Helen Vick relocating to Chicago by June

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By Frank Weir

Legal News

Helen Vick, an Ypsilanti family law attorney here for many years, is relocating to the Chicago area.

Tom Manchester has acquired Vick's practice and has hired Nicole Mackmiller to take over Vick's cases and continue her own immigration and naturalization work.

She plans to finish up by the end of June. Vick and husband Jim have purchased a condo in Wheaton, Illinois near DeVry University where Jim has been working for the last year.

Vick came to the law naturally having a father who was a lawyer and FBI agent.

"I always wanted to go to law school," Vick said. "My dad spent his career with the FBI but I was too old by the time I graduated from Wayne State to pursue a similar career with them."

She graduated from law school in 1986 after 14 years as a homemaker helping to raise the couple's three children.

After several brief practice experiences upon passing the bar with area lawyers and law firms, Vick opened her own practice renting office space from Manchester.

She remained there ever since.

"I love family law because you are dealing with real people with real problems. It's a hard time in people's lives and, as lawyers, we try to find solutions for them.

"And there are solutions in family law cases but sometimes you just have to dig a little," she said.

As do most attorneys in the area, she feels there is a highly collegial bar here. "We have a great family law bench in the county. Mediation is greatly encouraged which is a good thing. Our family law section of the Washtenaw County Bar Association is wonderful too.

"John Kirkendall is someone I'll remember. He was just a wonderful judge and did many positive things for family law. He really started the whole idea of mediation in family law cases.

"He brought in the Dispute Resolution Center to get the mediation program going in the family courts. I can't say enough about him; he's a wonderful man.

"I have also had great colleagues like Tom Manchester and Jim Jackson, Ellis Freatman, as well as Andy Eggan and Tom Daniels who I worked with before starting my own practice.

"And I'll really miss my clients and the work. I enjoy going to the courthouse."

Vick is uncertain whether she will actively practice law in Illinois or perhaps, volunteer for pro bono cases.

"I would like to continue practicing, I'm not ready to retire yet. But there are so many young lawyers everywhere trying to get started that I feel they should have the opportunity. We'll see."

Published: Thu, Apr 29, 2010

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