Monday Profile--Laurie Longo

Laurie Longo grew up in and around Detroit and is proud of her two "incredible" sons, one of whom is now a lawyer and another who is going off to a "sweet little college" this fall.

She's had an office in Ann Arbor for more than 20 years limited to civil appeals, primarily appeals involving property, divorce, and small businesses, although there is also the occasional probate appeal.

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Residence: We've lived in Ann Arbor since 1990 with a short stint on a little lake nearby.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? That it would be more contagious.

Which living person do you most admire? Jimmy Carter. There is also a man, whose name I don't know, who for decades has worked three different somewhat grungy jobs in the places where I shop. He never stops working. Never. He's always at one of these jobs. Even so, he is always calm, professional, and nice to everyone. I don't play the lottery but if I won I'd be seriously tempted to give it all to him.

What is the trait you hate most in yourself? I tend to become too deeply obsessed about whatever project I'm working on to the exclusion of all else, which can lead to really great work-product but (justifiably) grouchy sons and dogs.

If you suddenly had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it? I'd love to have one gigantic, nearly empty room with a tall ceiling, huge windows, and heated concrete floors. I'd live in one small part of it and spread out in the rest to make great big messy art. In the meantime, the dining-room table is just fine.

My mother always told me..."Do what you know in your heart is right and you will never regret it."

What was your most memorable meal? Cream of Wheat in the hospital when I was 5. I'd just had my tonsils removed. I hated Cream of Wheat and my mom ate it instead of me and snuck me something else before the dreaded nurse came back. Major points for her to this day.

If you could do one thing professionally... Alternating between a little art a little law... I'm already doing it, but if there were a way to add horses into the mix I would definitely not object.

What are your favorite websites? Doonesbury on Slate, On Being, Radiolab, PBS for the British dramas, Reddit Science.

Where have you been that you will never return--if you can help it? Any emergency room or any surgical theater.

Favorite Ann Arbor area hang-outs: Treasure Mart, the Arboretum in the late evenings with my dog and kids, the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning, and the Northside Grill for the best breakfast, especially now that the patio is open again.

Your proudest moment(s) as a lawyer? Watching my oldest son, who is one of my favorite people, and whose character and drive I admire so much, be sworn in by a judge about whom I feel the same way.

What would surprise people about your job? That much of what I learned about writing a winning appellate brief was learned in art school. True. And that there is an incredible thrill when a written argument starts to come together seamlessly.

When and where were you happiest? It would have to be a very close tie between being 12 and on my horse all alone in the middle of a summer field, being in Italy on a train when I was 19, flying through law school as a single mom with a new baby, and those early years tucking the kids in when they were still small.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Spend less time thinking so hard; the world is not nearly as complicated as it seems and you do not have to figure all of it out at once or with absolute certainty.

Do you have spiritual beliefs? Only a few, and they can be almost entirely summed up by 1 Corinthians 13. That, and the knowledge that sometimes, when someone asks for help, God is doing you a favor by having them show up.

What is something most people don't know about you? I grew up with horses, dogs, cats, birds, and the occasional wild animal (small ones), most of whom I imposed by surprise on my already-overloaded mother who, amazingly, never refused to let me bring them home. I trained race horses with my father when I was 13 and 14 and planned to become a veterinarian.

What do you wish more people understood? That the point is just to help take care of each other and that it's not any more complicated than that.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? My dad and my two grown sons.

Favorite movie: "Red" and "Blue" from the "Three Colors" trilogy by Krzysztof KieÊlowski.

What's one thing you can do now that you couldn't do 20 years ago? Walk away from gratuitous conflict.

Published: Mon, May 27, 2013

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