’t even agree with the speaker, I just really enjoyed watching our professors have to argue with someone on their own academic level. We believed in the organization because we felt both sides should be heard.”

Marshall also participated in the school’s Business and Community Law Clinic.

“It was really interesting getting to help local startups in such an exciting economic time for Detroit,” he says. “Having grown up in the Detroit area, it was exciting seeing entrepreneurs actually optimistic about economic prospects within the city.”

Before law school, Marshall had completed an internship with Willingham & Coté, working primarily in insurance law—and having worked at a few different firms during law school, decided this was his career niche.

As a transplant to Lansing, the Troy native has found membership in the Ingham County Bar Association and Lansing Chamber of Commerce has been a good opportunity to meet new people and to network.

In his leisure time, Marshall enjoys running, a sport he started as a way of staying active in college, and last fall completed the Detroit International Marathon.

“I don’t know if they do this in other cities, but there were plenty of spectators handing out beer to the runners—I took one around mile 24,” he says. “It was good to cross the marathon off my bucket list.”

Softball is another sports passion and Marshall plays on the same team every summer.

“We mostly lose but it’s a blast getting together with the same group of people every week and playing a game where you don’t really have to do much,” he says. “Plus you meet a bunch of people, and talk to people on the other team.”