Monday Profile: Christopher Wickman

Christopher Wickman is a solo practitioner at his firm, Equal Footing Law, P.C. in Haslett, where he focuses on criminal defense, civil litigation and disability law. The Belleville native was admitted to the Michigan Bar in November 2011 after graduating from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2011. He is the immediate past president of the Ingham County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section. 

When he’s not working, Wickman is a strong supporter of the American Red Cross and an avid sports fan, especially of his alma mater—the Michigan State Spartans—and the Colorado Avalanche. 

Wickman enjoys Broadway shows, hanging out with friends playing poker, barbequing, and watching movies. He also enjoys being dragged around by his 70-pound “puppy,” Tramp. 

 

 

By Jo Mathis

Legal News
 
Residence:  East Lansing.
 
What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Make sure you want to practice law before going to law school or else you’re just forcing yourself into paying off tons of law school debt with a non-law job. You can go to law school with any undergraduate degree not because it’s for everyone, but because you can take a law degree in many different ways. 
 
What would surprise people about your job?
How rewarding it is to do criminal defense work. More often than not, you’re working with people who are not bad people, but have an addiction or have made a mistake and are willing and able to accept responsibility and punishment for such.  
 
What has been your favorite year so far?
2011. I was in my final year of law school and spending four 16-hour days at the law school each week. The other three days, I’d forget I was in law school and travel to New York City and see a Broadway show and live the life all while pulling in the best grades of my law school career. 
 
What’s your most typical mood?
Happy and thankful, but stressed. It is my personal belief that no one else can affect your mood unless you let them. I’m thankful to be alive and doing what I love, but being less than three years into the practice of law with my own practice, other peoples’ lives in my hands on a daily basis, and looming law school debt is enough to have a great toll on the mind and body.  I’m also thankful to my parents and my girlfriend and many people who help make my life what it is. 
 
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Mind-reading. It would be incredibly handy in my professional and personal life. It would surely save some judges some incredibly lengthy elocution if I already knew they were in agreement with me. 
 
What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
Don’t worry. It gets harder. 
 
What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
Winning a trial or preliminary examination for my client and trying to maintain my composure in the face of the jury (because it’s OBVIOUSLY the only right decision), but losing it and smiling when the client wraps his or her arm around me or gives me a pat on the back.
 
Favorite joke:
As an ordained minister and attorney, I particularly enjoy this one: After a bad divorce, a truck driver has to work twice as much to pay off his ex-wife after his lawyer ‘screwed him over.’ For that reason, every time when he sees a lawyer walking down the road, he will swerve to hit him and drive off. One day, he’s driving along and sees a man of the cloth whose car has broken down. He picks him up and they’re making idle chit-chat when he suddenly sees a lawyer and swerves over. He looks over at the last second and sees his passenger. He tries to look away and swerve back quickly, but he hears that all-too-familiar thump. They continue in silence for a minute or so before the truck driver must confess. He tells the clergyman his story and what he does and adds, “I tried to avoid him last second, but I...” before he can finish he is cut off by the minister. “Don’t worry my son,” says the minister. “I got him with the door.”
 
As an ordained minister since 2009, do you perform ministerial duties?
I have performed two weddings, but I do not regularly counsel or preach nor do I have a congregation. 
 
How would you describe your home?
Tiny. 50 percent yard, 30 percent driveway, 20 percent house. It reflects our priorities:  1. Dog. 2. Cars and friends’ cars. 3. Us.
 
If you were starting all over again and couldn’t go into law, what career path would you choose?
Medicine.
 
What word do you overuse?
“Okay.” Reading transcripts is painful. It means, “Moving on,” “Thank you,” and “Please stop talking,” among other things.
 
What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?
How to make a living doing what I love. 
 
What is something most people don't know about you?
I’m an avid musicals fan. If you ever get in my car, you can expect a musical to be on and the volume to be cranked way up to drown out my singing. 
 
What are your favorite musicals?
 “Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables,” “In the Heights,”“Book of Mormon,” and “Next to Normal.”
 
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
Robin Williams, Barack Obama, and Pope Benedict. 
 
Can’t-live-without technology:
My Android phone. 
 
What was the greatest compliment someone ever paid you?
“I trust you.”
 
If you can help it, where will you never return?
Doctor’s office.
 
Favorite place to spend money:   
Broadway.
 
What is your motto?
“Nothing worth doing is easy.”
 
Where would you like to be when you’re 90?
Retired former attorney, politician, and activist retired in my custom-built dream home on Lake Michigan making regular trips to Broadway for a few weeks each Broadway season to see all the shows. 
 
What would you like carved onto your tombstone?
“Loved and lived, but didn’t overstay his welcome.”
 

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