Monday Profile: Laura Goderis

Laura Goderis started her career as a private practitioner in family and criminal law and now works for the Washtenaw County Trial Court as a judicial attorney for Judge Archie C. Brown.

She also chairs the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Family Division of the Washtenaw County Trial Court, works closely with the Legal Resource Center and teaches domestic law at Eastern Michigan University.

Favorite hobby: Quilting.

What advice would you give yourself 20 years ago? Play more and stress less about grades would have been my mantra. Grades, in the end, really aren't that important. Being an adult isn't all that its' cracked up to be. Enjoy being without responsibility for that short window of your life.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Time to do all of the things I want to do.

What is your greatest fear? Time will run out before I have the opportunity to be "perfectly happy."

What is the trait you hate most in others? A general lack of common sense.

Necessary extravagance? Quilting fabric.

What is your most treasured possession? While not really a possession, I treasure my family. Getting multi-generations of smart asses together makes for an eventful day and has resulted in a wonderful life.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Temperance.

Which living person do you most despise? Any person who has ever been on reality TV. I get reality TV every day, in my office, straight from the courtroom.

What advice would you give law school students? There is more to law than just the words "granted" and "denied" or "guilty" and "not guilty." Attorneys need to be experts in the law, therapists, money managers, social workers and "knowers" on a variety of subjects. Before you apply, you have to sit through at least a month of dockets and trials. You have to see at least one capital felony trial from start to finish - including sentencing and victim impact statements. You have to sit through a custody fight. You have to sit through a motion for summary disposition on a property issue - and stay awake through the entire argument. You have to interact with the parties and families on both sides of the aisles.

What one thing you wish people knew about your work? There are so many. I don't think I could limit it to one. If I had to pick the top three they would be: 1. I really do like my job. 2. I really do keep a list of attorneys that annoy me. (There are currently 9 people on the list and you know who YOU are.) 3. I (and the judge) not only have read the Michigan Court Rules, but we also follow them.

Favorite joke: How do you catch a unique rabbit? You "neak" up on it. How do you catch a tame rabbit? The tame way, you "neak" up on it.

What is something most people don't know about you? I volunteer with a group of woman and make lap quilts for the U-M cancer center. We meet once a month and the six of us sew about 75-100 quilts a year to donate. We started the group by donating fabric out of our own stashes and now take donations from other quilters.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? J.K. Rowlings, Steven Spielberg and Barbara Walters. They strike me as really interesting people.

Who is your favorite character of fiction? Nancy Drew. I have a Nancy Drew complex. I always want to know the "why," the rest of the some clients have found out the hard way.

Favorite web site:

Favorite movie: Arsenic and Old Lace or The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

Favorite drink: A&W root beer from the Dexter drive-up, ordered out the car window and delivered in a frosty mug.

Favorite place to spend money: Any quilt shop/quilting website.

What is your motto? Everyone Lies.

Where would you like to be when you're 90? I want to be homeless, living on different cruise ships, traveling the world, while people wait on me hand and foot and do all my cooking, cleaning and laundry. I also want a cane, whether I need one or not, so that I can use it to get "people's attention" when necessary.

Published: Mon, Apr 2, 2012


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