Monday Profile: Stephanie Service

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Stephanie Service was born and raised in the Lansing area, and graduated from Grand Valley State University and Cooley Law School.

She works as an associate attorney at Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC in Lansing, where she practices family law, child protection defense, and criminal defense.

Service and her husband recently had their first child, so she is learning to juggle being a full-time attorney with being a mom.

In her free time, she likes to line dance, work on projects at home, sample microbrews, and spend time with her family and friends.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News

Residence:  Delta Township.

What is your most treasured material possession? Any handwritten notes from my grandmother, who passed away unexpectedly last year.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Consider your strengths. For people who hate reading, writing, or critical thinking, but just like to argue, law school is probably the wrong choice.

Favorite local hangouts:
Zoobie’s, Soup Spoon Café, Deluca’s, The Whiskey Barrel.

Favorite websites: Facebook and email.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
I realize how lucky I was to have a wonderful childhood. My parents were supportive and I was—and still am—very close to my extended family. I really enjoyed attending family reunions every summer.

Why did you become a lawyer? 
I was getting close to graduating college with still no idea what I wanted to do. It was my way of staying in school to open up more doors for my future career. As it turns out, I loved the challenge of law school and I definitely found my niche being an attorney. I love working with people and crafting strong arguments.

What would surprise people about your job? There are two things I think people would be surprised to know. The first is that attorneys don’t know everything. I probably could not tell you the first thing about business mergers and acquisitions, because I do not practice in that field. I get all sorts of legal questions thrown at me by friends and family that start with “You’re a lawyer, right?” and I often tell them they need to consult with an attorney who practices in that area. The second thing is that there is a basic level of sales knowledge required to get new clients in the door. I never would have thought about that aspect of the job before it became a reality.

What do you wish someone would invent? If I knew the answer to that, I wouldn’t be here. I’d be out on my luxury yacht enjoying the royalties from my invention.

What has been your favorite year so far?
It’s hard to list just one. In 2007, my husband and I backpacked around Europe for three weeks. In 2009, I passed the bar and got married. In 2013, we bought our first house. In 2015, our son was born.

What is your most typical mood? I’m a pretty even-keeled person without a lot of ups or downs, which is probably a good thing. Also, I’m often doing one thing and thinking about doing the next thing.

Who is on your guest list for the ideal dinner party?
My closest friends and family, but with my cooking skills, I hope someone else is making the meal!
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? My son, who is a few months old. I am so curious to know what he thinks about (or if he does think), how he sees the world, and how it feels to be carried around all the time.

What are the most awe-inspiring places you’ve been? Hawaii, Venice, and the waterfalls and Pictured Rocks in the Upper Peninsula.

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer?
My favorite hearings are petitions for removal from the sex offender registry. Sex offender registration is extremely burdensome and embarrassing. I have had clients who cannot attend their children’s school plays/concerts, as the school and local police determine that is a student safety zone loitering violation. Under the statute, a person on the registry gets one opportunity for the court to rule on their petition for removal, so these petitions are a once-in-a-lifetime shot. Just the other day, a judge granted such a petition and my client broke down in tears of joy. I felt like I really, truly made a difference in his life. I like when that happens.

What do you do to relax?
Line dance, go for walks, watch reality TV, or take a ride on our charter fishing boat in Lake Michigan.

What word do you overuse? “Like.”

What is one thing you would like to learn to do?
I wish I knew how to drive a manual transmission.

What is one skill you will never master? Cooking.

What is something most people don't know about you?
I am very observant. I like to people watch. I like trying to figure out how strangers fit together and are related to each other.

What is the best advice you ever received? It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s how we learn from them that matters and know in the future not to make the same mistake. At the end of every case, I try to reflect and remember the one major thing I learned about myself, client management, or the law. Each experience is a tool to put in my toolbox of knowledge.

If you can help it, where will you never return? There are some clients’ houses I would prefer not to see again…

What do you drive?
A 2006 Pontiac Torrent.

What would you drive if money were no object?
Probably a Traverse or Acadia.

Favorite places to spend money:
Meijer and Sam’s Club.  

What is your motto? Fake it ’til I make it.

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